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Microsoft's Patch For Flash Player Flops

Doug Caverly
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-11

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Microsoft made a step this week towards working cooperatively with other applications, but it resulted in a decidedly less than a positive outcome. A patch for the Adobe Flash Player, offered through the Windows Update service, seems to create more problems than it resolves.

Both Adobe and Microsoft have told users to update to the latest version, but members of the Microsoft Support newsgroup are having difficulties getting the patch to function properly. Some are receiving repeated notifications to download the "critical" update, even after having already installed it. Others must identify their current version of the Flash Player for the update process, a detail that Windows Update would typically take care of.

It turns out that the problem is largely specific to computers that had version 6 of the Flash Player, were updated to either version 7 or 8, and then had those more recent formattings uninstalled. Versions 5 and 6 are available through Windows Update, while Microsoft recommends visiting the Adobe site for version 7. But even some users who followed these directions are having issues. Microsoft is aware of the problem.

For the time being, it may be best to live with the "critical update" box, rather than download the iffy patch. Still, this does represent something of a new direction for Microsoft. Even their own employees were surprised by the Adobe patch.

"It is a bit of a trip to look at our list of bulletins we shipped today and see the words Flash, Adobe, and Macromedia in the titles. Different to say the least," commented Craig Gehre, release manager of Microsoft's Security Response Team.

Although it's off to a shaky start, Microsoft should be commended for attempting to get a third-party product update to users.

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About the Author:
Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

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