Using Windows Server Update Services and Microsoft Update

With the release of Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and the Microsoft Update Web site, you have more options for getting Microsoft Office users the latest updates.

WSUS and the Microsoft Update Web site provide the same updates for users, including not only Windows updates, but also the latest updates for Microsoft Office XP and Microsoft Office 2003. (Note: Updates for Office 97 and Office 2000 are not included.) However, the two services use different methods of deploying updates: Microsoft Update is for users who manage their own computers and can connect to the Internet directly to download updates, while WSUS is for administrators who want to manage and distribute updates from within the corporate network.

 Note   Windows Installer 3.1 is available on the Microsoft Update Web site as a critical update and is required for both Microsoft Update and WSUS. For more information, see Microsoft Knowledge Base article 893803: Windows Installer 3.1 (v2) is available.

Windows Server Update Services

WSUS is a free tool that enables you to deploy the latest Microsoft product updates within your corporate network. WSUS connects to Microsoft Update to retrieve the latest software updates, and then synchronizes them with your corporate WSUS server. You can configure this synchronization to be done automatically or manually. The primary WSUS server can also be used to update other WSUS servers on your network.

Using WSUS, you can manage Windows and Office updates within your corporate network by selecting which updates are available to specific groups of users. Users then interact with the WSUS server in the same way as they would with the Microsoft Update Web site.

For updates that have both binary and full-file configurations, WSUS attempts to install the binary update first; if this does not succeed, it then installs the full-file update. This means that you don't have to decide ahead of time which configuration you need to deploy.

 Note   WSUS can update administrative installation points that are in the same state as when Office was originally installed; WSUS cannot update an administrative installation point on which you have already applied updates. For client computers, WSUS can update per-computer installations of Office, but it cannot update per-user installations.

Microsoft Update

For users who connect directly to the Internet and manage their own computers, Microsoft Update allows them to download the latest updates for both Windows and Office. Users can set up an automatic schedule to check for and retrieve updates periodically.

Related links

  • For more information about WSUS, see Windows Server Update Services.
  • For more information about Microsoft Update, see Microsoft Update Home.
  • WSUS and Windows Update are designed to update Office, but there are rare cases in which the update is not applied. The following Microsoft Knowledge Base articles provide additional information and steps to take to correct these situations.
Office updates may not be applied successfully if See Microsoft KB article
The administrative installation point has been updated.
The path to the local installation source is invalid.
The OSE.exe file is corrupt.
The Office Source Engine service (Ose.exe) startup type has been set to Disabled.
The computer has both a per-user and per-computer installation of Office.