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I have a normal user that I'd like to give the ability to install OS X updates, and Office updates. Please tell me this is a right that I can enable in /etc/authorization, or somewhere else? I don't want to make them an admin on the machine just for this.

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You could grant the user this privilege with sudo. I am not aware of any way to delegate this authority with the GUI.

Your entry in /etc/sudoers (edit with visudo.)

username    localhost=softwareupdate --install --all

Then the user can run from a terminal:

sudo softwareupdate --install --all

For more information see: man softwareupdate, man sudo.

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Definitely a good option for softwareupdate and could be wrapped in an AppleScript for non-technical users, but I'd hope one wouldn't always run all updates. Also doesn't help with other third-party updaters. – morgant Feb 20 '13 at 20:09
If they're non-technical, they probably shouldn't be trusted to run updates. Also, 3rd-party updates is left to an exercise for the user. The meat of this answer is to grant privileges with sudo. As well as whether or not OP should run with --all or read the man page and tailor for their own environment. Available updates can be checked with --list and installed as required. The sudoers entry will need to be updated accordingly. – Aaron Copley Feb 20 '13 at 20:13
+1 for "If they're non-technical, they probably shouldn't be trusted to run updates." – morgant Feb 20 '13 at 22:21

You must make them an Administrator for them to run Software Updates and install Applications outside of their home folder.

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