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Maintenance and product updates

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Maintenance and product updates

This topic contains a brief overview of the maintenance and product updates features in the Windows Server 2003 family. It is divided into two sections: New and updated features since Windows NT 4.0 and New and updated features since Windows 2000.

For links to more information about the features in this release, see New Features.

The Windows Server 2003 family offers several features that can help keep your system current with the latest system files and product updates.

New and updated features since Windows NT 4.0

The Windows Server 2003 family offers the following improvements (in comparison to Windows NT 4.0) that help keep your system updated with the latest system files:

Windows Update
Windows Update is an online extension of Windows that detects outdated Windows system files and replaces them with the most recent versions. Windows Update can significantly increase computer system stability over a long period. It can also reduce the workload on administrators and support staff who must maintain a productive operating environment. Windows Update requires an Internet connection. For more information, see Windows Update at the Microsoft Web site.

Windows Update includes Dynamic Update, which is available during Setup. If you have a working Internet connection on the computer on which you run Setup, you can use Dynamic Update to obtain the most up-to-date Setup files, including drivers and other files. For more information, see Using Dynamic Update for updated drivers and other setup files.

New and updated features since Windows 2000

The Windows Server 2003 family offers the following improvements (in comparison to Windows 2000) that help keep your system updated with the latest system files:

Windows Update enhancements
Windows Update now provides additional choices:

  • With Windows Update Catalog, you can select updates that you plan to deploy later, which means you can control how and when the updates are deployed. For more information, see Windows Update Catalog at the Microsoft Web site.

  • With Automatic Updates, which is built into Windows XP and products in the Windows Server 2003 family, the operating system can automatically download and install critical updates from the Windows Update site. For more information, see Automatic Updates.

  • With Microsoft Windows Update Services, you can deploy a limited version of the Windows Update site inside your firewall. You can control how and when updates are deployed, and you can deliver updates to users through your intranet rather than having updates occur directly from the Internet. For more information, see Windows Update Services at the Microsoft Web site.

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