For over ten years, Microsoft has run an advance notification service (ANS), notifying customers what is to be expected of their monthly security update, allowing for IT teams to prepare their systems and prioritize what needs to be installed in which order.
In a recent announcement by Microsoft's Chris Betz from their security response center (MSRC), this company is focusing on 'optimizing' the notices for their biggest customers only, no longer providing them for free to all.
Betz commented in the MSRC blog that "moving forward, we will provide ANS information directly to Premier customers and current organizations involved in our security programs, and will no longer make this information broadly available through a blog post and web page." He went on to mention that "more and more customers today are seeking to cut through the clutter and obtain security information tailored to their organizations. Rather than using ANS to help plan security update deployments, customers are increasingly turning to Microsoft Update and security update management tools such as Windows Server Update Service to help organize and prioritize deployment. Customers are also moving to cloud-based systems, which provide continuous updating."
Betz also mentioned that most customers were ignoring these releases towards the end, opting to install all updates automatically without checking either way.