Keeping up with Microsoft security and support information can be tricky, but Microsoft provides quite a few useful websites and tools you can use to make the job easier.
- The Microsoft Security Site. This site gives you links into Windows Update, Office Update, the latest security incidents, and even an RSS feed for the latest security updates.
- Pre-canned KB searches. This is probably my favorite tip, because I spend a lot of time digging around in the Knowledge Base to find the details I need for the projects I work on. I’m sure you already know about the Knowledge Base. It’s great when you know your problem and need a solution, but trying to use it to browse information is like drinking from a firehose. The Microsoft Support site offers a variety of pre-canned searches that help you save time. You can bookmark these searches and know that you’ll have all the relevant KB articles at your finger tips. Unfortunately, they’re somewhat difficult to find; the only one I currently have bookmarked is a list of post-SP1 hotfixes for Exchange 2003.
- Product Solution Centers. Microsoft provides a handy central hub for all of their product solution centers. You can go to the hub at http://support.microsoft.com/gp/selecthub or you can bookmark the centers for the products you’re running.
- RSS Feeds. Hey, I just learned this one myself! Microsoft offers RSS feeds for new KB articles, organized by product. Get the list at http://support.microsoft.com/selectindex/?target=rss and add your product feeds to your favorite RSS aggregator.
If you’ve got any more useful sites, tools, and techniques for staying current, I’d love to hear about them. And send me any of the KB canned searches you can find; I’m collecting them into an article that I’ll keep updated.