If you noticed a new patch released via Automatic Update on Friday and can’t figure out what it’s for, you aren’t alone. A quick poll among my usually knowledgeable experts reveals they are mystified as well.

KB 3035583, entitled “Update enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1”, is an optional patch. Unless you’ve opted to automatically install optional patches (a decidedly risky proposition), you’ll have to check the box next to the patch in the Optional list, before it will install on your system — which is all for the best.

If you’re able to parse those sentences, you’re a better sleuth than I. Nary a hint as to what “additional capabilities” are involved. Windows Update notifications are pretty straightforward — in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, they pop up as balloons on the lower-right corner of the desktop. I haven’t a clue how they could have “additional capabilities”.

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