June 10, 2005
Microsoft Update was first announced by Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates during his keynote address delivered at the RSA 2005 conference last February.
Microsoft Update includes the Automatic Updates functionality already found in Windows Update so users can choose to automatically install high-priority updates.
When you first visit the Microsoft Update site, you are prompted to download a new ActiveX component, and new Windows Update software from Microsoft. Next you'll get some information about the new service, and after pressing the start now button, you are welcomed by a legal notice and are asked to review your original product license agreements. Microsoft Update states: "When you use this website, original Microsoft product license agreements may apply to the updates you choose to install. This is because some license agreements for Microsoft products indicate that they also apply to updates for those products. In addition, you may have elected, for example, during product installation to accept future updates for a product without reviewing another copy of the applicable licensing agreement" (Figure).
After clicking the Continue button (and possibly downloading some updated Windows Update software), you'll get to the next page, where you are greeted to the new site, and which lists the current setting of your Automatic Updates (Figure). If you have set it to any other option besides Automatic, you will be invited to change your settings to Automatic. Click the Check for Updates button to proceed to the actual update Web site (Figure). A new Microsoft Update icon will also be placed in your Start Menu (Figure).
You can "revert" back to using Windows Update by choosing to disable the Microsoft Update software. You can do this by going to Change settings on the Microsoft Update Web site (Figure).
In addition to Windows updates, the Microsoft Update Web site offers updates for some Microsoft products, including Microsoft Office 2003, Office XP, Microsoft Exchange Server, and Microsoft SQL Server. Typically, only updates for the latest version of each product are offered. Over time, Microsoft Update should offer updates for most of Microsoft products. The existing Windows Update and Office Update Web sites will remain available.
Right now, if you want to use the new Microsoft Update site, you'll have to go to this site: update.microsoft.com. As it rolls out, it is believed that there would be an option on the Windows Update site, similar to the one shown above on the Microsoft Update site.
Microsoft Update supports these operating systems:
As with Windows Update, you need to be using the Internet Explorer Web browser, you can use Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 but Internet Explorer 6 is recommended.