Last month, Microsoft quietly pushed a new update KB5021751 through its Windows Update channel. In an accompanying support document, Microsoft explained that the update was intended to help the company identify the number of Windows users who were running outdated or soon-to-be-obsolete Office software. No longer supported or reached. End of support. These include Office 2013, which will reach end of support later this year, Office 2010, which has already passed, and Office 2007, which reached end of support in 2012.
As with most of the changelogs that Microsoft publishes for its updates, the company labeled the release notes for the update with the title “Improvements and fixes”. He wrote:
Improvements and improvements
The purpose of this update is to help Microsoft identify the number of users using out-of-support (or soon-to-be-out-of-support) versions of Office, including Office 2013, Office 2010, and Office 2007. This update will run once. Silently without installing anything on the user device.
However, since then, Microsoft has updated the document with more details, and therefore, the “Improvements and fixes” title has been changed to “Summary” as the post now contains more information about the update. The information is there. This time Microsoft has explained why this update is important by citing the fact that unsupported software does not receive security updates against vulnerabilities.
The purpose of this update is to help Microsoft identify the number of users who are running out-of-support (or soon-to-be-out-of-support) versions of Office, including Office 2013, Office 2010, and Office 2007.
Versions of Office that are no longer supported do not receive security updates that provide the latest protections against known vulnerabilities. Also, unsupported versions may experience performance and reliability issues over time.
Perhaps more interestingly, Microsoft included with this update details about the user data it is collecting, or rather, not collecting. The company has assured that it is not collecting other personal information related to non-Microsoft products. Microsoft Says that This is only diagnostic and performance data which then helps to estimate the usage of the installed Office version.
This update collects diagnostic and performance data to measure usage of installed Office versions to determine how best to support and service those systems. This data is collected from registry entries and APIs. Update does not collect licensing details, customer content, or data about non-Microsoft products. Microsoft values, protects and defends privacy. For more information about our privacy practices, see Privacy at Microsoft.
Although somewhat trivial, the new support page also includes more details on how to perform this update. While the previous “How to download and install updates” section only stated “Use Microsoft Update to automatically download and install updates”, the updated page now includes Enables users who have selected “Receive updates for other Microsoft products” to receive the KB5021751 package.
through: Bleeping computer