The IT folks definitely know what happens on the second Tuesday of each month. That’s the day when Microsoft rolls out the major updates for Windows. It may take another day or two after that before you are notified, but the real question is how quickly you should install those updates.
Some will say that you should immediately install them as that provides the quickest protection against the security holes they were designed to fix. But what happens when those updates cause a major loss of productivity? We saw this exact scenario create major problems for a number of users just last December. Don’t remember it? Read Windows Update KB2753842 Will Make Some Fonts Stop Working for all of the gory details.
My recommendation is that you wait until the third Tuesday of each month to install updates. Yes, there is a very slim risk to the security of your computer by waiting a few extra days. Yet I think the potential damage caused by a flawed update is a much bigger risk. When there is a bad update, the extra week will usually get things sorted out as it did with the update mentioned earlier.
I believe one of the biggest offenders is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. Just last week they released Internet Explorer 10. Unfortunately Microsoft just doesn’t seem to want to play by the same rules on the Web as all other browsers. After installing Internet Explorer 10 and going to a popular site like YouTube, you get the screen shown below.
Did Microsoft really not test their new browser on one of the most popular Web sites on the Internet? I’m sure they were well aware of the compatibility problems. And I’m equally sure that Google enjoys throwing up this error message since they are a competitor in the browser space (and the owner of YouTube). Yet this is just one example of a Web site not working in Internet Explorer 10.
If you develop Web sites, you are well aware about the difficulty of designing a site that works in all browsers. It isn’t uncommon to develop workarounds for Internet Explorer as it doesn’t work the same as every other browser.
One update I recommend you skip for the time being is Internet Explorer 10. I also highly recommend you use another browser as your default given the compatibility problems with Internet Explorer. My first choice is Mozilla Firefox with Google Chrome being a distant second choice. Both are completely free and will only take a couple of minutes to install.