New Windows Update Covers More Products

The fifth revision of Windows Update is set to enter beta testing, as Microsoft continues efforts to improve its facility for keeping customers' systems up to date.

Windows Update V5 is slated to be a significant upgrade, eventually extending the service's reach beyond Windows to all Microsoft products. The company will initially support updates to Office 2003, as well as SQL and Exchange.

The first test version -- what Microsoft calls "the Alpha" release -- of V5 will launch in late September, according to the company. Subsequent updates will be made every two or three months.

"The vision for Windows Update V5 is to provide an efficient and effective means to keep all Microsoft products secure and up to date with the latest patches, starting with Windows, Office, SQL, and Exchange," Microsoft wrote in an e-mail to beta nominees.

Microsoft is accepting applications for the Windows Update V5 beta program until Friday, September 12. The nomination survey can be accessed by signing into BetaPlace with the guest ID: WUV5Prev. Applicants who tested V4 are asked to click a special link named "WU V5 Preview Program Participation for currently in WU V4."

"The key to an effective pre-release program is having customers participate who are willing and able to install, exercise, and provide feedback on the product in a timely manner," noted Redmond beta coordinators. "Please carefully consider your willingness and
ability to follow through on these commitments."

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