One of the updates in the July 2012 Patch Tuesday collection was actually a ‘Fix-It’ that simply disables the ‘Sidebar’ and ‘Gadgets’ features of Windows Vista and Windows 7.
This drastic step was taken by Microsoft to address the general vulnerability of the Sidebar and Gadgets. Anyone who uses these features must choose between a) disabling them; and b) continuing to use them and risking the security of their computer.
The details are in Microsoft Security Advisory 2719662.
Microsoft has released its monthly “head’s up” for the Windows and Office updates scheduled to arrive on July 10, 2012.
There are nine bulletins/updates in total, ranging in impact from Important to Critical, affecting Windows (XP and newer) and Office (2003 and newer). One of the critical updates affects only Internet Explorer 9. Another addresses the Windows XML Core Services (MSXML) vulnerability that has been exploited increasingly in recent weeks. A total of 16 vulnerabilities will be addressed by these updates. An updated version of the Malicious Software Removal Tool is also included. A system restart will be required.
Windows computers configured for auto update should start seeing these patches in the early hours of July 10. If you are responsible for any Windows computers that don’t use auto update, you should run Microsoft Update on those computers as soon as possible after July 10. If you’d like to avoid using Internet Explorer (required for Microsoft Update), you can download the updates as a disc image. Microsoft no longer provides a web-based resource for system administrators to download offline updates.