Microsoft releases 20 Office non-security patches — and doesn’t bother to document them

As is common on the first Tuesday of the month, yesterday Microsoft released its hoard of non-security Office patches. This time, though, there’s no official list of the patches — and many of them may have been released in March.

Broken window with band-aid patch
Thinkstock

The first Tuesday of the month — “A” week in Microsoft’s infamous bafflegab — usually brings a healthy dose of non-security Office patches. This Tuesday was no exception. But there are two big differences. First, there’s no official list of the patches. Second, many of the patches appear to be re-releases of patches that originally appeared in March.

Here we go down the rabbit hole.

Every month we get a list of Office patches on the MSDN Developer blog, an entry from the Office Sustained Engineering group. This month, the link turns up a "404 — This page has been disabled." Apparently Microsoft’s in the process of moving its blogs from one ill-defined location to another, but in this case they seem to have slipped.

As best I can tell, there's no list of this month's patches.

AskWoody’s PKCano, relying on data extracted by Patch Lady Susan Bradley, has pieced together a list of the updates with descriptions and links. If you can find a similar list on Microsoft’s site, I’d sure like to know about it.

As has always been the case, PKCano’s list covers the MSI “perpetual” versions of Office, not Click-to-Run.

Not to be outdone in the vanishing documentation competition, Microsoft’s Latest updates for versions of Office that use Windows Installer (MSI) hasn’t been updated. Nor has Fixes or workarounds for recent Office issues.

PKCano’s list includes a number of patches that were apparently released on March 19. For example, if you click the link to KB 4011666, which Microsoft calls the “April 2, 2019, update for Office 2016 (KB4011666)” and then click the download link for that patch, under Details you see the info in the screenshot.

kb 4011666 Woody Leonhard/IDG

Clearly, Microsoft thinks this patch was published on March 19. 

So we have an unlisted set of 20 patches, claimed to be published on April 2, most (if not all) of which are also claimed to be published on March 19.

Is this the point where the rabbit starts muttering, “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”?

Off with their heads! on the AskWoody Lounge.

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