June 7, 2005 5:54 PM PDT

Microsoft delivers new patching tools

After several delays, Microsoft has delivered an overhaul of its corporate patching tool and the promised successor to its Windows Update service.

In addition, the company set a date of mid-July for delivery of an add-on to Systems Management Server 2003 that lets large organizations inventory and install Microsoft updates. At that time, small and midsize businesses will get Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.0, which is a tool to check their systems to see if they are up to date on their Microsoft fixes.

The announcements were made Monday at TechEd, Microsoft's annual customer conference, which is being held this week in Orlando, Fla.

The corporate patching tool, called Windows Server Update Services, or WSUS, was originally slated for release in the first half of last year. Microsoft Update, which replaces Windows Update, was also supposed to launch at that time, but was pushed back.

Microsoft has blamed the delays in part on work it had to do on Windows XP Service Pack 2, a mammoth security-focused update for Windows XP that was released in August.

Unlike Windows Update, Microsoft Update provides patches for a number of the company's products, not just the Windows operating system. That means customers no longer have to visit several Microsoft Web sites--for each product--to make sure they have the latest fixes.

Microsoft Update is also the back-end for WSUS, Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.0 and the new SMS 2003 Inventory Tool. This takes care of a problem with Microsoft's older Windows Update, SMS and MBSA products, which sometimes gave different results when scanning systems for patch requirements.

The new patching products cover Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003; Office XP and later versions; Exchange 2000 and later versions; and SQL Server 2000 and later versions, Microsoft said. Updates for additional Microsoft desktop and server applications will be added over time, a company representative said.

WSUS succeeds the existing Software Update Services tool. It is Microsoft's no-charge add-on to Windows Server to help companies deal with software updates. The new version includes improvements in patch delivery, status reporting, network usage and implementation, and administration flexibility, Microsoft has said.

4 comments

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About @#*@ time
It's asinine that I have to use SUS for Windows and a freaking login script for MS Office, Visio, etc. Should have been that way since day one...morons.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
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I wonder why they were delayed?
Maybe because MS has got their nose in everything else like the XBOX, mobile phone software, games, media centers etc. I know they have alot of programmesrs and employess but MS should stick to what they know best (even questionable at times) and that is the OS and Office suites. They have their hands in to many things, don't you think a company like that is going to fail or not succeed at other products because they are to busy worring about taking over the little guy or another company that is doing better than them in another field?
Posted by ZP (19 comments )
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Big Deal
This is obviously a re-working of Windows Update... completely obvious by the "v6" in the URL. I'm not impressed.

I haven't even seen a way to show what programs are supported and which programs it recognizes on my computer.

If were them, I would have positioned it as a little more neutral so that you could sign other partners and make it for all smaller developers who don't want to spend the money on their own update servers.
Posted by TV James (680 comments )
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at least
finally the new Windows update supports Windows 2000. So I guess it still exists.
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
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