Microsoft is forcing Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 users to install the recently released Update, or face running unsupported operating systems without security updates.
Senior consultant Steve Thomas announced the decision on the Microsoft TechNet blog, saying it would "ensure that customers benefit from the best support and servicing experience" and also to simplify this across the different Windows product lines.
From May's Patch Tuesday, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, Thomas said.
As news sank in that users have 30 days to install the Windows 8.1 Update, anger started brewing due to problems installing the massive patch, which comprises several smaller patches.
Administrators also complained that the short time frame wasn't enough to upgrade large desktop sites. One TechNet commenter said the update just couldn't be done in 30 days:
"There is no chance in hell that we can move 2000+ users to the new update in any timeframe less than 3 months. In addition, the latest update is a disaster. How can you expect people to to match this migration schedule for support? Come on, this is ridiculous! You've now made it pretty much impossible for customers of large sizes to deploy and support Windows 8."
Microsoft later backtracked and said the 30 day cutoff would apply only to consumer users, while businesses would have until August 12 to install the Update.
"In order to receive future updates, all customers managing updates using WSUS, Windows Intune, or System Center Configuration Manager have until August 12th to apply the new updates. For those that decide to defer installation, separate security updates will be published during the 120-day window."
Calling it a "new baseline", Thomas said it only applied for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2.
"For those users who are still using Windows 8 and Windows 2012 (and not Windows 8.1 and Windows 2012 R2) you are unaffected and will continue to receive updates as normal," Thomas said.