Microsoft Quietly Pulls December Outlook 2010 Patch
Microsoft pulled one of its December updates this week after a few problems occurred with Outlook 2010.
The patch, KB3114409, was delivered on Tuesday as part of Microsoft's December update. It was supposed to address a Safe Mode boot problem with Outlook 2010 Service Pack 2. However, instead of fixing it, KB3114409 actually caused Outlook 2010 to only start up in Safe Mode, which is commonly used for troubleshooting Microsoft programs.
Microsoft noted the problem with a terse "notice" in its KB3114409 Knowledge Base article indicating the patch was pulled:
After you install this update, Outlook 2010 may start only in safe mode. If this issue occurs, uninstall the update. This update is no longer available now.
The Safe Mode problem wasn't the only one, though. Other problems with the patch include an inability to control automatic picture downloads in e-mails, plus an inability to set the Reading Pane view option so that it persisted. Those issues are described in this Microsoft forum page thread.
I personally experienced the latter problem. After the December update, I was unable to set the Reading Pane view and have it stick.
Deleting KB3114409 solved this Reading Pane problem. Other users around me weren't affected by the bug, though, so patch installation timing may be a factor. So far, though, Microsoft hasn't indicated the patch was fixed.
The issue was a minor one, but it's also a signal that Microsoft's more agile patch delivery process may come with a cost -- namely, your time. In addition, IT help desks might not be too happy about it. Microsoft's solution for organizations is that they should set up user testing groups before pushing out patches broadly, which may be good advice, given the circumstances.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.