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Apple changed the way software updates work in Mountain Lion.  Rather than using the "Software Update" app that was used in Snow Leopard and Lion, updates are now delivered through the Mac Apps Store.   In addition to system updates, the new "Sofware Update" process will pull the latest updates for apps purchased through the Mac App Store.

Per ITS policy, Mac OSX systems on SU's network need to be  configured to install system updates automatically.  This allows critical security patches to be kept up-to-date.  To configure "Software Update" on Mountain Lion, use the following steps:

  1. Open "System Preferences" from the Apple menu (or use the "System Preferences" icon on the dock).
  2. "Click on "Software Update" in the System section.
  3. Click on the lock icon, if needed, to allow settings changes to be made.
  4. Check "Automatically check for Updates" (if it is not already selected).
  5. Check "Download newly available updates in the background"  (if it is not already selected)
  6. Check "Install system data files and security updates" (if it is not already selected)
    Software Update Window
  7. Click on the lock icon to lock down the settings.

You cannot select the interval for checking for updates anymore (in previous OSX versions you could select daily, weekly, or monthly).  Software Update checks for updates on a daily basis. 

If you wish to check for updates manually, click on the "Check Now" button.  This button will change to a "Show Updates" button if you have updates waiting to be installed, such as updates for apps purchased through the Mac App Store.  You can also click on the Mac App Store icon in the dock to see only updates currently available for Mac App Store apps.