Microsoft puts an end to 'Patch Tuesday' email alerts

Microsoft's 'Patch Tuesday' is a big event for those who manage networks for a living; the updates are meant to patch security flaws and fix bugs in the company's many software platforms. While Microsoft does update its various blogs about the patches, one service they did offer was to send out an email alerting those who signed up about the patches.

Unfortunately, thanks to a change in government regulation, that practice will be halted on July 1st. Below, you can find a copy of the email that Microsoft began sending out today that let readers know that the emails would be coming to a stop next week.

The email does say that it is suspending the practice, which means that it could be turned back on in the future, but that's only speculation at this point. WindowsITPro points out that this could be because of Canada's Anti-Spam regulation that goes into affect on July 1, but Microsoft does not explicitly state that this is the reason.

You can read the email below but if you need alternative ways to be notified about the changes, you can subscribe to these RSS feeds.

********************************************************************
Title: Microsoft Security Notifications
Issued: June 27, 2014
********************************************************************

Notice to IT professionals:

As of July 1, 2014, due to changing governmental policies concerning
the issuance of automated electronic messaging, Microsoft is
suspending the use of email notifications that announce the 
following:

* Security bulletin advance notifications 
* Security bulletin summaries 
* New security advisories and bulletins
* Major and minor revisions to security advisories and bulletins

In lieu of email notifications, you can subscribe to one or more of
the RSS feeds described on the Security TechCenter website. 

For more information, or to sign up for an RSS feed, visit the
Microsoft Technical Security Notifications webpage at
http://technet.microsoft.com/security/dd252948.



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20 Comments

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Looks like e-mails are on again having received this...

Notice to IT Professionals:

On June 27, 2014, we notified customers that we were suspending Microsoft security notifications by email due to changing Governmental policies concerning the issuance of automated electronic messaging. We have reviewed our processes and are resuming security notifications by email commencing with the
release of this monthly Advanced Notification Service (ANS) mailing.

The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) have some hefty fines. There are significant legal consequences should individuals/companies not comply with this legislation: up to $1 million for individuals and $10 million for businesses

I don't like how they are stopping this for those of us who signed up for it in the USA... This is a Canadian act not a USA one...

sava700 said,
Don't really care... Neowin lets me know when there are important ones coming! :)

There are so many more important patches though that are never covered here

My point is, I have specifically opted in to receive this information, so I fail to see any reason why I shouldn't receive this information.

The article seems to point to some new government policies, which I find extremely hard to believe.

Not happy with this. I indeed did receive this email as well, there was a reason I specifically signed up for the advanced notifications and I fail to see how any government policies would cause it to be discontinued.

sjaak327 said,
Not happy with this. I indeed did receive this email as well, there was a reason I specifically signed up for the advanced notifications and I fail to see how any government policies would cause it to be discontinued.

I've not read the new policies so cant comment on the reasons, I take it you have though so can you explain?

I can't understand this decision from Microsoft, considering it is very much an opt-in service. Something tells me they will make a U-turn on this after a bit of noise from customers.

I don't really find RSS feeds to be a suitable alternative. I've tried setting up RSS subscriptions in my browser but I rarely ever notice the indicator telling me I do have new notifications, and often when I do (having subscribed to several different sites) they're updates I'm not interested in so I don't pay attention to it. Email was the best delivery method for this information!

Walmoo said,
Have you tried Outlook's RSS feeds? I use it for all such news and it fits the needs and exceeds.

Haven't actually - I'll have to give it a look :) Didn't even know Outlook did RSS feeds to be honest ;)

If you use Windows [Phone] 8[.1], get a Feedly account, add the feed to that, then use NextGen Reader to keep it all in sync with a beautiful interface and cloud storage. Much better than using the browser.

Ideas Man said,
If you use Windows [Phone] 8[.1], get a Feedly account, add the feed to that, then use NextGen Reader to keep it all in sync with a beautiful interface and cloud storage. Much better than using the browser.

Alas not a Windows Phone guy - Nexus 4 for me personally, and an iPhone 5C for my work phone.

ians18 said,
Doesn't this make everything less safe, people less informed, & less educated?

Well.. no.

Regular users = Automatic Windows Update or a Sysadmin that controls it.
IT Users = they know where to check the latest updates.

Cosmocronos said,
I do not understand: We requested to receive these emails, it is not an unsolicited service...

From the way others have been sending me emails, the legislation may require a reconfirmation of solicitation

Sraf said,
From the way others have been sending me emails, the legislation may require a reconfirmation of solicitation

What I wanna know then is why I keep receiving other Microsoft email I've subscribed to in the same fashion (MSDN Flash, Download Notifications, etc).