The obvious question to ask first is why does the installation of updates even require a restart at all?Ideally, we would like all update installations to happen seamlessly in the background without a restart.But, in reality, there are situations where the installer is not able to update files because they are in use.
The automatic updating experience thus needs to be able to handle cases where restarts are required.
We know this architectural challenge is one that frustrates administrators and end-users alike, but it does represent the state of the art for Windows.
It is important to understand that for many updates, even if you could continue running the existing code that is already in memory, it is that very code that is a security vulnerability (for example), so the risk to the security (or reliability) of the machine would remain until you restart your machine. In the meantime, applications that support the Windows Restart Manager (introduced in Windows Vista) can return you to precisely where you left off after a restart.
Before the Internet, updates such as service packs and "patches" were impossibly hard to come by.
You ordered upgrade "media" or maybe bought a magazine with a CD in it. In fact, when was first set up, among the first services was the ability to get updates for MS-DOS and Windows.
With the introduction of Windows Update, we invested heavily in building not just a software delivery service, but a commitment to delivering high quality updates in a timely manner.
It took some time to get to the point where customers trust these automatic updates, and we’re proud of how far we’ve come.
Today Windows Update is one of the largest services on the Internet by several measures, and of course we’re using Windows 8 development as a chance to improve the experience of product updates too.
This post was authored by Farzana Rahman, the group program manager of our Windows Update group.
–Steven When it comes to Windows Update, one of the most discussed topics is the disruptiveness of restarts in the course of automatic updating.
And for good reason—restarts can interrupt you right in the middle of something important.