Microsoft is finally ready to ship its long-awaited enterprise..........

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Golden Master
Microsoft is finally ready to ship its long-awaited enterprise security patch-management platform.

The software giant is expected to announce on Monday that WSUS (Windows Server Update Services), formerly known as SUS (Software Update Services) and WUS (Windows Update Services), has been released to manufacturing. Ziff Davis Internet News has learned that the announcement will form part of chief executive Steve Ballmer's keynote presentation at the Tech Ed conference in Orlando, Fla.

The platform, which has been rebranded simply as "Update Services," is the corporate patch-management mechanism used by SMBs (small and midsize businesses) and enterprise customers to apply Microsoft Corp. software updates.

The platform will be rolled out as a free download to customers of Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP operating systems.

It provides a management infrastructure that also contains MU (Microsoft Update), the successor to the consumer-centric Windows Update service. Microsoft plans to push users toward the MU platform to find product upgrades.

Windows Update and Office Updates, which are now used to push down patches and hotfixes, will remain in place, but users will be gradually encouraged to use MU for all security or performance patches.

The final version of Update Services has been enhanced to allow the automatic download of updates from Microsoft Update by product and type; additional language support for customers worldwide; maximized bandwidth efficiency through BITS 2.0 (Background Intelligent Transfer Service); and the ability to target updates to specific computers and computer groups.

New additions also include the ability to verify that updates are suitable for each computer before installation, a feature that runs automatically for critical and security updates; flexible deployment options; reporting capabilities; and data migration and import/export capabilities.
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