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More Out-of-Cycle Vista Updates Post

On 11/25/2008 Microsoft pushed a slew of updates out the door For Windows Vista, as follows:

  • KB957321 – An update to add support to the XMP specification for complex data types in the Windows Imaging Component
  • KB959108 – An update is available that disables the collection and transfer of Software Quality Metrics data by the Windows Portable Device (WPD) API
  • KB959130 – When you run the “Connect to the Internet” Wizard and select the “Browse the Internet now” option, Internet Explorer starts instead of the default Web browser that you set in Windows Vista or in Windows Server 2008
  • KB957241 – Updates for Microsoft Office Access 2007 Help (dated 11/12/2008 in the KB article, but didn’t actually get out until 11/25).
  • KB949104 – More enhancements/changes to the Windows Update Agent (WUA) that interacts with Windows Update to search for and download updates from a remote server. Permits further auto-updating of WUA itself.

Except for the WUA item (KB949104), which is marked “Important,” the rest of these items are marked “Recommended.” The whole release, with the possible exception of that WUA item, leaves me scratching my head a little, wondering why MS felt compelled to push these updates out of cycle, rather than waiting for next Patch Tuesday (12/9/2008) to come around. In poking around on various Microsoft Vista and Windows Update newsgroups I don’t see much cause for urgency or alarm in any of these updates, though a few MS Office users do report problems with various applications after applying the help updates (including those posted on 11/12/2008 for most other major Office components).

What is interesting in this batch is the version number associated with the WUA update (7.2.6001.788). Unless my eyes deceive me, and my wits have deserted me, this is the first appearance of a Windows 7 component in the public eye, for general consumption. Most Vista SP1 version numbers take the form 6.0.6001.18000 or something similar, where the 6 stands for “Windows 6” (Vista) and the 6001 indicates the SP1 build number; this version number combines a Windows 7 reference and the 6001 build number in a single item. I can’t help but wonder what it portends.

Those Vista admins whose charges use MS Office will probably want to push the Access Help update out, and their need for WUA updates will depend on how they handle Windows Updates internally within their organizations (I suspect most will not need it, because they use their own tools to push updates to user machines). The items may require some compatibility testing to determine whether or not they should be pushed out. On the face of what they cover, however, I see no compelling reasons not to wait and handle this other stuff when the next Patch Tuesday strikes on 12/9/2008.

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