Microsoft Suspends Desktop Search Availability Through WSUS

After having explained away a problem with Windows Server Update Services yesterday as a problem with administrators not understanding the "applicability rules" for patches to updated software, a Microsoft product manager today acknowledged there was indeed a problem with how WSUS pushed a patch for Windows Desktop Search onto enterprise networks, calling it a "publishing process error."

"I want you to know we are working now to correct the issue and have temporarily suspended the distribution of the Windows Desktop Search through WSUS," reads an explanation published at around midnight last night by WSUS product manager Bobbie Harder.

"We will make a new package available for WSUS in the near future, but not as an update revision, so that you can rely on predictable update behavior with auto-approval settings. We are also working on improving our internal publishing processes to ensure this does not happen again in the future."

Last February, Microsoft published Windows Desktop Search 3.0, and made it available to administrators using WSUS as an optional update. When admins chose to publish it, Harder explained, the "update package" recorded that as an admin choice.

Then, after Microsoft chose to publish the WDS 3.01 update this week using the same update package, WSUS systems simply re-used the admins' choice from last February.

What Harder did not attempt to explain or verify was admins' claims that WDS 3.01 was being installed everywhere throughout their systems, not just to client desktops but to other servers, resulting in reduced response times as those servers started madly indexing everything within their purview in the background.

Harder said WDS 3.01 can be removed on individual clients in either of two old-fashioned ways: using Add/Remove Programs from the Control Panel, or by invoking a command-line uninstall utility that comes with the package itself. System Restore might also work, but could leave some disused files behind, she said. The patch remains available for optional download on the client side, through Microsoft Update.

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