Microsoft's December Patch Tuesday didn't exactly ring in the holidays in a merry way.
Launched this past Tuesday, the latest round of Microsoft updates contained two that were beset with technical woes. In response, Microsoft had to pull one of the updates and advise enterprise customers to roll back the second one.
Known as KB3004394, the first buggy update related to Microsoft's Windows Root Certificate Program, which automatically distributes trusted root certificates in Windows. The update created trouble specifically with computers running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 by clobbering their ability to install future updates.
In response, Microsoft has issued a new update that removes the KB3004394 update from affected systems.
The second buggy update is geared toward enterprise customers and IT administrators as it affects Microsoft Exchange. On December 10, Microsoft announced that an issue was found in the Exchange Server 2010 SP3 Update Rollup 8, which could impact the ability of Outlook clients to connect to an Exchange server. In response, Microsoft has recalled the specific update and is trying to revise it to fix the problem. The company advises enterprise customers to hold off on this update or roll it back if already installed.
Microsoft regularly rolls out security fixes, bug patches and other updates to its products on a monthly basis via its Patch Tuesday schedule, which occurs the second Tuesday of the month. Often these updates patch critical flaws in Windows, Office and other products. But sometimes the patches themselves cause trouble as they contain their own flaws that can do more harm than good.
Obviously Microsoft tests each update as fully as possible. But as with any piece of software, bugs can sometimes get past the testing phase and end up in the final update. In the case of a product such as Windows or Office, millions of people can be affected, forcing Microsoft to scramble to correct the problem. But lately, buggy Microsoft updates have had a habit of getting into the wild a bit too often.
In October, Windows users were hit by four buggy updates, as recounted by InfoWorld. In August, Microsoft issued an update that affected the display of fonts and triggered the dreaded Blue Screen of Death on Windows PCs.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.