Until I hear a better explanation, I’m going to assume that Microsoft’s latest move – removing updates from its Download Center – is just another way to force user eyeballs through conduits for which they can sell advertising space.
Starting May 10, Microsoft wants you to use the Update Catalog instead of the Download Center. Previously, security bulletins included links to the Download Center, but since most updates (including security updates) will no longer be available there, those links will now point to the Update Catalog.
Note the final line of that message, which encourages visitors to use the Download Center instead. I guess Microsoft hasn’t gotten around to changing that. It should probably say “If you prefer to use a different Web browser, you’re out of luck.”
Most regular users get their updates via Windows Update, and won’t be affected by this change. Once again, it’s power users and system admins who will be affected the most. Does Microsoft hate us, or are they just ignoring us?
Although other mechanisms exist for obtaining updates, the Download Center was certainly convenient. Are we likely to see more third party sites offering Microsoft updates? Probably, although Microsoft frowns on this sort of thing and will probably move to shut them down.