Apple and Microsoft OS Updates

Both Apple and Microsoft have been busy patching their core technologies in recent months.

Snow Leopard Leaps Ahead

Yesterday Apple released a major update to Snow Leopard (10.6.4) as well as a corresponding security update for OS X Leopard 10.5. As with most numerical updates, Apple has bundled a slew of bug fixes, performance enhancements as well as 28 security fixes in 10.6.4. Users can either use the automated updater through the Mac OS or choose to download the full “combo” updater. Keep in mind that the combo updater is a significantly larger download (887 mb) as it contains all the prior updates to 10.6 – you might consider using this updater if you are experiencing any instability or system problems with your Mac.

UPDATE: The OS X 10.6.4 update bundles an older version of Flash Player known to have critical vulnerabilities (which was updated by Adobe late last week, as mentioned in Monday’s blog). While there haven’t been any reports of the 10.6.4 updater downgrading anyones Flash, it’s a good idea to check which version you are running after you’ve updated your OS to 10.6.4. Launch Safari, go to the HELP menu and select “installed plug-ins”. Your version of Flash should be 10.1 r53, not 10.1 r42! Do the same for any other browser you are running.

Goodbye XP SP2…

Wow, it feels like an old friend is being put out to pasture! Microsoft is reminding their deeply XP SP2 entrenched users that official support for Service Pack 2 will cease on July 13, 2010. Beyond that date there will be no more security updates. While this shouldn’t seem a really big deal since SP3 has been out for ages, there are huge numbers of if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it enterprise users who may be holding back because their legacy applications are only certified for SP2.

Windows 7 SP1 in beta soon

While Microsoft hasn’t announced a firm schedule for Windows 7 Service Pack 1, they’ve indicated that the release is imminent. At a recent Microsoft technical conference, the Windows team announced that a public beta of SP1 would commence in July, 2010. Early reports indicated that no new features will be incorporated into the Service Pack, just a consolidation of all the patches since Win 7’s  release last October. (Ever notice how nobody mentions Vista anymore?)

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