Microsoft Security Bulletins to get a facelift

Microsoft is planning to give its Security Bulletins Web page a facelift. The redesign should make it easier for technology professionals to read the bulletins and help them get to key information faster, company representatives said Wednesday.

"We want to make it consumable at a glance," said Kristina Laidler, a Microsoft representative who staffed Microsoft's booth at the RSA Conference in San Jose, Calif. Microsoft is using the event to gather feedback on a new design for the bulletins.

Microsoft issues a Security Bulletin for each security patch it puts out. That's typically on the second Tuesday of the month, or "Patch Tuesday."

The proposed new version has a summary of the security issue at the top, followed by links to frequently asked questions, vulnerability details, installation information and bulletin revision history. Without scrolling down, the reader can also see affected software, direct links to patches and the severity rating for each affected product.

Microsoft's current bulletin is much less organized and may make readers search for critical information. "You get a lot of information kind of in your face," Melissa Anne Povey, a marketing manager at Microsoft said.

The bulletin facelift is no small affair. Microsoft has been working on it for over a year, and representatives couldn't say when the bulletin redesign will be made official. The company is thinking about issuing bulletins in both the old and new style for a while, so people can get used to the changes.

One reason Microsoft won't change its alerts overnight is because some people have actually crafted programs that pull information out of the bulletins for their own purposes, Povey said. Those programs could break if Microsoft changed the design.

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