Second-wave April Windows patches arrive, not with a bang, but a Japanese whimper

We waited an extra 10 days for this? Microsoft has released its second monthly patches for Windows. Oddities abound, but there’s no fix for the mammoth bluescreen antivirus conflict in Win7 or 8.1, and precious little improvement unless you’re using Japanese calendars.

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Franck V. (CC0)

Microsoft usually releases patches on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Redmond time. So it came as something of a surprise when we saw the second round of April patches rolling out on the fourth Thursday of the month at 2:30 p.m. Admins, who have come to expect this kind of erratic behavior, are pulling out more gray hair.

I could understand if the Fourth Tuesday patches included something critical that required last-minute tweaking. But…, Microsoft.

Here’s a rundown of this month’s second-wave patches:

Win10 version 1809 - nothing. Delays in the 1809 patches are old news, but the usual excuse involves extra testing in the Windows Insider Release Preview (beta testing) ring. This month, 1809 isn’t in the Release Preview ring. It’s just AWOL.

Win10 version 1803 - cumulative update KB 4493437 has a bunch of little “quality” (non-security) fixes, plus 10 separate Japanese date bug fixes. The IE “Custom URI Schemes” bug introduced earlier has apparently been fixed. Both of the other acknowledged bugs are still there, including Rename on a Cluster Shared Volume crashing the system.

Win10 versions 1709, 1703, 1607, 1507 - get equally ginormous volumes of little fixes, plus 10 or 11 Japanese date bug fixes, depending on version.

Windows 8.1, Server 2012 R2 - Preview of Monthly Rollup KB 4493443 contains seven Japanese date bug fixes and nothing else.

Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 - Monthly Rollup Preview KB 4493453 has eight Japanese date bug fixes and bupkis.

There are also similarly stunted Monthly Rollup Previews for Server 2008 SP2 and Server 2012, as well as non-cumulative Security-only patches for Win 8.1 and Win 7. The latter contain 17 separately identified Japanese calendar-related fixes -- and nothing else.

All of these patches are reserved for those who either specifically select them in Windows Update, download and install them manually, or (shudder) click "Check for updates."

Microsoft’s been trying to fix the Japanese calendar every couple of weeks for almost a year. Guess it’s a hard Computer Science problem.

Most disconcerting, at least to me, is that there appears to be no resolution to the “dirty six” Win 7 and 8.1 patches released earlier this month that bluescreened PCs running various antivirus programs.

Microsoft has promised that Win10 1809 and 1803 would grow a new way to block the installation of Win10 1903, via an opt-in link called Download and install now. I don’t see any hint of that feature just yet.

You have to ask yourself why all of these lame patches took so long – and when (or if!) we’ll see a Win10 1809 patch.

Join the night watch on the AskWoody Lounge. Winter is coming.

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