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No Microsoft March Madness

3:20 PM -- Patchless Tuesday.

It's true. I got an email alert today from Microsoft that there will be no new security bulletins next Tuesday. Nothing. Nada.

What's everyone going to do the afternoon of March 13? No breathless analysis from Microsoft's competitors, no IT folks slamming coffee and Jolt, and no frantic excavations and writeups on the patches.

I couldn't find anyone who could recall another such naked Patch Tuesday. "They've definitely had 'light' Patch Tuesdays, but I'm not sure if there's been a 'vacant' one," says Thomas Ptacek, a researcher with Matasano Security.

IT folks are likely now breathing a collective sigh of relief and penciling in a lunchbreak for the 13th. My guess is they'd better enjoy it now, because the other shoe might be about to drop with a big, fat thud in April. Still, it makes you wonder why Microsoft took a break this month: Last-minute problems with patches they were planning? Patches that just weren't ready for prime time in time? Or just a curveball so we can speculate like this and never really know?

To be fair, Microsoft will give us something on Tuesday -- an update to its Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (which it does regularly), as well as issue some non-security updates for Windows Update and Software Update Services, and for Microsoft Update and Windows Server Update Services, but that's it. (Confession: I don't think I've ever bothered to include the monthly updates to these tools in my Patch Tuesday stories, but on this Vacant Patch Tuesday, today they get some play.)

Enjoy all that spare time next Tuesday.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

  • Matasano Security LLC
  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)