One Small Step For Microsoft …

And one giant leap toward simplifying patch management, when Microsoft Installer 3.0 goes to beta next month.

Microsoft is taking another step towards its goal of simplifying software-patch management across its product line.

Next month, the company will begin beta testing its Microsoft Installer 3.0 technology, according to beta information cited by various Windows enthusiast sites, including Steven Binks

If Microsoft sticks to plans it articulated earlier this year, MSI 3.0 will become one of two software-installation programs backed by the Redmond software juggernaut. At present, Microsoft supports at least eight different installers across its various product lines.

Microsofts current software-patch management strategy is a scattershot one, as many company officials themselves admit. More often than not, the latest patches and software updates break users existing systems. And Microsofts patches and service-pack updates tend to be hard to find, difficult to deploy and a pain to manage. The "Slammer" virus, which spread like wildfire as a result of unapplied SQL Server patches epitomizes why software patching needs an overhaul.