Do I need everything installed by Microsoft Update?

//
When I go to Add or Remove Programs, I see dozens of updates to MS Office 2007 and MS Office 2010. I do not have either of these products on my computer. Can I safely remove these updates?

Unless you have some reason to believe that they’re causing a problem, I would not.

The issue, like the software involved, is complex.

Read moreDo I need everything installed by Microsoft Update?

Why Am I Still Getting Updates for Windows XP?

//
Here it is many days after the demise of Windows XP support, and I’m still automatically getting updates. I’ve allowed them to be installed and nothing untoward has occurred. Do you have an insights into this?

Several folks have been surprised to see updates still being delivered to their Windows XP machines. I can think of at least three separate reasons why that might be happening and in fact, will keep on happening.

Read moreWhy Am I Still Getting Updates for Windows XP?

Do I Need to Install IE 11?

//

Hi, Leo. My computer’s an HP Pavilion Slimline desktop PC. My operating system is Windows 7, Home Premium, 64-bit, Service Pack 1. I noticed in the last Windows Update, Internet Explorer 11 was included. IE 11 was included in the important updates. Now, I remember IE 10 was an optional update. Do I need to install IE 11? I’m still using IE 9. Would I have to install IE 10 before I install IE 11?

Let me answer the last part first: no, you won’t need to install IE 10 before IE 11. Windows Update would actually show you IE 10, if that was what you needed first.

Instead, as you noted, IE 11 is included immediately with Windows Update. Now, I’m not really sure what the criteria for important or optional might be according to Microsoft, but in general, my tendency would be to take the update.

I want to talk a little bit about why you should take the update, and my theory on why it changed from “optional” to “important”.

Read moreDo I Need to Install IE 11?

How costly would it be for Microsoft to keep supporting XP?

//
In your opinion, how difficult or costly is it for Microsoft to continue the support for Windows XP? I wonder if they think they screwed up by making something so good. Some older people like me and many older will not deal with the change well. Cost is always a factor on a limited income.

I certainly sympathize with you. Change and cost can be problematic.

Incidentally, cost is also a factor for Microsoft. Support for Windows XP involves a cost – one that Microsoft would continue to incur to keep Windows XP going. Many people miss that point, or just how large a cost it would be.

In fact, support for Windows XP is more costly to Microsoft than you might think. Let’s break it down.

Read moreHow costly would it be for Microsoft to keep supporting XP?

Managing Windows Update

Windows Update is one of those more-or-less magical components of Windows that we all know should be turned on and that we all hope never causes us a problem. When it’s working properly, it’s something that we can usually just take for granted.

There’s actually more to Windows Update (or “Microsoft Update,” if you have it configured to update all your Microsoft products) than simply downloading and installing the latest security patches for us.  For example, you may want some updates but you’re not aware of them.

And there may be updates that Windows Update offers that simply annoy you.

Let’s look at managing Windows Update a little more proactively.

Read moreManaging Windows Update