Lots of new security updates from Microsoft today, the regularly-scheduled once-a-month release that’s become known as “Patch Tuesday.” Here’s an article about this month’s patches.
Some of you will find your computer restarted after installing the updates last night, or perhaps OneCare will be bugging you today. If you’re not sure, go to Microsoft Update and install all Critical Updates!
I’ve had minor problems with two updates recently. There’s an update for Flash that sometimes doesn’t install properly. Reportedly it can be cured by installing the most recent version of the Flash player. (Note: the Yahoo toolbar will come along with it unless you’re alert and uncheck the box!)
There’s also an update related to Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications that fails on some systems. As of tonight, the solution is to install a slightly newer version of the same update, linked on this page. Only necessary if you see a “Failed” notice after attempting to install Windows Update KB905474!
Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications is causing a fuss in the tech community, by the way. The program verifies that a computer is running a legitimate copy of Windows and causes various things to happen if it spots a pirated version. It has nothing to do with security, it shouldn’t be described as a Critical Update, and Windows Live OneCare shouldn’t alert users to it. It also communicates briefly with a Microsoft server every time it starts up; Microsoft failed to disclose that initially. In other words, it fits all the definitions of spyware.
Personally, I sighed and installed it without a second thought. There are so many badly-designed and invasive things out there now that this is small stuff. Easier to keep the OneCare icon green and hope they learn a lesson from the outcry.