Woody Leonhard of Infoworld summarizes the current state of Microsoft KB 2919355, the ambiguously-titled 'Windows 8.1 Update' (not to be confused with the update _to_ Windows 8.1).
In short: Microsoft has frozen two discussion threads on KB2919355 issues (after 103 and 116 pages of comments), and updated the Knowledge Base article with workarounds for seven major errors... some of which don't work.
In last week's Patch Tuesday, Microsoft changed their deadline for this Update until June (formerly they were requiring all Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 systems worldwide to have installed the Update in order to receive new patches).
Meanwhile, if you run a WSUS server, you may notice that the package for KB291355 (last reissued for the third time on 6 May) was apparently silently reissued over the weekend with a new release date of '15 May 2014', but there's no indication of any software updates in the KB article. The article revision number, however, now stands at '21.0'. Yes, twenty-one revisions. With no changelog.
Anyone else with interesting stories about your deployment issues with this Update?
As the article submitter, I'd like to clarify that the "train wreck" in question isn't just a generic gripe about Windows 8.1, or even about the process of updating to 8.1 from 8.0. Rather, it's specifically about last month's very particular train wreck called officially by Microsoft "The Windows 8.1 Update", but by all techies everywhere else, "8.1.1". It's effectively Windows 8 Service Pack 2, but for inscrutable reasons Microsoft decided to 1. Not make it a service pack, 2. Call it an "Update" with no number, 3. Give it a MSRC security bulletin number (MS14-018) already used by the April Internet Explorer security rollup, 4. Make it mandatory for future security updates, then backpedal on that, 5. Push it via Windows Update... Then cancel it... Then push it again... Then repush it... Then admit that it doesn't always install... Etc.
It's nearly a gigabyte of pain and suffering and they're pushing it like a monthly security,patch. Because everyone wants to be Chrome these days and do bleeding edge forced installs to enterprise customers.
You may now return to your regularly scheduled MS bashing.
Hey! Get off of your high horse! You expect us to RTFA and TFS? get real!
I seem to recall hearing that there were going to be no more service packs for Windows 7, and immediately assumed they meant to do the same across the entire Windows line; so far I have not been wrong. My feeling is that they want to do away with the old "wait til the service pack comes out, then it won't suck" advice most veteran computer users give to people considering jumping on a new version of Windows.
Service packs make it sound like major fixes need to be done, because the product wasn't ready when it shipped, whereas merely having security updates simply means there were a few issues that needed cleaning up later on. It's like security theater paradigms you find in airports that has been modified to apply to operating systems; it's all marketing to make people feel better but in reality it just sweeps the real issues under the rug where they are less efficient for the people who are actually fixing things to work with.