Microsoft will release a Windows Security Update CD which has all critical updates for various Windows versions.
The CD-Rom is aimed at Windows users with slow, dial-up internet connections that can make downloading updates difficult.
Microsoft still recommends users go to the Windows Update website for the latest updates, because the disc offers updates only up to 15 October 2003.
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The move to make update discs available worldwide follows an initiative by Microsoft in Japan where thousands of security update CDs were given away last year after a spate of virus and worm attacks.
Users in various countries can order the Windows Security Update CD at no cost and it is delivered between two and four weeks of ordering. As a bonus, the disc includes information on PC protection and free trial versions of antivirus and firewall software.
The disc is available only in select countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and several countries in Asia, including Japan, India and China.
The only European country in which the CD is offered is the UK. It will be available in other countries and other languages from 23 February.
The Windows Security Update CD is available for Windows XP, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 2000, Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition.
Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service