I’m running Windows 7 Home, 64-bit, SP1 on an HP laptop. Originally, I had Office 2007 Professional installed. I subsequently bought and installed a standalone copy of Outlook 2010. Later, I bought and installed a copy of Office Home and Student 2010. I did not uninstall Office 2007 because I wanted to retain the ability to use Publisher 2007. Now, when I run Windows Update, it wants me to install all of the updates for both 2007 and Office 2010. Why would I want to install updates to Word or Excel or PowerPoint or Outlook 2007 or install 2007’s huge SP3? Should I?
Yes, you want to take that update. If you have parts of Office 2007 on your machine and you have Office 2010 on your machine, then you want all of the updates for all of the software that’s installed on your machine. It’s more than just minor improvements and whatnot; it really is all about security.
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Why is it a security issue?
As a result, you want it all up-to-date.
Updates could still be large
Even though you’re only using Publisher 2007, the updates might still be large.
The various Microsoft Office programs actually share a lot of code between them. An update to that shared code could be required if you had any of the Office programs installed. And of course since you have Publisher 2007, you do.
Any components left on your machine that are not updated could remain vulnerable to malware. You want to make sure that’s not the case.
You get what you need
By and large, the update process can be trusted to only offer updates that really do apply to your situation. If something is offered as a critical or important update, then by all means take it.
Put another way, you’re not going to get offered things that you don’t need, at least when it comes to critical and important updates.
Optional updates, like Bing for example, is a different discussion. Optional updates are just that: optional. They should never be installed automatically by the updater, and you should always be given a choice when you update manually.
My advice is simply that you want all of the software on your machine to be as up-to-date as possible and that’s regardless of whether or not you actually use the components that are being updated.
Even if you don’t use it, malware might.