Microsoft revealed Monday night that it would delay the release of Windows Update Services (WUS) to the first half of 2005. Originally, this updated version of Microsoft Software Update Services (SUS) was set to ship in fall 2004. The delay will also affect the public beta of WUS; originally scheduled for summer 2004, the WUS beta will now ship in late 2004 instead.
"There are two primary drivers behind this schedule change," a Microsoft representative told me. "\[First,\] the March release of the Windows Update Services closed beta has spurred overwhelming interest from customers and partners evaluating the product. Microsoft has assessed this input as part of the beta cycle and is committed to incorporating the feedback before releasing the next beta release for the Windows Update Services Open Evaluation Program."
"\[Second,\] the Windows Update Services team is developing a new Automatic Updates agent that will be included in \[Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2)\]," she said. "The new agent is used both to improve the updating experience for XP SP2 users connecting directly to Windows Update and for users who will leverage Windows Update Services in their corporate environments in the future. This decision to include the new Automatic Update technology in XP SP2 and perform the necessary integration and testing requires the development schedule for Windows Update Services being staggered behind the XP SP2 release."
The representative noted that Microsoft would incorporate feedback from the late 2004 open evaluation program for WUS to finalize the product. The open evaluation program will be based on WUS beta 2 code, Microsoft says.