Microsoft Pulls Plug on Publicly-Available ANS
Heads up: The time has come to say goodbye to Advance Notification Service (ANS). Well, at least the public version of it anyway. Microsoft has announced plans to bring an end to the publically-available version of ANS and only make it available to select customers.
ANS was conceived over a decade ago to play a part in the company’s regular “Patch Tuesday” patch releases. Its mission: Get the early word out to the widest possible audience about all of the different security updates Microsoft planned to release each month. Customers could access this info prior to Patch Tuesday through a blog and a website.
However, according to a blog post by Microsoft, changing technology environments and customer needs caused the company to evaluate its notification delivery methods. After collecting feedback from customers, Microsoft determined many weren’t using ANS as often as they had in the past. The tech giant attributed this to enhanced testing and deployment strategies.
Now, instead of ANS, many customers are content to wait until Patch Tuesday or just allow the updates to be installed automatically. In other cases, customers turned to tools such as Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Service or cloud-based systems to plan and manage their update deployments.
But what if you still want access to ANS? There are a couple of options open to you:
- If your company has a Premier account, then no problem. Microsoft will continue to make ANS information available through its team of Technical Account Manager support representatives.
- Don’t have a Premier account, but still want ANS? If your company happens to be a part of a Microsoft security platform, such as the Microsoft Active Protections Program, you’ll also still have access to ANS content.
- Say you want ANS but you don’t have a Premier account and you’re not a member of any of Microsoft’s security programs. If that’s the case, Microsoft recommends utilizing its myBulletins service. This feature allows customers to tailor security notice info based strictly on the apps that are currently installed in their environments.
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