Tuesday 12 December 2017

Microsoft releases raft of security updates

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

MICROSOFT will release a rash of security updates to its products today, as the company grapples with a number of weaknesses that have been discovered in its software.

The company traditionally rolls out software updates on the second Tuesday of the month but they are usually minor in nature and only concern their most recent products. This time, however, the company is to make available numerous updates applying to operating systems from Windows 8 right back to Windows XP, implying that some of the flaws have been existing undiscovered for years.

Most of the updates will plug gaps in the Windows operating system, Internet Explorer browser, and Office software that leave computers open to remote takeover from hackers.

Meanwhile, the company will make its long-awaited overhaul of Windows 8 available next month.

In a presentation at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Seattle, the company's vice president and chief marketing officer for Windows, Tami Reller, said Windows 8.1 would be made available to manufacturers in August. Microsoft did not reveal when it would be made available for retailers and the wide consumer market, but traditionally a lag time of about two months follows the software reaching manufacturers. Analysts are expecting Windows 8.1 to be widely available by October.

Windows 8.1 is expected to contain a number of improvements on the much maligned Windows 8, including the return of the iconic "Start" button.

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