After signaling the company was likely reneging on its promised "convenience rollup" of fixes for Windows 7, Microsoft has done the right thing and delivered a collection of security and non-security updates for its seven-year-old operating system.
The convenience rollup -- officially known as Windows 7 SP1 convenience rollup -- isn't Service Pack 2 for Windows 7, but it's the next best thing.
The new Windows 7 convenience rollup is cumulative back to Service Pack 1, which Microsoft released in 2011. It doesn't include updates to IE 11 (which are released separately) or updates to .NET releases. But it does include core Windows fixes, security fixes and hot fixes. Update: The convenience rollup also is available for Windows 7's server counterpart, Windows Server 2008 R2.
In January this year, I asked Microsoft officials about plans to deliver this convenience rollup -- something execs announced a year ago. Officials said Microsoft's update strategy was all about Windows as a Service, a k a Windows 10, moving forward.
It seems customer demands have trumped internal politics.
Convenience rollups are a single package of fixes that were designed at "recommended" by Microsoft. During 2013 and 2014, Microsoft delivered several of these rollups. They were a way of getting more than one fix to a customer with only a single reboot required. Last year, Microsoft officials pitched convenience rollups as a way to help customers get ready to migrate to Windows 10.
Microsoft also announced today that non-security updates for Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 will be available as a single update delivered monthly. Each month, going forward, Microsoft will release a single update containing all of the non-security fixes for that month "to improve the reliability and quality of our updates," according to today's blog post.
The new convenience rollup is available for download from the Microsoft Update Catalog. As I noted recently, the Microsoft Update Catalog site only works with IE6 and higher. I'm not clear where else, if anywhere, the company plans to make the rollup available for those not using IE.