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July 23, 2007

Critical? I'll Give You Critical...

Step 1: Read the following security bulletin from Microsoft.


This stuff annoys me a great deal, especially when it comes from Microsoft. It's a critical bulletin, and includes the advice "Microsoft recommends that customers apply the update immediately." Which is great, except it's completely non-obvious what you are supposed to do to apply the update. It even has a FAQ which doesn't help.

It gets better, because if you actually figure out where you should click, that page gives you two choices for download, and explains "Download the files most appropriate for you." The two choices are Windows6.0-KB929916-x64.msu and Windows6.0-KB929916-x86.msu. Ri-i-i-i-ight.

Since I could barely figure this out, I'm not sure how most of our customers are supposed to figure it out. As an added bonus, when I selected the x86 version (having previously picked ou the Vista-specific .NET 2.0 link on the first page), it told me "This update does not apply to your system." Not something positive like "This update has already been applied" or "You do not need to install this update." Given the tricky path that you had to navigate to get there, I suspect for many people the implication of "This update does not apply to your system" will be that out of the 24 choices on the first screen, or else out of the two choices on the second screen, they picked the wrong one.

Posted by AdamBa at July 23, 2007 09:09 PM

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In all fairness, the security bulletin you link to (and the other security bulletins under technet) is aimed at IT professionals.

Consumers just get the updates through windowsupdate, or if they manage to find themselves on the technet security bulletin home page can click the link in "Want Less Technical Detail?
Visit the Security At Home site to find out about automatic security updates for your computer." and end up at http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/update/bulletins/automaticupdates.mspx

Posted by: Grant at July 23, 2007 09:58 PM

Thanks for the info...Microsoft runs scanning tools on employee computers to make sure we are up-to-date. This was the link that I was directed to in order to apply this patch (I have auto-update on, don't know why this one wasn't applied). So if all employees got sent to that page, I'm sure there were many who would have trouble figuring out what to do (like me!).

- adam

Posted by: Adam Barr at July 24, 2007 06:05 AM