It would seem that the end is nigh for system admins and individual users of hotfixes, the single issue updates released by Microsoft’s engineering team in charge of the codebase.
Hotfixes, while never meant to be a permanent solution to software problems, were very useful for users who were facing a single issue with a program. It meant minor fixes could be dealt with quickly without the need to download large updates.
Hotfixes were also popular with advanced users who had a Microsoft Premium Support agreement. It was possible to request specific hotfixes by filing a ‘Design Change Request’. These hotfixes were also delivered by the same engineering team responsible for codebases.
Microsoft’s hotfix service is no longer available
That has now all changed as recent attempts by users to download hotfixes have been greeted with the following message:
The Hotfix service is no longer available. Instead you can find your fix or patch by upgrading to the latest update available for your product.
You can also obtain Microsoft drivers, software updates, and other support files by downloading them from the Microsoft Catalog, the Microsoft Download Center, or upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 contains the most up-to-date security and other features built right in.
In recent statements issued by Microsoft, it has said that hotfixes (and easy fix solutions) will no longer be available.
For many computer users, hotfixes were never a great idea, mainly because they could negatively affect the computer, causing more problems than the problem they were meant to fix.
In fact, they normally came with a disclaimer stating that they hadn’t been properly tested and that the user should take due care when installing them .
It seems that this has been in the pipeline for awhile now. Microsoft issues major updates for its operating systems twice a year and there are frequent cumulative updates, which contain the fixes hotfixes used to address. As this is now the case, the need for hotfixes has largely disappeared.
For those of you suffering from hotfix withdrawal, there is still some good news. Previous hotfixes are still available from the Microsoft Update Catalog, with all the relevant KB articles.
How long they will remain available is anyone’s guess, but as they will presumably become redundant over time, not long I suspect.
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