Microsoft Patch-Management Product Delayed By Windows XP Work - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
3/18/2004
07:40 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Patch-Management Product Delayed By Windows XP Work

Windows Update Services falls behind schedule as resources get shifted to Windows XP Service Pack 2.

A key product in Microsoft's strategy to make patch management easier for business customers will be late because the development team working on it was also busy improving the patch-management capabilities in Windows XP.

Microsoft said this week that Windows Update Services, patch-management software aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, has begun beta testing and will go through another round of testing early in the third quarter. The software, a follow on to the currently available Software Update Services 1.0, had been due for general availability in May. It's now slated for availability in the second half of the year.

Windows Update Services, which runs on Windows servers, missed its delivery target because the programmers working on it postponed what they were doing in order to add new patch-management capabilities to Windows XP's Service Pack 2. Microsoft said Wednesday that Windows XP SP2 has reached "release candidate 1" status, a sign that it's almost ready for general use.

"We decided we needed all hands on deck to get that work done," explains Steve Anderson, director of Windows server marketing. "We put more resources on [Windows XP Service Pack 2] temporarily to get that work done." In doing so, Anderson adds, it "moved the time back" on Windows Update Services.

Windows XP SP2 and Windows Update Services are both key to Microsoft's effort to improve computer security by making software patches easier to implement. Windows Update Services introduces for the first time the ability to patch Windows, Office, SQL Server, and Exchange from the same platform. Windows XP SP2's patch-management capability, called Windows Update, makes it easier for users to set up automatic updates for home PCs.

It's no coincidence that both products use the term "Windows Update." The technology within them is closely related, Anderson says. The difference is that Windows Update Services comes with features useful to system administrators, such as specifying which systems get patched and reporting actions taken.

Rob Helm, an analyst with Directions On Microsoft, agrees with Microsoft's decision to focus on Windows XP SP2 at the expense of Windows Update Services. "SP2 is an attempt to do with Windows XP what they did with Windows Server 2003--harden it against worms and viruses and make it much more patchable, not just for a sophisticated organization, but for Grandma," Helm says. "That absolutely should be Microsoft's first priority."

Microsoft recommends the more sophisticated patch-management capabilities within Systems Management Server 2003 for large companies with more complex Windows environments. Over time, Microsoft plans to make Windows Update Services a standard part of the Windows operating system and use that combination in lieu of Systems Management Server's patch distribution engine.

Nearer term, Anderson says, Microsoft plans to begin sharing information generated by its internal patch tests with business customers that do their own patch testing as a time saver.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
Get Your Enterprise Ready for 5G
Mary E. Shacklett, Mary E. Shacklett,  1/14/2020
Commentary
Modern App Dev: An Enterprise Guide
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  1/5/2020
Slideshows
9 Ways to Improve IT and Operational Efficiencies in 2020
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  1/2/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll