Microsoft started testing its Microsoft Update service, which is set to replace Windows Update later this year. Microsoft Update will give users a central location to download Windows-related patches and software updates. It will also offer updates for non-Windows applications like Microsoft Office.
Microsoft has been planning the move to Microsoft Update for some time. I first wrote about the service way back in July 2003 (see the first URL below). But moving to Microsoft Update required a large amount of back-end work. First, Microsoft moved to the V5 software update engine that now provides the foundation for the current versions of Windows Update, Automatic Updates, and the company's other software update products. With that engine in place, the company is finally turning its attention to Microsoft Update.