Windows 10 Anniversary Update KB 3213522 Comes as Manual-Only Update

Windows 10 Anniversary Update KB 3213522 Comes as Manual-Only Update

A sort of strange update came through for machines on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update on December 20. We consider it strange because, although Microsoft calls it a cumulative update, it did not drop through the auto-update channels that major builds typically use.

What’s even stranger is that it merely takes the build number from 14393.576 to 14393.577 and does not appear on the master Windows 10 update list. Microsoft simply made it available on a new support page as KB 3213522. Moreover, it’s just a single fix rather than several patches that are typically seen on a cumulative update.

Essentially, the update fixes an issue that came with KB 3206632 that dropped December 13, wherein virtualization-based security and functions reliant on VBS stopped functioning.

Microsoft said that “Windows 10 and Windows Server 2106 updates are cumulative”, but even if you ignore the typo on 2016 entered as 2106, it still seems odd that a cumulative update would not be documented, and only available as a manual download. Users must go to the Microsoft Update Catalog and get it from there.

If this was merely a “hotfix”, as Microsoft used to call it in days gone by, why is it camouflaged as a cumulative update? According to InfoWorld, another, similar patch was dropped on August 19 – again, as a manual download only, and still not documented on the Windows 10 update master list as of today.

As with the August 19 patch, there was only one fix mentioned for KB 3213522, but they seem to have added all previous fixes from KB3206632 to turn it into a cumulative update.

One plausible explanation is that, since the VBS issue isn’t one that the average consumer on Windows 10 Anniversary Update might encounter, it’s not critical for everyone to download.

In turn, that leads us to the inevitable conclusion that Microsoft hasn’t yet rolled out the Unified Update Platform to Windows 10 Anniversary Update users.

We knew this when the UUP was announced at the beginning of November, when they said it would first be available for mobile, and then PCs “later this year”, then subsequently for HoloLens and Windows 10 IoT, but all of those exclusively for Insider builds.

Windows 10 Creators Update Build 14959 was dropped to developers via UUP just a couple of days after the latter was announced, but only the mobile build came through on UUP. In fact, “later this year” hasn’t happened yet, so even Insider builds for PC won’t get their updates via UUP just yet.

That’s one likely reason why KB 3213522 brought only one fix and yet is being called a cumulative update.

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