Microsoft has released a new “security-only update” for Windows 7 users, but it reportedly has less to do about security and more about transitioning users to Windows 10. July 9th’s KB4507456 (Security-only update) patch happens to contain the Compatibility Appraiser, which is used to determine whether a system is compatible with W10. The keyword “telemetry” has been spotted at least once in the file’s contents.
Back in 2016, Microsoft split the patching process for Windows 7 (and Windows 8.1) into two options, a “Monthly Rollup,” which includes bug fixes and anything else Microsoft wanted to add, and a security-only update comprising only the most crucial updates. For whatever reason, KB4507456 was released into the latter category, completely announced.
Debate among patch cognoscenti rages. Some feel that Microsoft is justified in adding telemetry to the last vestiges of Win7 – due for the scrap heap in January. Most see a fundamental deceit at play, with yet more Windows snooping software getting installed without forewarning or consent…, this time in a “Security-only” patch for heaven’s sake.