Microsoft is improving the Windows Update experience, in a recent post on the Building Windows 8 blog the company talks about how updates in Windows 8 won’t ask for restarts.
Fewer Restarts, Better Update System
One of the most annoying things about any OS is the need to restart it. Most modern OS’, including Linux, are being designed to run without shutting down or rebooting. Microsoft identified this area quite some time back and every update to Windows has cut down on the number of restarts required.
In Windows 8, Microsoft has updated the restart process to ensure that the system does not restart without the user having a say in it. The new update system is designed need a restart once every month. It will usually come after Patch Tuesday. The only exception would be critical, out of band security updates. Even after these updates, the user will have a three-day period to restart manually. During this time, the login screen will display a notification about the system requiring a restart.
In case you don’t restart within that time frame, the system will attempt to restart on its own. However, if a user is logged in and applications are running — it will give a 15-minute warning about the approaching restart. This is similar to what happens now but this one won’t have an option to cancel the restart.
The streamlining is mainly aimed at reducing the inconvenience and data loss of sudden, unpredictable and mandatory restarts.
Update System Only Works For Core Operating System
The update system will not update third-party apps. This you will have to do yourself. The restart frequency in that case will be up to the third-party developers and how they choose to implement an update. As for apps that will be screened and sold by Microsoft — the app store’s unified update system will handle it.
Windows update has been a bone of contention for the entire user base for a long time. It has progressively gotten better and it is quite reassuring to see more work being done upon it to build user trust. Microsoft in fact emphasizes the need to maintain “trust in the system”.
Microsoft’s blog post is available here — http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/11/14/minimizing-restarts-after-automatic-updating-in-windows-update.aspx.