• United States

Update on security updates

Dec 10, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMicrosoftSecurity

* Microsoft’s security update on CD

Hallelujah! If everything went as planned, Microsoft should this week be announcing a “security” CD for those folks without broadband access to the update Web site or simply for those who don’t trust any software download. Late last week as we went to press, the final release candidate was getting approved by the beta testers.

I mentioned last month that Microsoft is giving away Windows XP updates on a CD in Japan and noted that some of you had suggested Microsoft do the same in this country. Word is that the U.S. security CD will be mainly concerned with Windows Me, Windows 98 and Win98 Second Edition (SE). Information as to whether security updates for Windows NT, Windows XP, Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 will be included wasn’t available to me. But it would be unfortunate if Microsoft limited its distribution to only the older, mostly home user versions of Windows.

In any case, Dec. 9 was the second Tuesday in December, so new updates and patches should have been released on the Windows Update Web site. Did you remember to check?

The rumor is that the security CD will be a “one-of” distribution and that Microsoft will rely on the expansion of broadband to make downloading easier in the future (although that won’t assuage those who simply refuse to download anything). But we might want to start letting them know that CD distribution isn’t such a bad idea – it’s a lot easier to carry around from site to site and desktop to desktop and doesn’t need to rely on sometimes quirky Internet connections (which at best are slower than loading from CD).

You might even suggest to any Microsoft representative you see that the security update CD could be a moneymaker (or at least break even). The update files themselves shouldn’t take up all of the CD, so there’d be room to put on eval and demo versions of third-party apps. Charge each third-party vendor a small fee, and that should cover the preparation and distribution costs. The third-party vendors, of course, recoup the expense when they sell a few extra licenses (as they most certainly would do). Everybody wins, nobody loses. What could anyone possibly object to?