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Microsoft forced to create a free Windows 7 update just days after updates ended

Microsoft forced to create a free Windows 7 update just days after updates ended


New update fixes wallpapers that Microsoft broke this month

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Microsoft released its final public security updates for Windows 7 earlier this month, ending support for the operating system after more than 10 years. While the final updates looked pretty routine, Microsoft has now revealed that one is causing wallpaper issues for some Windows 7 users. “After installing KB4534310, your desktop wallpaper might display as black when set to Stretch,” admits Microsoft. It seems to only be affecting stretched wallpapers, and fit, fill, tile, or center options are still working for Windows 7 users.

It’s an embarrassing bug, introduced just as Microsoft was supposed to stop supporting Windows 7. It also left Microsoft with the dilemma of introducing an obvious bug that customers would then have to pay to get fixed.

While Microsoft initially said it was working on a Windows 7 fix that would only be available “for organizations who have purchased Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU),” the software giant changed its mind overnight and now says the fix will be available to everyone running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. Bizarrely, this means Microsoft has to extend its Windows 7 support to fix a bug it has introduced.

It’s unusual for Microsoft to issue public patches and updates to operating systems that are marked as out of support, as customers typically have to purchase ESUs. These are either $25 or $50 per machine for businesses still running Windows 7, and have led to the German government paying around $887,000 for its PCs. However, Microsoft has issued public patches for Windows XP in the past, to help prevent ransomware attacks.