[Offtopic] Microsoft Update Catalog (Beta)

Stephen Loosley stephen at melbpc.org.au
Mon Jul 30 00:54:54 EST 2007

Microsoft Administrator Options 

Microsoft Update Catalog (Beta)


Frequently Asked Questions <http://test.catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Faq.aspx>

What is Microsoft Update Catalog Beta? 

It's a service from Microsoft that provides a listing of updates that can be distributed over a corporate network.   

You can use it as a one-stop location for finding Microsoft software updates, drivers, and hotfixes. 

(For non-corporate scenarios, we recommend you use automatic updating or the Microsoft Update website.)

What types of software updates does Microsoft publish? Microsoft offers important, recommended, and optional updates. Important updates provide significant benefits, such as improved security and reliability. Optional updates might include, for example, new or updated driver software for devices that you have added to your computer. The Microsoft Update Catalog now provides access to hotfixes. Hotfixes are generally provided by Microsoft Customer Service & Support. To see a list of the updates that Microsoft publishes and definitions for each type of update, refer to the Microsoft Help and Support Web site 

If I use the Microsoft Update Catalog, do I still have to use Windows Update? The Microsoft Update Catalog provides updates, including drivers, that are for distribution across a corporate network. For non-corporate scenarios, we recommend you use automatic updating or the Microsoft Update website.

In Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4, Automatic Updates is available within your Windows operating system. 
To check your current settings, you can right click My Computer, click Properties and then select the Automatic Updates tab. 

In Windows Vista, you no longer use a Web site to check for updates. Instead, you can check for updates by opening Control Panel, and opening Windows Update. If you use Microsoft Update, you can install updates for Windows and other Microsoft software products through Windows Update. 

What types of updates can I import into Microsoft patch management applications? If you are running Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0, System Center Essentials (SCE), or System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) you can import updates directly into these applications. After you've imported updates, you can manage them like any other updates that you obtain using WSUS, SCE or SCCM, with some exceptions: 

Many updates are already available to you using the synchronizing capability in WSUS, SCE and SCCM. Security updates, critical updates, service packs, update rollups, definition updates, and critical drivers can be configured to synchronize with your server automatically. You can still import these updates into your application by using Microsoft Update Catalog, although depending on how you configure WSUS, SCE, and SCCM, you may not need to. Some updates require users to accept Microsoft Software License Terms or walk through other update specific installation steps. Microsoft Update Catalog will notify you if you are importing these updates. Occasionally, updates are for download only. These updates might not have the necessary “applicability” logic for WSUS, SCE or SCCM to identify whether the update is applicable to client computers. Updates that are available for download only cannot be imported. 

How often does Microsoft Update release security updates? Security-related updates are released once a month. However, if a security threat occurs, such as a widespread virus or worm, Microsoft will release a corresponding update as soon as possible. Other types of updates can be released whenever they are ready. 

Cheers people
Stephen Loosley 

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