Microsoft has made available a patch to a Windows 7 bug in the Release Candidate (RC) and is preparing to roll out some "fake" test patches to verify Windows 7's automatic-updating abilities this week.
Microsoft posted on May 8 an update that fixes incorrect access control list (ACL) settings on the root of the system drive in the 32-bit RC version of the product. (For the gory details on this "doozy" of a bug, my colleague Ed Bott has a lot more.)
This week, on Patch Tuesday (May 12), Microsoft will be rolling out some fake test Windows 7 patches, company officials forewarned on May 8. Microsoft went through the same process back in February, when it issued some test patches for an earlier test version of WIndows 7.
From a new post on the Microsoft Update blog:
"Starting on May 12th, we will begin a verification of some update scenarios on Windows 7 RC (build 7100), similar to the update verification we did for Windows 7 Beta (build 7000). We need to verify the update infrastructure to ensure that when we need to release real updates, the process will run smoothly. There will be at most 10 updates, and as before, they will not deliver any new features or fixes."
Many of these placeholder test updates will install automatically, but a few will not. For those that won't, users will need to manually start installation of those test updates.