Microsoft shared its plans for Windows Update inside Windows 8 on Monday.
The software maker is planning to make its update packages a lot less intrusive to Windows 8 users. Microsoft has been discussing plans to change the Windows Update notifications internally. “The question for us on the WU team is always What is the best way to quickly update the PC while not being intrusive to the user?,” said Microsoft’s Farzana Rahman in a blog post on Monday. Microsoft feels there’s no simple answer to updates in Windows. “The challenge we faced was to find the balance between updating with speed and giving notice to the user for upcoming restarts,” says Rahman.
Microsoft is aiming to change the user experience in Windows 8 to ensure automatic updates are not intrusive to users but they will be made aware when a critical change is taking place. Minimizing restarts and making them more predictable is also a key part of the new update experience in Windows 8. Microsoft has made the following changes in Windows 8:
Windows Update will sync with the monthly security release – Windows 8 PCs will only restart when security updates are installed and require a reboot. This reboot should only happen once a month, providing you use your PC regularly. The result is a simplification of the process, ensuring that end users know when their systems will reboot. Critical out-of-band updates will be pushed and installed automatically outside of the cycle but these instances are very rare.
Windows Update notifies Windows 8 users of upcoming auto reboot – If Windows Update has downloaded and installed updates and requires a restart it will notify an end user of an upcoming reboot at the login screen for 3 days. “We wanted to give you 3 days to allow you to restart at your own convenience,” says Rahman. The notification will look like this:
If after three days, a user has still not restarted then Windows Update will automatically restart the PC. The automatic restart will trigger at the end of three-day grace period and Windows Update will detect if any critical apps are running before it starts a reboot. If apps are detected then Windows Update will wait until the next login attempt to restart. At the login prompt, users will be asked to save their work and will see a warning stating their machine will be restarted within 15 minutes. The notifications will not trigger during games, full-screen movies or whilst a mobile device is in presentation mode.
The improvements in notifications will be a welcome addition for many Windows users. Microsoft switched to its notification system for Windows 7 and the pop-ups were frustrating for a number of users. Microsoft’s new approach is clearly a well managed way to handle crucial system updates for Windows 8. “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,” said Microsoft’s Windows chief, Steven Sinofsky. “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.”
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