April patch recap: Mostly quiet on the Microsoft front

Unlike March, when patch updates caused issues with some printers, Microsoft’s updates for April were relatively tame. Windows users lost the old pre-Chromium version of Edge; some users saw performance issues; and Microsoft started talking up “News and Interests.”

In fact, it’s that last one that has some IT admins concerned. (More about that below.)

Old Edge out, new Edge in

First off, Microsoft this month installed the new Chromium-based Edge browser and removed the old Edge. Now that the browser relies on the Chromium engine, it will receive updates on the same schedule as Google Chrome.

Note: the rollout wasn’t without some side effects. If you had some other application set to open up PDF files, the April release reset your default PDF reader to be Edge. So, you’ll need to reset the default application back to whatever your preference was. (This can be easily done; check out this recent YouTube video for details.) Microsoft also moved the default download location from the bottom left of the browser window to the top right — in line with other browser download locations. If you’re a longtime Edge user like me, this takes a bit of getting used to.

Finally, because Edge is now updated at the same cadence as Chrome, attackers can release zero-day exploits at the same cadence. Expect Edge to get updates for these, though they will occur in the background; you’ll probably not even notice an update has occurred.

Performance impact to Windows 2004 or 20H2

If you are a gamer running Windows 2004 or 20H2, you may have seen blue screens of death or lower-than-expected performance. As Microsoft noted, “Most users affected by this issue are running games full screen or borderless windowed modes and using two or more monitors.” Microsoft has rolled back the non-security fix that triggered those issues.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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