Microsoft Update Catalog provides downloads of Microsoft updates, drivers, hotfixes etc. which can be distributed and installed over corporate network. If you want to download updates of your Microsoft software for offline usage, Microsoft Update Catalog can be useful for you.
Go to Microsoft Update Catalog for searching for your required updates. The site will only open properly in Internet Explorer. If you try to open it in another browser, you will get the following error:
Searching for updates on Microsoft Update Catalog is a tough ask. If you search for a particular file using some keywords, you will not be able to get to the correct download easily. It will be better if you search for the exact file name.
Microsoft Update Catalog page contains an FAQ link which answers most of the queries. Although if you are running a corporate network, you should be better off with WSUS server which downloads most of the updates for offline network installation, there are some situations where downloading updates and fixes from Microsoft Update catalog will be beneficial. According to the FAQ:
- Many updates are already available to you using the synchronizing capability in WSUS, SCE, and SCCM. Security updates, critical updates, service packs, update rollups, definition updates, and critical drivers can be configured to synchronize with your server automatically. You can still import these updates into your application by using Microsoft Update Catalog; however, depending on how you configure WSUS, SCE, and SCCM, you may not need to import the updates.
- Some updates require users to accept Microsoft Software License Terms or perform other update-specific installation steps. These updates can be imported, but you will be warned while importing them that they may require additional administrative support. For example, because updates require additional user interaction, the user can cancel the installation; the updates cannot be installed automatically at a scheduled time.
- Some updates are not compatible with the version of WSUS you are running. Additionally, some updates may not have the needed applicability information (in other words, the logic that determines whether an update should be installed). These types of updates cannot be imported.
Microsoft Update Catalog can be useful only for corporate networks where network administrators have to download and manually install updates on certain systems like highly secured servers etc. For home users, it is still recommended that they use automatic Windows updates.
I wonder why Windows Update product team blog has not been updated for more than a year.