January 9, 2015

No More Microsoft Advanced Notification Services

From thehackernews.com
Starting in 2015, Microsoft will stop providing Advanced notification services for Patch Tuesday alerts to non-premium users, because they feel that there are less and less organization who are reliant on the service. Full blog release here. People are turning to Microsoft Updater, Microsoft Auto Server Updater, and other avenues for their patch information. Microsoft says that if there are any premium members or organization that are still a part of their security program, Microsoft will continue to deliver ANS content.
We are making changes to how we distribute ANS to customers. Moving forward, we will provide ANS information directly to Premier customers and current organizations involved in our security programs, and will no longer make this information broadly available through a blog post and web page. 
It should also be noted that this decision will apply to all emergency patch releases as well that to not happen on the planned Tuesday schedule. Meaning the general public will not get the early notifications until the day of the patch release. That's a bummer for sure. Although, I have to say that I usually do not get my Microsoft bug fix info from the software giant. Instead, I look to places such as krebsonsecurity[dot]com, threatpost[dot]com, and many others. I would have to assume that these media outlets will have some kind of insider information made available to them. At least one would think so, right?

To be fair, when I first heard the news of the is yesterday, I thought that Microsoft was just going to stop releasing security patch related information to its non premium users all together. However, after some searching it now sounds like they will be simply rethinking the way that they deliver updates related to security bugs and the fixes associated with them. One former Microsoft employee made a good point when he said that the ANS releases were vary valuable because people had time to create virtual machines with the right versions of software, so that they could test the updates to see how they would affect their environment.

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Twitter: @Th3MattWilson