Don’t hold your breath for any Windows security patches this month

If you were expecting an update to your Windows 10 security settings on this month's Patch Tuesday (read: today), then you better not hold your breath. Microsoft just announced that it will withhold its February security patches for all Windows products entirely due to an issue it found just before release time and could not fix beforehand.

“Our top priority is to provide the best possible experience for customers in maintaining and protecting their systems,” Microsoft wrote in a statement to the Microsoft Security Research Center (MSRC) blog. “This month, we discovered a last minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates today.”

“After considering all options, we made the decision to delay this month’s updates. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this change to the existing plan.”

If you ask the SANS Institute, its Internet Storm Center chalks the delay up to an expected change in the way Microsoft handles security patch updates. 

The firm was supposed to release this month’s Patch Tuesday with a new format that takes the more aggregated approach of Windows 10’s cumulative patches and applies that to Windows 7 and 8.1 updates

Just like on Windows 10, Microsoft can no longer compartmentalize the contents of its updates for older operating systems or release only the bits of them that it chooses – they must be released all at once. Just like its users can no longer choose which patches they download and install, Microsoft must release its new cumulative patches all at once.

Microsoft has not said when, or if, it will be releasing an updated, cumulative set of Windows security patches for February. Here's to hoping we can survive any major holes in Microsoft's various operating systems until March.

Via ComputerWorld

Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.