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Adobe and Oracle postpone quarterly patches

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Adobe and Oracle are both planning to delay their quarterly patch releases, albeit for different reasons.

Oracle has pushed back its autumn security updates a week from 13 October until 20 October to avoid a clash with its OpenWorld 2009 conference, which runs from 11-15 October. It didn't want administrators to have to choose between attending the conference and promptly applying updates.

Applying patches in enterprise environments normally involves plenty of testing in well organised firms, and plenty of foot-dragging in less security conscious shops, so whether the postponed release by Oracle will make much difference in practice is open for debate.

Adobe, meanwhile, has delayed its quarterly patching update a month until 13 October. Flaws in Microsoft's Active Template Library (ATL) meant software controls made using the library template inherited a critical software flaw. The problem prompted Microsoft to issue an out-of-sequence patch for IE and its development tools in late July, as well as other fixes since. The same issue also affects third party developers - especially those, like Adobe, who pepper their products with ActiveX controls.

Fixing ATL-related problems has taken priority at Adobe and has proved trickier than first expected. Adobe now expects to publish Acrobat and Reader updates on 13 October, H Security reports.

Adobe's first quarterly patch batch fell in June and coincided with Microsoft Black Tuesday update for that month. The next edition of Adobe's update cycle was initially expected to repeat that pattern and coincide with Microsoft's September patch batch. Delays mean that this will now only happen in October. ®

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