Microsoft Download Portals Overview

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 8, 2009
Updated • Apr 15, 2019
Microsoft, Microsoft Office

Microsoft does not only maintain a public download repository on the Internet but several sites that provide downloads for various company products and services.

Many of these download sites offer downloads for a specific Microsoft product or group of users. Some are accessible from within Microsoft products, while others are only accessible from a web browser.

This makes it rather complicated to create an overview of those download sites. The benefit of maintaining such a list is that these download sites do not only contain downloads for Microsoft computer software programs but also patches, updates, beta software and even prototype software that might only be available for a limited amount of time before it is removed from the servers.

Microsoft Download Portals Overview

The following overview will list the major Microsoft download portals (Keep in mind that these link to the English language portals):

  • Microsoft Developer Network: The developer portal. Most content is restricted to subscribers but some can be accessed publicly.
  • Microsoft Download Center: Microsoft's main download repository that contains links to updates, trial versions and service packs.
  • Microsoft IIS -- Downloads for Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Services).
  • Microsoft Research: Site for tech demos and prototypes that can be downloaded publicly.
  • Microsoft Security: Security portal that provides latest security news and downloads for Microsoft products.
  • Microsoft TechNet: Contains resources for IT professionals. Lots of technical stuff plus downloads.
  • Microsoft Update: Works only in Internet Explorer. Will scan the computer system for Microsoft products and suggest updates that can be downloaded and installed on site.
  • Microsoft Update Catalog: direct downloads of many Windows updates, services packs, and other service or product related updates for Microsoft products.
  • MSDN Subscriber Downloaders -- Downloads for Microsoft Developer Network subscribers.
  • TechNet Evaluation Center: Download of beta and trial software.
  • WM Plugins: Codecs, skins, effects and additional tools for the Windows Media Player.
  • Visualstudio -- VisualStudio edition downloads or trials, as well as related downloads for Microsoft's development environment.

Portals that are no longer available

  • Codeplex: Download Portal for Open Source third party software, available as an archive only. Read: Shutting down.
  • IE Addons: Provides information and downloads about add-ons for the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser.
  • Microsoft Office Labs: Office concepts and prototypes
  • Office Update: The main page for Office updates and downloads of all kind including updates, service packs and add-ons.
  • Vista Gallery: Gadget downloads for Windows Vista.
  • Windows Live: Download the Windows Live software and install all or selected products.
  • Windows Live Gallery: Download and review sidebar gadgets, emoticons, toolbars, display pictures, web gadgets, winks and sideshow gadgets.

Did we miss a website or portal? Let us know in the comments.

Microsoft Download Portals Overview
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Microsoft Download Portals Overview
The article lists the majority of product and service related download sites that Microsoft Corporation operates.
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  1. Tom said on April 8, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    One more:
    Its not “public available”, because you have to sign in with a WIndows Live ID, but there is also a lot of good (beta) software available …

  2. Tom said on April 8, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    What about Codeplex?

    There is a bunch of good software there and its owned by MS …

    1. Martin said on April 8, 2009 at 8:50 pm

      Thanks, added as well ;)

  3. RG said on April 8, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Very helpful list, thanx

  4. Rafael said on April 8, 2009 at 8:10 pm
    Reply ;)

    1. Martin said on April 8, 2009 at 8:23 pm

      Thanks. Added.

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