If you’ve been following news coming out of Redmond, Washington this week, something rather unprecedented took place. Microsoft’s regularly-scheduled Patch Tuesday, which includes the usual collection of security fixes and updates, didn’t take place on Valentine’s Day.
Instead, Microsoft provided the following statement via its TechNet website:
Our top priority is to provide the best possible experience for customers in maintaining and protecting their systems. This month, we discovered a last minute issue that could impact some customers and was not resolved in time for our planned updates today.
After considering all options, we made the decision to delay this month’s updates. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this change to the existing plan.
Microsoft updated the statement this morning to reveal that the next scheduled Patch Tuesday will occur on March 14th, which would mark two months between releases instead of the usual one month. This delay also means that a patch for the Server Message Block (SMB) zero-day exploit that was unearthed earlier this month will also have to wait until next month.
“My sources told me yesterday that Microsoft was having problems with its patch build system, and that those problems resulted in the company's failure to deliver its regular Patch Tuesday patches,” said well-sourced Microsoft Insider Mary Jo Foley. For its part, Microsoft is being mum on the cause of the delay [at least officially], which is what is leading to such speculation.
It should be noted that Microsoft first kicked off Patch Tuesday way back in October 2003, which makes this break from tradition even more remarkable.