Feeds

MS ‘retires’ corporate Windows Update in favour of SUS

We told you it had to happen...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

According to the date on the relevant pages, Microsoft started talking about SUS (Software Update Services) on 20th June, but it's only today we've had the press release from the UK arm. Granted, it might have been announced somewhere else during the past couple of weeks, but it doesn't seem to have made it to the main press release pile at microsoft.com. Which is a pity, because it says here "Formerly known as Corporate Windows Update or Federated Windows Update, SUS is a security patch management tool targeted at small to medium sized enterprises..."

So corporate Windows update is dead, right? As regular readers will recall, The Register regularly gnaws away at the mismatch between Microsoft's drive for direct contact with individual users and the corporate sector's desire to manage its own users, and corporate Windows update was central to this. With SP1 for WinXP Microsoft will be checking validity of licences before permitting the service pack to install, but as we pointed out a little earlier this doesn't matter a great deal while corporate Windows update exists. IT management in major businesses wants to download the updates itself and decide whether or not users should get them, and it does it (did it) via corporate Windows update. Which is also where you'd go if you wanted to download the software and install it yourself, rather than depend on Microsoft deciding what you needed, and whether you were legal/eligible.

Which is a long-winded way of pointing out that SUS, what corporate Windows update did next, is important. If you go to the site formerly known as Corporate Windows Update, which you will find here, you will find it has "been retired." The text looks like it's designed to lead you to believe it was retired in March, but that's not what it says, and although we at The Register are particularly unobservant and dozy by the standards of cutting-edge journalists, we're pretty certain we'd have noticed it said that when we last visited last in, er, early June.

Down at the bottom it now (didn't say this in June either) directs you to SUS, the corporate Windows Update replacement. Pop over to SUS (main page here) and you'll find something that presents itself somewhere in the middle ground between the old corporate service and the automated, Microsoft-to-client Windows Update service. IT managers can use SUS as a kind of entry level automated critical update system, and they can set privileges for individual clients and decide on how they get the updates rolled out, but they've got to do it the Microsoft way, there's a degradation in the amount of control they have, and inertia will surely lead to control being slowly but surely abdicated to Redmond.

If you look at Choosing a Security Update Management Solution (and friends, when was it Windows updates became solely about security updates?) then you'll see Microsoft is presenting a choice between Windows Update (non-corporate), SUS, and SMS. So presentationally at least, corporate Windows update is dead.

But it's possible it's not quite dead. You can still follow the link from the old corporate Windows update site to the Windows Update Catalog (so long as you're running Win2k or XP of course - Win9x is in the pipeline, NT is probably never) and download patches and install them by hand. For how long, we know not. But for XP, we note that all of the critical updates have posted dates of 25th June, while the most recent one was actually issued on 10th February. So "update" is maybe not the right word, and we'd guess this isn't long for the world either. ®

* We can't help noticing that the URLs of the pages we're checking have /windows2000/ in them, which tends to suggest the possibility that people checking with Windows XP might read something slightly (or even wildly) different. We've no idea. The Register can proudly state that it doesn't have a single XP machine in use (well OK, just the one, for the kids to play games on, and it's in a different country today anyway), so we must restrain our paranoia. But if any XP users find markedly different results, do let us know.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.