In an odd turn of events, Microsoft has had to push out an update to Windows 7 — despite the operating system reaching end of support — to fix a bug it introduced.
Earlier this month, the Redmond, Washington-based company ended support for Windows 7 and released final public security updates for computers still running the over-a-decade-old OS. However, update KB4534310 included a bug that affects desktop wallpapers, according to Microsoft. The company told The Verge that the bug affects wallpapers set to ‘Stretch,’ causing them to display as black.
The Stretch mode widens wallpapers to fill the screen. Microsoft says it’s the only affected wallpaper mode, and that ‘Fit,’ ‘Fill,’ ‘Tile’ and ‘Center’ still work on Windows 7.
What makes the incident particularly embarrassing for Microsoft is that organizations who wish to continue using Windows 7 beyond the end of support date must pay for Extended Security Updates (ESU), which cost either $25 or $50 USD ($32.96 or $65.92 CAD). In other words, Microsoft introduced an apparent bug that companies would have to pay it to fix.
Initially, the company said it was developing a fix that would roll out to those who purchased ESUs. However, Microsoft changed its mind, and the patch will be available to everyone running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.
While this also puts Microsoft in the awkward position of having to support Windows 7 beyond the end-of-support date, it’s likely less awkward than charging users to fix a glaring and silly bug introduced in the final update. Plus, this wouldn’t be the first time Microsoft pushed out support updates after a product’s end-of-support. For example, the company issued public patches to Windows XP machines to prevent ransomware attacks.
Source: The Verge