Who Gets Windows Security Updates?

Who Gets Windows Security Updates?

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RSA was great last week - security was clearly top of mind for the attendees, and I fielded a number of different questions last week about how Microsoft protects our customers. Some are pretty straightforward around how the various Windows 7 security technologies work, but many have focused on how we actually deliver protection to customers on an ongoing basis.

One question that comes up more than I would have ever expected is: Who gets security updates?

There seems to be a myth that Microsoft limits security updates to genuine Windows users.

Let me be clear: all security updates go to all users.

Not only do all security updates go to all users' systems, but non-genuine Windows systems are able to install service packs, update rollups, and important reliability and application compatibility updates. In addition, the users of non-genuine Windows systems can also upgrade a lot of the other software on their computer. For example Internet Explorer 8 has numerous security- oriented features and improvements, and it is available to all users.

This isn't to say that all updates are available to non-genuine PCs. Other value-adding updates and software may or may not be blocked, at Microsoft's discretion. On Windows Vista, available updates can be accessed through the Windows Update control panel. On Windows XP, a non-genuine Windows system can access updates through Automatic Updates, but they cannot get to any of the optional updates which are only available through the Windows Update and Microsoft Update websites.

Keeping a machine up to date is one of the first steps in helping ensure that they remain reliable, compatible, and safe from threats when they are online. Some of the most famous incidents of malicious software infection have come after security updates were publicly available from Microsoft - Blaster, Zotob, Conficker and Sasser, just to name a few.

I hope this clears up some confusion. Rest assured that we at Microsoft are committed to making sure that security updates are available to all of our users to help ensure a safe online experience for everyone.

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  • "WindowsUpdate_80070539" "WindowsUpdate_dt000"

  • Jithosh
    3 Posts

    I have tested out the latest beta version and all of the windows 7 released in the torrent.The main problem is that even though microsoft tells that security service providers like kaspersky,avg and all have already released their products,every thing seems to be incompatible for windows 7 as in the security tab it says,kasperky or avg or anything...that is turned on but it is in a state that it is not an updated version and you have to use the programs automatic updating feature.