Companies with Windows 7 users must take this step now

Microsoft’s ever-confusing update policy just got a little more cloudy. If users don’t apply a recent update, they could soon find themselves locked out of Internet Explorer security patches. 

Essentially, this is the situation:

  • On April 8, Microsoft released an update for Internet Explorer.
  • Users who didn’t install that update didn’t receive the updates for Internet Explorer that were released on June 10 from Windows Update, the service that gets patches out to users, and
  • Going forward there will be no Internet Explorer 11 updates made available to users who haven’t installed the April 8 update.

This situation is very much similar to the Windows 8.1 situation. That was when Microsoft said it would no longer release any patches to users who weren’t on Windows 8.1 Update instead of Windows 8.1 (while, to make matters even more confusing, Windows 8 users continued to receive updates).

What to do with Windows 7 users

OK. Let’s take a quick second to catch our breath and explain what steps you need to take now.

First of all, install the April 8 update ASAP if you haven’t already. Now more than ever, companies can’t afford to fall behind on their patching procedures.

Users on Internet Explorer versions 6-10 won’t be affected by this policy. Only the newest version, Internet Explorer 11, will stop receiving updates.

And if your company dosen’t use Windows Update to release patches, know this: You have until August 12 to install the update before you, too, will stop receiving Internet Explorer 11 updates.

In short, Microsoft seems to be urging users to stop hanging onto older versions of its software and operating systems – even if there’s nothing functionally wrong with those versions and they continue to receive updates.

Fair or not, you may want to make it a policy to stay on top of each upgrade as quickly as possible. It could cause headaches in the short run, but save you from major trouble in the long-run.