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Microsoft testing update service

Microsoft confirmed that it will launch a beta version of its centralized patch updating service in March.

Microsoft confirmed that it will launch a beta version of its centralized patch updating service in March. The tool is expected to pull together Microsoft's various software updating services and offer a single point of access to security updates for several different classes of the company's home and business customers.

In his keynote address at the RSA Conference 2005 on Tuesday, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said the company will centralize Windows, Office and application updates through the consumer service, which will be known as Microsoft Update. Gates said the patch service will be similar to Microsoft's existing Windows Update offering and would include the Automatic Updates feature offered in that tool. Microsoft Update is also expected to feature access to security and reliability updates for Office and other applications that run on Windows, a Microsoft representative said after Gates' speech.