On November 16 Microsoft released Windows Update Services (WUS) into public beta testing. WUS is the next version of Software Update Services. As usual the final release date is still unknown however you can begin testing WUS now in your lab environments. The download is roughly 75MB and WUS also requires that you use the Background Intelligent Tranfer Service 2.0 beta on your Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003 systems. Links to the BITS download are available at the WUS trial Web site .

Currently the WUS beta supports all editions of Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Professional with Service Pack 3 and later, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP Professional. Supported applications include Office 2003 and Office XP with Service Pack 2 and above, Exchange 2003, SQL Server 2000, and SQL Server Desktop Engine (MSDE) 2000. WUS will install security updates, non-security updates and rollup packages, service packs, feature packs, and critical driver updates.

You'll find more details about WUS in Microsoft's
WUS datasheet as well as rollout help in the Deployment Guide. You can also learn more about WUS more in our article, " What You Need to Know About Windows Update Services ."