Unified Microsoft Update Site Goes Live

After several months of testing, Microsoft Update has gone live. Microsoft Update unifies patching for Windows and Office, providing performance and security updates to customers through Microsoft's "Update Services" platform.

The advent of Microsoft Update was first announced by Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates during his keynote address delivered at the RSA 2005 conference in February.

Steve Ballmer will publicize the delivery of Microsoft Update during a keynote presentation at Tech Ed this week.


When a user visits the site, they are welcomed by a legal notice and are prompted to review their original product license agreements. "When you use this website, original Microsoft product license agreements may apply to the updates you choose to install. This is because some license agreements for Microsoft products indicate that they also apply to updates for those products," read a notice on the Web site.

"In addition, you may have elected, for example, during product installation to accept future updates for a product without reviewing another copy of the applicable licensing agreement."

The launch of Microsoft Update coincides with the launch of Software Update Services 2.0 (SUS) and Windows Update Services (WUS) - known collectively known as Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). The services audit desktops for necessary patches, and extend options for patch deployment, data migration and reporting. Ballmer is also expected to announce these services in his keynote.

Although it is intended for business customers, WSUS is the baseline management infrastructure for Microsoft Update. Microsoft Update will contain Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS 2.0) to make better use of available bandwidth, as well as packages wrapped in Windows Installer (MSI) 3.1 to improve the patching process.

Microsoft Update is located at update.microsoft.com. Windows Update and Office Update will remain open for an indefinite period of time while users are transitioned to Microsoft Update.

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