Many Microsoft Patches for May
IT professionals at midsize businesses take note--May is no longer a light month for Microsoft patches. The computer giant is issuing seven patches to nix 23 bugs, almost three times the number they issued in May 2011.
An Uptick in Patches
According to InfoWorld, Microsoft typically alternates the patch load, doling out fewer patches in odd-numbered months and more in the even-numbered ones. It appears though, that this year they are attempting to release around the same number of updates every month. The first four months 2012 have each seen between six and nine updates. This is good news for IT at a midsize business. In an industry that can be filled with surprises, having a ballpark number of updates each month allows IT to plan accordingly. If Microsoft keeps this up, gone will be the days when IT has to wonder which patch Tuesday will cause a furrowed brow and which will one elicit a sigh of relief.
What to Look for
May's updates involve several patches that address Windows vulnerabilities as well as those that fix problems in Microsoft Office. While it's never good to put off Microsoft patches, IT pros at midsize businesses may want to be especially diligent about applying the Office patches. This month's updates address flaws in Office, Excel and Viso--three programs that are used with great regularity at most midsize businesses. Not to mention the fact that the two updates (both for Excel) Microsoft has deemed important could put computers at risk for being hijacked remotely if hackers try to exploit the vulnerabilities.
Why the Change?
Microsoft's attempt to dole out consistent updates could be a bid to keep IT pros happy. The buzz on Windows 8 took a nose dive, and Windows RT, formerly Windows on ARM, doesn't seem like it's going to be good for enterprises. With businesses as the biggest customers for the Windows operating system, it's important for Microsoft to keep the network gatekeepers--IT administrators--happy. Providing a more consistent Microsoft experience may be an attempt to salvage what could turn out to be disappointing debut for the company.
This regularity also reads as due diligence when it comes to vulnerabilities. Hands down, the Windows operating system suffers from more issues than its Mac counterpart. However, in the wake of Apple's slow response to the Flashback malware outbreak, Microsoft's attempt at consistency may make them look like a better fit for midsize businesses that can't risk having an operating system that is slow to issue patches.
IT professionals can look for the latest round of Microsoft patches to be released Tuesday May 8, 2012.
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.