Microsoft made available the much-delayed Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) patching
tool and Microsoft Update software patching service, which the company had originally
planned to ship in the first half of 2004.
Shipping in mid-July will be two other software update tools currently in beta: Microsoft
Baseline Security Analyzer 2.0 and Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 Inventory Tool for
All four will feed off the same software update infrastructure and grab code from the same
back-end software catalog, simplifying the process and making it consistent for consumers
and IT professionals, said Gordon Mangione, vice president of Microsoft's security
business and technology unit.
Microsoft Update, the successor to the existing Windows Update service, will provide
updates from various Microsoft products, not just Windows, and is aimed primarily at home
users and small businesses.
Like Microsoft Update, WSUS also offers patches for Windows operating systems as well as
Office XP and 2003, SQL Server, Microsoft Desktop Engine, Exchange 2000 Server and
Exchange Server 2003 products, Microsoft has said in the past.
Meanwhile, SMS is Microsoft's enterprise change and configuration management product,
which is also used for patching.
When scanning for patch requirements with Windows Update, SMS and the Baseline Security
Analyzer, users sometimes get different results, and this new unified approach is designed
to address that problem, Microsoft has said.