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TORONTO—Microsoft is delaying by a full year two of its four software patching/upgrade systems, company officials told those attending the worldwide partner conference here.

Microsoft’s Windows Update Services, the product formerly known as Software Update Services 2.0, is now due to ship by mid-2005, rather than mid-2004. And the new Microsoft Update Service, a new patching system designed to provide fixes to not only Windows, but also Office, SQL Server, Exchange Server and other core Microsoft products, also is now due out by mid-2005, a year later than anticipated.

Mike Nash, the head of Microsoft’s security business and technology unit, delivered the delay news to partners on Monday, the third day of the four-day partner conference. Nash said that WUS and MU both have dependencies on Windows Update, another of Microsoft’s patching systems. Windows Update Version 5, the most recent release of that product, is due to go live simultaneously with Windows XP Service Pack 2.

“We had to get the foundation in place” before the company could move ahead with WUS and MU, Nash told Microsoft Watch.

Microsoft officials said at the partner show that SP2 will be released to manufacturing in August, and be available to consumers over the course of the next few weeks and months via download, CD and preload on new PCs.

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