Patch Reprieve for March's Black Tuesday
Windows PC users and corporate system administrators worldwide will earn a reprieve from Redmond next week. Microsoft said today it has no plans to release new software security updates this month.
It's not as if there aren't any outstanding security flaws that Microsoft could fix this month, but the situation could be a lot worse.
Perhaps Redmond is simply being kind to corporate IT folk, many of whom are working hard to update their companies' software and hardware for the early daylight saving switch this weekend: For the first time in 20 years, daylight saving time will not start on the first Sunday in April. Instead, it will begin three weeks earlier, at 2 a.m. on the second Sunday in March, the 11th. Our IT staff has sent numerous e-mails to laptop users to drop by and make sure the Macs and PCs are all up to date. (Apple and Microsoft have already pushed out patches to address this issue, and if you've been keeping up to date with them, you should be fine, but Windows users can consult this page to be sure.) By the way, updates are available to fix this shift for Palm and Windows Mobile PDAs.
Normally, Microsoft plugs security holes in its software on the second Tuesday of every month, also known as "Patch Tuesday." Microsoft moved to a regular patch cycle a few years ago to make it more predictable for companies who need to staff or schedule extra IT personnel to test and deploy the updates to what could be thousands of systems. The system administrators to whom that task falls typically dread the monthly chore and have a different name for it: "Black Tuesday."
It's been a while since Windows users have been given a pass on patches. By my count, the last time Microsoft skipped a cycle was back in September 2005.
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