Returning to its rude behavior, Microsoft released several patches for Windows 10, likely to preview non-security fixes, as well as another .NET preview. Microsoft stopped launching these confusing patches in mid-March, citing the «public health situation.» The patches are back anyway.
I’ve always hated Microsoft patches «optional, no security, C / D Week» because they are confusing, easy to install accidentally, rarely fix urgent issues, and can introduce even more bugs.
Guess what? They are back.
As promised last month, Microsoft has begun releasing them again.
In general, they are only offered through Windows Update (or for manual download). This means that organizations that use update servers have to overcome several obstacles to deploy them. Few will bother. It’s fine. These C / D Week patches are not intended for stable corporate machines. They are intended for enthusiasts and searchers, as well as unsuspecting normal users, who are attracted to beta testers.
Perhaps the cruelest irony: Microsoft stopped releasing these patches in March for a good cause, saying at the time:
We have assessed the public health situation and we understand that this affects our clients. In response to these challenges, we prioritize focusing on security updates. As of May 2020, we are discontinuing all optional non-security versions (updates C and D) for all supported versions of Windows client and server products (Windows 10, version 1909 through Windows Server 2008 SP2).
There are no changes to the monthly security updates (version B – Tuesday’s update); They will continue as planned to ensure business continuity and keep our customers protected and productive.
It now appears that Microsoft has reassessed the public health situation and, in light of our great progress in defeating the pandemic, has determined that the old ways should return.
Between July 20-21, we have 33 new patches in the Microsoft Update Catalog. They include:
KB 4559004: Preliminary version of the cumulative update 2020-07 for Win10 versions 1909, 1903; and KB 459003 for 1809 and Server 2019.
KB 4562900: Cumulative preview preview for .NET Framework 3.5 and 4.8 for Win10 1903 and 1909; and a handful of similar previews for other versions of .NET, Windows, and Server.
All of these fixes should appear in Windows Update (Start> Settings> Update and Security) as separate entries with download and installation links. In theory, the provided preview patch will not be installed unless you click Download and Install.
However, in my testing, clicking Resume Updates on a Win10 1909 system installed the .NET patch. I did not click Download and Install. The preview has just been installed.
As of very early Wednesday morning, I don’t see the Cumulative Update Preview offered on any of my Win10 1909 machines. Also, they don’t show up while running wushowhide. You might be lucky.
Of course, you should avoid these patches. I’m still testing; therefore they are marked as «Preview». But more specifically, you should be wondering why Microsoft has decided that the «public health situation» now justifies throwing more error-prone garbage in the throat.