Now we find out that Microsoft will stop updating IE 11 for Windows 7 unless you have MS14-018 installed. This patch came out in April on the 8th and is listed as an IE 11 security update. To make things even more interesting if you do not have this installed your Windows update will not even let you know that you have updates to run. To call this behavior a tad backwards is something of an understatement.
Microsoft is deliberately leaving their customers exposed to known threats by not allowing security updates to be applied to their browser. We know that the patch is not a game stopped simply because Microsoft is allowing businesses to continue to receive patches for IE11 until August. This leads to the question: “Why is this being shoved down the people’s throats?”
When looking around for answers we did not find anything concrete while an E-Mail to Microsoft has not been returned at the time of this writing. There are number of theories out there though, most of which claim that the required patch allows Microsoft to better track your internet usage. There is no real confirmation that this is what that patch does, but the way Microsoft is handling it is surely concerning. Considering the fact that they are denying upwards of 60 patches to IE11 over one rather small security update there has to be something going on here.
If Microsoft continues to pull stunts like this they are only going to push more people away from their operating systems (including businesses). Not everyone downloads every patch and fix, in many cases people will hold off, or uninstall certain patches because they stop other applications from working. In the business world there is a testing period that happens before patches and updates are applied unless they are listed as critical. This means that MS14-018 might be overlooked but many of the 59 patches released in June would need to be applied. At least they would if Microsoft was not blocking them.
For those that claim they do not use IE11, remember that Microsoft’s Web Browser is a core part of the OS. It extends to area other than web browsing so flaws and holes in its basic security affect the entire OS.
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