Our Advance Notification Service (ANS) was created more than a decade ago as part of Update Tuesday to broadly communicate in advance, about the security updates being released for Microsoft products and services each month. Over the years, technology environments and customer needs have evolved, prompting us to evaluate our existing information and distribution channels. This desire to improve is why customers may have seen us introduce myBulletins to provide bulletin reports tailored to customer preferences, discontinue the Deployment Priority matrix in favor of the Exploitability Index, modify the Exploitability Index to account for more threat scenarios, simplify security bulletin content to help customer understanding, and create a centralized glossary for bulletin definitions. The change being announced today fits within that context.
We are making changes to how we distribute ANS to customers. Moving forward, we will provide ANS information directly to Premier customers and current organizations involved in our security programs, and will no longer make this information broadly available through a blog post and web page.
ANS has always been optimized for large organizations. However, customer feedback indicates that many of our large customers no longer use ANS in the same way they did in the past due to optimized testing and deployment methodologies. While some customers still rely on ANS, the vast majority wait for Update Tuesday, or take no action, allowing updates to occur automatically. More and more customers today are seeking to cut through the clutter and obtain security information tailored to their organizations. Rather than using ANS to help plan security update deployments, customers are increasingly turning to Microsoft Update and security update management tools such as Windows Server Update Service to help organize and prioritize deployment. Customers are also moving to cloud-based systems, which provide continuous updating.
For Premier customers who would still like to receive this information, Microsoft will continue to provide ANS through their Technical Account Manager support representatives. ANS will also continue to be provided to current organizations that are part of our security programs such as the Microsoft Active Protections Program. For customers without a Premier support contract, we recommend taking advantage of myBulletins, which enables customers to tailor security bulletin information based on only those applications running in their environment.
As our customers’ needs change, so must our approach to security. We remain relentless in our commitment to protect customers and the ongoing delivery of secure computing experiences.
Senior Director, MSRC