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Microsoft recalls Office 2013 update from September Patch Tuesday

Microsoft’s monthly Patch Tuesday updates have started to resemble motor vehicle recalls as the company once again encounters problems after releasing a public patch update.

In the September Patch Tuesday cycle, Microsoft  recalled a non-security update dubbed KB2817630, which affected Microsoft Office 2013 and Office 2013 Pro. The update caused the Outlook 2013 folder pane to disappear.

The issue was caused by incompatibility between the outlook.exe and mso.dll files. The minimize button in the navigation pane will render very large and become invisible to the end user, thus causing it to disappear. Microsoft confirmed the issue in a blog post, where the company expressed “regret” for any inconvenience caused by this update, and explained how to address the problem.

For Microsoft and its pursuit of a rapid release cadence for updating software, the latest mishap with the Patch Tuesday updates might be cause for concern.

The company recently pulled several patches off its sites and offered band aid fixes. In August, Microsoft pulled the MS13-061 Exchange security update and reissued an update later in the month. In April, the company recalled security update MS13-036, which affected Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 end users, and re-released it later in the month.

The recent string of patch issues serve as a reminder to IT pros to implement them with care.

“The rule has always been to test out patches before deploying widely, and it appears that administrators have been letting that best practice lapse,” said Eric Beehler, an IT professional who offers consulting and training services with Consortio Services LLC, of Colorado Springs, Colo. “Admins just need to reset their best practices and always have their rollback plans ready, just in case.”

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