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Windows 8 Will Be Less Demanding of Update Restarts

By - Source: MSDN B8 | B 64 comments

A friendlier way to go on the patch.

To us computer enthusiasts, a computer that restarts by itself is a sign of something that's seriously wrong—Unless, of course, it's Windows restarting itself to install some new updates.

While it's nice that Windows 7 is so vigilant in keeping the computing world healthy with updates, power users prefer to handle it on their own. According to Microsoft's statistics, nearly 90 percent of Windows 7 users allow updates to install and restart the system automatically. 2.38 percent want to be notified before install; 3.44 percent want to be notified before download; and 4.88 percent have update checking disabled.

The problem with the autoupdate and restart model is that some users end up losing unsaved data, which is quite user-unfriendly. Microsoft is going to change this in Windows 8 with a 72-hour grace period for automatic updates and restarts.

Microsoft plans to dramatically cut down on the number of mandatory restarts by consolidating all of the restart-required updates into a once a month on Microsoft's "patch Tuesday" (the second Tuesday of each month). For critical security updates, however, Microsoft will still roll those out immediately.

When it comes time to restart, Microsoft will give a 72-hour grace period for the user to save his or her work and restart to install updates. This reminder will also display itself on the login screen. At the end of the 72-hours, Windows Update will go ahead with the restart—except in the case where the system detects that you have some "critical applications" still open. In that case, Windows 8 will then immediately remind the user upon the next login that he or she must save work and then restart within a 15 minute window.

That's putting a lot of faith in Windows to determine whether or not your system is ready to restart. All changes in update frequency and behavior considered, though, it's definitely a more user-friendly approach than Windows 7.

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , November 20, 2011 5:56 AM
    How about no restarts of your computer at all after a critical update......
  • 26 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , November 20, 2011 5:51 AM
    No, that approach is THE SAME OR MORE demanding.

    "In that case, Windows 8 will then immediately remind the user upon the next login that he or she must save work and then restart within a 15 minute window."

    When I sit down to use my computer, and I log in, I'm NOT restarting it right away.
    My computer WILL obey ME. Not the other way around.

    If I see a ticking bar telling me that the system is going to restart whether or not I like it, I'm going to go into Task Manager, and kill that defective process and its shutdown initiation.

    I want high availability when I sit down to use a machine, just like much of the Internet works on. If I have a VNC session going, and the machine thinks that its updates are more important than that, that's not good. If I'm about to hit a 25 killstreak, and Windows thinks that my game isn't a "priority" application, and it restarts, that's still very bad. Or if I'm working on an engineering application and Windows doesn't think that it's a priority to let me save my work first, and I lose thousands of dollars on work on that project, I'm going to think twice about considering a Microsoft solution.


    So you know what, Microsoft? Keep your Windows 8.

    I'll take Server 2012 and install it on my main machine instead because that won't give me issues.
  • 20 Hide
    randomizer , November 20, 2011 5:58 AM
    Quote:
    Microsoft is going to change this in Windows 8 with a 72-hour grace period for automatic updates and restarts.


    Now I have a whole 72 hours before control of my computer is taken back by the software running on it. When did it become the role of the software to determine "grace periods"? Is there an obligation to restart our computers? How nice of Microsoft to give us a bit of slack once we've passed the "deadline" for using the system productively.

    Here's an idea: Keep restarts for core OS fixes only (and restart when I feel like it) . I don't mind restarting at my convenience when the kernel needs patching to fix a security flaw, but I don't want to waste time staring at a POST screen because Office needed to update a language pack.

    Microsoft hasn't solved anything here, they have simply changed their scheduling and marketed it as an improvement. The core problem remains. I guess too much development time went into a new UI and not into improving things that have been the source of complaints for years.

    Manual updating for me. :) 
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    stoogie , November 20, 2011 5:18 AM
    looks like sh!t the touch version of windows i mean, keep the original windows design
  • 17 Hide
    Anonymous , November 20, 2011 5:40 AM
    stoogielooks like sh!t the touch version of windows i mean, keep the original windows design

    They keep it behind that scene. You can switch then.
  • 26 Hide
    LuckyDucky7 , November 20, 2011 5:51 AM
    No, that approach is THE SAME OR MORE demanding.

    "In that case, Windows 8 will then immediately remind the user upon the next login that he or she must save work and then restart within a 15 minute window."

    When I sit down to use my computer, and I log in, I'm NOT restarting it right away.
    My computer WILL obey ME. Not the other way around.

    If I see a ticking bar telling me that the system is going to restart whether or not I like it, I'm going to go into Task Manager, and kill that defective process and its shutdown initiation.

    I want high availability when I sit down to use a machine, just like much of the Internet works on. If I have a VNC session going, and the machine thinks that its updates are more important than that, that's not good. If I'm about to hit a 25 killstreak, and Windows thinks that my game isn't a "priority" application, and it restarts, that's still very bad. Or if I'm working on an engineering application and Windows doesn't think that it's a priority to let me save my work first, and I lose thousands of dollars on work on that project, I'm going to think twice about considering a Microsoft solution.


    So you know what, Microsoft? Keep your Windows 8.

    I'll take Server 2012 and install it on my main machine instead because that won't give me issues.
  • 27 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , November 20, 2011 5:56 AM
    How about no restarts of your computer at all after a critical update......
  • 20 Hide
    randomizer , November 20, 2011 5:58 AM
    Quote:
    Microsoft is going to change this in Windows 8 with a 72-hour grace period for automatic updates and restarts.


    Now I have a whole 72 hours before control of my computer is taken back by the software running on it. When did it become the role of the software to determine "grace periods"? Is there an obligation to restart our computers? How nice of Microsoft to give us a bit of slack once we've passed the "deadline" for using the system productively.

    Here's an idea: Keep restarts for core OS fixes only (and restart when I feel like it) . I don't mind restarting at my convenience when the kernel needs patching to fix a security flaw, but I don't want to waste time staring at a POST screen because Office needed to update a language pack.

    Microsoft hasn't solved anything here, they have simply changed their scheduling and marketed it as an improvement. The core problem remains. I guess too much development time went into a new UI and not into improving things that have been the source of complaints for years.

    Manual updating for me. :) 
  • 2 Hide
    Camikazi , November 20, 2011 6:04 AM
    SteelCity1981How about no restarts of your computer at all after a critical update......

    Because critical updates are usually updating files the OS needs to run and can't just change them on the fly maybe? That is what those updates are for and reboots for those are expected, now normal non important little updates shouldn't always require reboots.
  • 8 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , November 20, 2011 6:20 AM
    CamikaziBecause critical updates are usually updating files the OS needs to run and can't just change them on the fly maybe? That is what those updates are for and reboots for those are expected, now normal non important little updates shouldn't always require reboots.



    Why not? I mean are you telling me with all of those genuis code writers working at microsoft that none of them can think of away to not have system reboots after an update????
  • 17 Hide
    dontknownotsure , November 20, 2011 6:24 AM
    SteelCity1981How about no restarts of your computer at all after a critical update......

    haha that's like changing car wheel without stopping
  • 3 Hide
    boju , November 20, 2011 6:35 AM
    ^^ i would seriously pay to see someone try that.. I thought you could option any windows to only apply updates during your next restart. Meaning even after a critical update, the system wont initialise the final installation until your computer is next turned on. No excuses for lost work simply because you haven’t begun yet. I think Microsoft thinks for the working man too..
  • 2 Hide
    alidan , November 20, 2011 6:55 AM
    clairedoy4.88 percent have update checking disabled. and have fake windows OS


    i have xp, a legit copy. i got so sick up updating the os, that i disabled it, but o no, i cant do that without windows complaining to me with a pop up and a big red shield. so i have it auto download, but i tell it when to update. apparently im stuck in a loop of some kind, and each update eats 1-2 gb of space and i have no clue where it goes. last time i ran update, was probably 6 months or so ago. i never like fixing what isnt broken.

    SteelCity1981Why not? I mean are you telling me with all of those genuis code writers working at microsoft that none of them can think of away to not have system reboots after an update????


    i know right, why cant the os just stop everything and kill process and restart it with the new one there without a restart, i mean it cant be impossible
  • 4 Hide
    ojas , November 20, 2011 7:11 AM
    People actually have the OS restart automatically? I never remember that happening...it always shows me a pop-up saying "restart now" and it lets me optionally postpone it.
  • 2 Hide
    Benihana , November 20, 2011 7:15 AM
    dontknownotsurehaha that's like changing car wheel without stopping

    Runflats my friend. :)  Not exactly the same, but the end result for the average user is the same. I keep on driving!

    Question is why the hell are there so many updates? Since Windows XP SP1a, I've disabled updates and never bothered with them. I just install a fresh copy of Windows, update the hell out of the machine, then disable updates completely. I make sure my firewall is very restrictive, disable unnecessary services, use anti-virus, and avoid IE. System runs fine 24/7 without a hitch. Then maybe a year or so later, I get bored and redo the entire process.

    So again, what mission critical updates could there possibly be in this day and age that help prevent system compromises? Furthermore, who is the system to give me a 15 minute grace window to restart, when I'm the one that's supposed to tell it what to do? If I want it to run for 45 years without a restart, then by golly, it's going to keep running!
  • 8 Hide
    ben850 , November 20, 2011 8:05 AM
    BenihanaRunflats my friend. Not exactly the same, but the end result for the average user is the same. I keep on driving!Question is why the hell are there so many updates? Since Windows XP SP1a, I've disabled updates and never bothered with them. I just install a fresh copy of Windows, update the hell out of the machine, then disable updates completely. I make sure my firewall is very restrictive, disable unnecessary services, use anti-virus, and avoid IE. System runs fine 24/7 without a hitch. Then maybe a year or so later, I get bored and redo the entire process.So again, what mission critical updates could there possibly be in this day and age that help prevent system compromises? Furthermore, who is the system to give me a 15 minute grace window to restart, when I'm the one that's supposed to tell it what to do? If I want it to run for 45 years without a restart, then by golly, it's going to keep running!


    Exploits are found all of the time. Especially where Windows is a very large target. Back in highschool this guy demonstrated to me how he could log into any machine running win2k or XP and reboot it without ANY interaction from the victim. All he needed was an IP address. Of course this was fixed with a simple update from Microsoft.
  • -2 Hide
    Vladislaus , November 20, 2011 8:18 AM
    ojasPeople actually have the OS restart automatically? I never remember that happening...it always shows me a pop-up saying "restart now" and it lets me optionally postpone it.
    But if no action is taken, say you're away from the computer, the computer will automatically restart, which is wrong. The user should be the only one that decides when a computer is shutdown.

    Microsoft uses the same model in the server line which is also annoying. People aren't always logged on the server and seeing it's screen. And even though the option is set for only transferring and installing updates at 03:00 AM, updates are done randomly throughout the day. A server restart at the improper time can be a major pain in the a** because it's services are being required but not available. The only solution I found is choosing to be only notified, and I install them manually.
  • -2 Hide
    techguy378 , November 20, 2011 8:21 AM
    Isn't it at least possible to save the state of Metro apps before closing them on automatic restart? Legacy Windows 7 apps would probably still be a problem, but most businesses regularly install MS Office upgrades as they're released and chances are Microsoft will release a native Metro version of Office shortly after Windows 8 is released. Mac OS X Lion has a new feature that causes apps to randomly close without warning and without data loss of any kind.
  • -1 Hide
    techguy378 , November 20, 2011 8:25 AM
    BenihanaRunflats my friend. Not exactly the same, but the end result for the average user is the same. I keep on driving!Question is why the hell are there so many updates? Since Windows XP SP1a, I've disabled updates and never bothered with them. I just install a fresh copy of Windows, update the hell out of the machine, then disable updates completely. I make sure my firewall is very restrictive, disable unnecessary services, use anti-virus, and avoid IE. System runs fine 24/7 without a hitch. Then maybe a year or so later, I get bored and redo the entire process.So again, what mission critical updates could there possibly be in this day and age that help prevent system compromises? Furthermore, who is the system to give me a 15 minute grace window to restart, when I'm the one that's supposed to tell it what to do? If I want it to run for 45 years without a restart, then by golly, it's going to keep running!

    There are only two ways to keep a computer malware free. One is to permanently disconnect it from the internet completely. The other is to install every single update Microsoft releases on the very day it's released when Microsoft wants to install it. Your restrictive firewall policies and disabling of unnecessary services by themselves won't do anything to prevent malware from getting on your computer. Thank God Windows Vista and Windows 7 never require clean installs like Windows XP does.
  • -7 Hide
    memadmax , November 20, 2011 8:57 AM
    The whole "restart" issue sounds broken to me....

    Fix the problem of having to restart at all.... period...

    Then windows will win my respect....
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 20, 2011 10:14 AM
    Everybody thinks this is such a new feature. I thought tech writers were well informed on these matters? Windows has offered choices in how updates are installed for a while now. If this is Windows 8 best feature then they have some real problems. I cannot stand to use it, you have to search for everything from just clearing history of your browser to trying to find driver settings or other control panel settings.
    Its a mess and does not make things simpler if you need to go beyond the fluff of the OS. Its really very sad and I use both OS X and Windows 7 and even the god of Apple requires reboots at times. So what.
  • -5 Hide
    flightmare , November 20, 2011 11:09 AM
    This is why "sc stop wuauserv" is one of the most common used commands at my Windows installation. So it does not restart while gaming.
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