Microsoft says it will release black desktop bug fix to all Windows 7 users for free
Some Windows 7 users who installed the KB4534310 update found that their desktops turned black. With the operating system having now reached end of life, the company said that it would only make a fix available to organizations paying for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU).
But Microsoft has changed its mind. It now says that it will make a patch available for all Windows 7 users, addressing the bug introduced by the last ever freely available Windows 7 update.
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As we reported the other day, Microsoft had already suggested some workarounds for the black desktop problem. The company had said that it was working on a fix that would be released next month: "We are working on a resolution and estimate a solution will be available in mid-February for organizations who have purchased Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU)".
It's not clear what made Microsoft change its mind, but it is not just paying Windows 7 users who will now receive the fix.
Now the known issues page for the KB453431 update reads (emphasis ours):
We are working on a resolution and will provide an update in an upcoming release, which will be released to all customers running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.
In backtracking like this, Microsoft has changed the rules somewhat. The company had said that it would not make a patch for the recently discovered Internet Explorer vulnerability available to non-paying Windows 7 users, leaving to the likes of 0patch to step in and help. But as Microsoft has relented in the case of the black desktop issue, there will be hope, expectation and pressure for the company to do the same for more serious security issues -- but this would undoubtedly rile anyone paying for Windows 7 Extended Security Updates.