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Microsoft reissues Windows 8.1 Update for enterprise customers

Install it now, because August is the new cutoff for future fixes

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft has patched a bug that prevented enterprise customers from receiving software fixes after they installed the Windows 8.1 Update, meaning all customers should now receive the update as Redmond's new "servicing baseline."

Earlier this month, Microsoft suspended distribution of the update to business customers who use Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0 Service Pack 2 after it was discovered that the update created an encryption mismatch that would prevent updated machines from receiving future software fixes.

Customers running WSUS on Windows Server 2008 R2 could resolve the issue by enabling TLS 1.2 encryption on their servers, but the only solution for those running older versions of Windows Server was to disable encryption for software updates altogether.

Microsoft issued a new version of the update on Wednesday that addresses this bug, and has recommenced distributing it to WSUS servers.

"For computers and servers that have already installed these updates, note that Windows Update will re-offer them but it will only install the portion of the update that addresses the fix," Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

Getting systems patched to the highest level has become a crucial issue now that Redmond has said that future patches to its latest OS will depend on the Windows 8.1 Update being installed.

"All future security and non-security updates will be built on these latest product updates, so existing Windows 8.1 customers (as well as Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry customers) will need to be running these latest product updates in order to continue to receive future product improvements and security updates," LeBlanc wrote.

Predictably, however, some of Redmond's larger enterprise customers have balked at the software giant's update requirements. To appease them, Microsoft has extended its support window for pre-Update Windows 8.1 machines to August 12, giving business customers 120 days to get fully up to date. [What are the chances that date gets extended further? – Ed.]

Mere mortals, on the other hand, had better get a move on. Microsoft says that consumers who have not installed the update by May 13 will not receive any future updates; rather, installing the Windows 8.1 Update will be the only option they see when they run Windows Update. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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