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New File Naming Schema for Microsoft Windows Software Update Packages

View products that this article applies to.


Microsoft has adopted a standardized file-naming schema for all software update packages for the products that are listed in the "Applies to" section of this article (hereafter referred to as "Windows software update packages"). The new naming schema went in effect in April 2003 for all Microsoft Windows software update packages that are created and distributed by Microsoft.

For additional information about the standard terminology that Microsoft is adopting to describe software updates, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the Standard Terminology That Is Used to Describe Microsoft Software Updates

Microsoft has adopted this file-naming schema for software update packages for the following reasons:
  • It creates consistency across Microsoft software update packages.
  • It makes it easier to search for software update packages and their associated Microsoft Knowledge Base articles.
  • It clearly identifies the language of a software update package and the intended operating system, when applicable.
This article contains additional information about the new standardized file-naming schema for Windows software update packages.

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More information

New Schema for Naming Windows Software Update Packages

Microsoft uses the following schema to name Windows software update packages:

For example:

The following list provides information about each attribute in the new naming schema.
  • ProductName
    The full product name, including the product version information. For Windows software updates, this attribute is one of the following:
    • Windows2000
    • WindowsXP
    • WindowsServer2003
    • WindowsXPTablet
  • KB
    Indicates that an article exists in the Microsoft Knowledge Base that is associated with the software update.
  • ArticleNumber
    The ID number of the Microsoft Knowledge Base article that is associated with the software update.
  • Option (Optional attribute)
    Used to differentiate software update packages that address the same issue but are designed for different processor platforms. These options include:
    • x86 (for 32-bit processors)
    • AMD64 (for x86-64bit AMD processors)
    • IA64 (for 64-bit Intel Processors)
  • Language
    The standard language name abbreviation that represents the language the software update package is intended for. For example, ENU (for English), RUS (for Russian), JPN (for Japanese).

    Note The abbreviation INTL is used in cases where the software update package applies to multiple languages. In cases where the software update package applies to all languages, no standard language name abbreviation is used.

    For a complete list of standard language name abbreviations, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Exceptions to New Naming Schema

Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 software updates will continue to use the earlier naming schema. For example, Windows NT 4.0 hotfixes will continue to use a naming schema with the following format:


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Keywords: KB816915

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Article Info
Article ID : 816915
Revision : 7
Created on : 4/20/2012
Published on : 4/20/2012
Exists online : False
Views : 632