Microsoft Patch Fail as Update Crashes Outlook

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Microsoft has been forced to reissue a critical patch first released on Tuesday after users took to the web in numbers to complain it crashed their version of Outlook.

MS15-115, which was released in Microsoft’s monthly security update round on 10 November, was designed to fix several vulnerabilities in Windows.

The most severe of these could allow remote code execution “if an attacker convinces a user to open a specially crafted document or to go to an untrusted webpage that contains embedded fonts.”

However, soon after the updates were released by Microsoft, angry customers took to online forums to complain that it had crashed Outlook.

One had the following to say on the TechNet site on Wednesday:

“Today I`ve deployed latest outlook patch to all of my clients, and now Outlook is crashing every 10 minutes and then restarting itself. I tried on fresh Win10, no AV with latest patches applied and here we go, Outlook crashing there too.

Come on guys, do you EVER do proper QA before releasing anything office 2013 related? This is the worst version of Outlook ever. Sorry for negative attitude but this is how things are.”

IT staff took to Reddit’s Sysadmin page to vent further. One user complained: “Vice Prez of our Company was pissed at me all day. This was somehow my fault.”

In its favor, Microsoft appears to have acted quickly to resolve the issue, reissuing KB 3097877 by Thursday. It noted the following in a revision message:

“Bulletin revised to inform customers that the 3097877 update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 has been rereleased to correct a problem with the original update that could cause some applications to quit unexpectedly. Customers who have already successfully installed the update on Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 systems should reinstall the update.”

This is by no means the first time this year Microsoft has got into trouble with users by releasing patches which have subsequently caused problems.

And last December it was forced to pull not one but two fixes for similar reasons.

Photo © George Dolgikh

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