Users Report Glitches With Microsoft's Flash Patch

Microsoft plans to begin patching more than its own software, its first effort got off to a rocky start. By Wednesday, Windows users were complaining of glitches in updating Adobe's Flash Player through the Windows Update service.

Microsoft took the unusual step Tuesday of feeding an updated edition of Flash Player to Windows XP, Windows 98, and Windows Millennium users. It was the first time the Redmond, Wash. developer took an active role in pushing a third-party product update to users.

Even a member of Microsoft's Security Response Center's team noted the shift. "I've been in the MSRC now for a while, seen a lot of 'interesting' things happen around here and 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," said Craig Gehre, the release manager for MSRC. "Different to say the least."

That was the reaction of users on a Microsoft support newsgroup, but not in a good way.

View: Information WeekProblems with the MS06-020 update -- the one tagged as "critical" that patched flawed Flash Players -- drove many to mark complaints on the Windows Update newsgroup.

Threads with titles such as "Security Update for Flash Player," "flash player cannot be updated," and "Flash Player" contain a slew of grievances, most of them remarking about repeated failures of the patch to install.

Microsoft is aware of the problem, which it dubbed a "known issue" in a support document posted Wednesday. The document offers a workaround that requires users to delete a pair of Flash-related files, then manually download and install the Player update.

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