Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Microsoft Releases Windows Update Beta

Microsoft Corp.'s oft-delayed WUS (Windows Update Services) is finally ready for public testing. A public beta of WUS was released at the Microsoft IT Forum show in Copenhagen to give system administrators their first look at the tool that handles the download, installation and management of software updates. Microsoft has been privately beta testing WUS, formerly Software Update Services 2.0, since the summer. It is seen as a crucial part of the company's enterprise patch-management strategy makeover. The product is due to ship by mid-2005, a full year off the original schedule.

It falls under the company's new Microsoft Update Service, which is styled as a new patching system designed to provide fixes to not only Windows, but also Office, SQL Server, Exchange Server and other core Microsoft products. Microsoft has been heavily criticized over the years for its hodge-podge approach to helping customers download, test and apply software products. With WUS, Microsoft is promising a complete architecture makeover with new technology to minimize reboots, save bandwidth and distribute updates in a streamlined way.

It provides a free mechanism for IT administrators to apply updates to Windows 2000-based servers and Windows Server 2003-based servers, as well as to desktop computers running Windows 2000 Pro or Windows XP Pro. Microsoft Update is the evolution of Windows Update. The client component of WUS is Auto Update.

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