Microsoft is working on a multi-application, multi-PC patch technology that it plans to offer to company users of its software in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

To be known as Windows Update Services, the client will interface with Microsoft's online update sites for several of the software giant's applications, including Windows and MS-Office, and download patches automatically or semi-automatically.

Microsoft plans to offer the client as a free download to users of Windows Server 2003, although the software may be offered to other SME users of Microsoft applications.