Microsoft to discontinue Security Bulletins after January 2017' By: Khushaar Tanveer
2 minute read

Microsoft’s Security Bulletin has been a cherished tradition for sharing highlights about patches and security fixes that it releases. Sadly, on yesterday’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft officially declared the retirement of Security Bulletins come this January 2017.

“Security update information will be published as bulletins and on the Security Updates Guide until January 2017. After the January 2017 Update Tuesday release, we will only publish update information to the Security Updates Guide,” the Microsoft team said in a statement published yesterday.

The situation is not all that disappointing, though, as Microsoft also announced a new portal called Security Updates Guide, which is already live. It will be an official replacement for the intricate Security Bulletins system and can be best described as a searchable database of security updates released for Windows and other products. But users can’t help but feel the nostalgia as Security Bulletins since they have always been a reliable source for revealing patched vulnerabilities like the MS16-129.

“This month we released a preview of our new single destination for security vulnerability information, the Security Updates Guide. Instead of publishing bulletins to describe related vulnerabilities, the new portal lets our customers view and search security vulnerability information in a single online database.”

As great as the newly launched Security Updates Guide database idea sounds, users are having a hard time wrapping their head around it and believe that the way information will now be presented will fail to be well-received.

The Security Updates Guide database lists publication dates, KB Article IDs, and affected products in a table. Moreover, it features advanced search functionality, including a filter to limit the listing to a particular time period, and a text or keyword search option that enables users to find updates by product, KB article or CVE.

Some industry experts have suggested that Microsoft retiring its Security Bulletins is long overdue, and have been long expecting it since August when the company announced a new cumulative update model for Windows 7 and 8.1 modeled after Windows 10. The company further announced that instead of releasing small individual patches that address specific issues only, a monthly update release that addresses several or all issues will be instituted instead. Microsoft further elaborates that there will be two update releases each month, one including the OS related updates while the other including only security fixes.

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