Autopatcher, a benign and quite useful tool that has made management of Windows networks easier for many sysadmins, has been shut down. At least insofar as obtaining Microsoft patches it has been, as Microsoft has forced them to halt their service.

For the years it has been in service, it has proved to be a useful tool with very few hiccups. Why Microsoft chose now to request the site to shut down isn't clear, though they claim it has nothing to do with WGA. That sounds like blowing smoke, however, and it seems likely that Microsoft did not feel comfortable with someone providing an "alternative" location to get Microsoft patches.

The site itself remains up, with merely the download page, which formerly linked to a plethora of mirror sites, having been removed. Perhaps we will see it return in the future, but that is unlikely. I do hope Microsoft makes a statement regarding the official reason for their request.