On Tuesday, the company said it was putting off releasing any updates for February due to what it said was "a last minute issue that could impact some customers".
Now, 18 months later, Microsoft wants to make the Windows Insider Program a better tool for IT Pros and businesses to use in their own organizations to test Windows 10 and get ready to either deploy it or quickly migrate to each new feature release.
The company first delayed the update indefinitely, and now it's official - the next Patch Tuesday update will arrive on March 14, 2017. "We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this change to the existing plan". As such, security patches are now bundled together in cumulative updates for each OS version instead of being delivered individually.
Microsoft tends to patch its Windows operating system at the middle of each month, on a Tuesday.
It is not clear if the February security updates delay is related to Microsoft's move to the SUG and other changes to its patching process.
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Analysts on average had estimated a three cent loss on revenue of $4.64 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Its full-year revenue - reported in USA currency - fell by $1.8 billion from 2015 to $16.34 billion last year.
The February update was scheduled to include a patch for a problem with a part of Windows that handles particular types of file-transfers.
"We've seen patches released and soon after people discover bugs, whether it's crashes with the kernel or black screens or some third-party product doesn't work", he said. It typically takes a serious problem for Microsoft to veer from this schedule: Out-of-band patches, released between Patch Tuesdays, are few and far between, and it's unheard of for the company to skip a Patch Tuesday altogether.
We don't know exactly what this patch was going to fix or what the last-minute issue was, some have speculated there is a zero-day vulnerability.
While delaying routine updates is not a big deal in the scheme of things, it was expected that Microsoft would be fixing a disclosed vulnerability with SMB shares that could result in a denial of service attack on an unpatched system.