The AutoPatcher project is dead, courtesy of Microsoft. Antonis Kaladis, AutoPatcher Project Manager broke the news on August 29, revealing that Microsoft killed the initiative designed to supply offline Windows updates. AutoPatcher debuted back in 2003, and functioned with no issues or legal hassles from the Redmond company for four years. Now, Microsoft has changed its tune in relation to the project and issued a response involving a cease and decease letter. Subsequently, although the official AutoPatcher website is still up and running, the download page returns a 404 error. Additionally, Microsoft is also focusing on alternative online locations distributing AutoPatcher.
"Today we received an e-mail from Microsoft, requesting the immediate take-down of the download page, which of course means that AutoPatcher is probably history. As much as we disagree, we can do very little, and although the download page is merely a collection of mirrors, we took the download page down. We would like to thank you for your support. For the past 4 years, it has been a blast. Unfortunately, it seems like it's the end of AutoPatcher as we know it", Kaladis revealed.
Before it was shut down, AutoPatcher was offering updates for Windows 2000, Windows XP and even Windows Vista. The package had an immense advantage over Microsoft's official Windows Update infrastructure allowing users to get their hands on a large collection of updates via a single download and deploy it offline. "AutoPatcher combines the advantage of both Windows Update (presentation and description of updates and automated installation), and the special administrative updates (portability and installation without the need of an Internet connection)," reads a fragment from the description of the now defunct project.
Microsoft is very sensitive on the issue of the redistribution of its software. The Redmond company aims to be the only online source for updates, and taking AutoPatcher down is an illustrative example of Microsoft's policy concerning independent distributors and its proprietary software. Until the time of this article Microsoft failed to offer an official explanation related to the faith it decided for AutoPatcher.