Microsoft is pushing forward with the availability process of Internet Explorer 8, with a new wave of downloads scheduled to hit today, August 25th, 2009. The Redmond company announced since the end of June 2009 that it would start serving IE8 RTW to business users by the end of August, and the bits come right on schedule. The gold build of Internet Explorer 8 will be offered to all companies leveraging the software giant’s update server distribution solution designed to help administrators manage Microsoft Update releases across corporate networks.

“Starting Tuesday August 25, 2009, Internet Explorer 8 will be made available as “update rollups” via WSUS (Windows Server Update Services). This is critical for customers who manage their desktops via WSUS; they need to be aware of these updates and make necessary preparation to insure there are no unintended upgrades to Internet Explorer 8 on their desktops,” revealed Kevin Dean, Microsoft technology specialist, Education.

Ahead of August 25, WSUS admins had the option to disable auto-approve for “Update rollup” packages in Windows Server Update Services. In such scenarios, IE8 would only be offered to machines across a network after the updates were manually approved by the administrator. Business users and admins should be aware that even in the context in which Auto-Approve for “Update rollup” is enabled, the IE8 EULA still has to receive manual approval before the browser is installed on all downstream clients. More »

A change in Windows’ complex and interconnected architecture of components can easily reverberate throughout the operating system. It is the case of the Critical Microsoft Security Bulletin MS09-010, a security update designed to deal with vulnerabilities in WordPad and Office Text Converters which could allow remote code execution in the eventuality of a successful exploit. Although the flaws reside in WordPad and Office text converters, applying the patch managed to cause installations of Service pack 3 for Windows XP to fail. Effectively, attempting to install Windows XP Service Pack 3 via Windows Server Update Services is unsuccessful and the user is returned the following errors 0x8007f00d or 0x8007f02b.

“This can happen if the workaround for MS09-010 was applied to the client machines adding deny permission to file C:\program files\windows nt\accessories\mswrd8.wpc. This causes the WSUS installation to fail because we’re unable to access the file and update it. When trying to install SP3 manually (not using the Quiet switch), it causes an error reading the file above, prompting for a source to update the file or to skip the file. Since WSUS installs SP3 in quiet mode, the installation fails because it never prompts the user for file it’s trying to update,” explained Joao Madureira, WSUS support engineer. More »

Announced as early a July 2008, a new update for the Windows Update Agent will be rolled out today, Monday, November 3. At the end of October, Microsoft offered a heads up for customers to prepare for the start of this week when the standalone WUA update was scheduled to become available. The Redmond company updates not only its software products, but also its updating infrastructure, part of which is represented by the Windows Update Agent. However, the software giant indicated that not all customers would be able to benefit from the WU Agent update immediately.

“Over the next couple of months we’ll be rolling out another infrastructure update to the Windows Update agent (client code). This update makes it possible for users to install more than 80 updates at the same time,” a member of the Microsoft Update team revealed. “We need to periodically update the client code to provide improvements in reliability and service quality.” More »