<font size="3">Microsoft Windows Update CD released to beta Testers </font>
Neowin has learned of a new beta released by Microsoft to its Windows Update Beta testers. The beta involves downloading an ISO of Microsoft's new "Windows Security Update CD". The CD, at 300 meg, contains most of Microsofts recent security patchs for Windows 2000 / XP users, although it is uncertain as to whether this CD is useful for Win 9x users. Specific to XP the CD has on it Service Pack 1 (a), Direct X 9, and Windows Media Player 9.
Microsoft have also included a useful tool on the CD called Windows Security advisor. In some ways, its sort of a trimmed down version of Microsoft Base Line Security Advisor (aimed more at Admins, find it here). The program essentially turns on automatic updating which for joe average this is undoubtedly a good thing, and also enables the firewall built into Windows XP. Again, undoubtedly a good thing for all users.
This CD is Microsoft taking an excellent step in the right direction. An easy to distribute, easy to use, tool, which could make a serious start on sorting out Microsoft's security issues. This kind of CD could easily be shiped with new PC's, getting them up to date many months after XP or the most recent Service Pack was launched. Aswell, for users on a sluggish connection this might be the end of that excuse for not updating.
However, some of the screenshot's below reveal a depressing point : The CD does contain "Winter 2004" in the top right hand side of the screen; is this a mistake? If so, a pretty big one! Could it really take Microsoft a whole year to deploy this? One hopes not.Update: Winter arguably includes Jan / Feb next year, which might be a more realistic release date. Take a peek at it below.
Screenshots: End page, Welcome page, Update page, Windows Security Advisor Screen