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Windows 8 to have less disruptive Windows Update process

In a new Building Windows 8 blog post, Microsoft details its plans on improving the Windows Update process by making it less disruptive, especially when it nags you to restart the computer when you are in the middle of something important.

“What is the best way to quickly update the PC while not being intrusive to the user?” Microsoft asks in its Building Windows 8 blog post.

Microsoft decided to stick with three main guidelines when designing the Windows Update experience to ensure the process was not intrusive to the Windows user. First, the automatic update experience is not intrusive to users but should keep them aware of critical actions. Second, minimize restarts and make them more predictable. And finally, continue to keep the PC and the ecosystem up-to-date and secure in a timely manner.

Windows update will now consolidate all the restarts in a month, synchronizing with the monthly security release. “This means that your PC will only restart when security updates are installed and require a restart. With this improvement, it does not matter when updates that require restarts are released in a month, since these restarts will wait till the security release. Since security updates are released in a single batch on the second Tuesday of every month, you are then getting essentially one restart a month,” Microsoft adds.

Windows Update will now notify you of any upcoming restart through a message on the login screen that will persist for 3 days. “You would restart by selecting “Update and shutdown” or “Update and restart” on the login screen, or by going to Windows Update in the Control Panel. You will no longer see any pop-up notifications or dialogs about pending restarts. Instead, the message appears in a more visible and appropriate place (the log-in screen). The use of the login screen has become ubiquitous even in home environments, as more and more machines become portable,” Microsoft adds.

Microsoft also states that if the PC has hit the three-day deadline and still needs an automatic restart, Windows Update will only automatically restart the machine if there is no chance of losing any data.

For those who are in presentation mode, playing a game, or watching their favorite movie, Windows Update will automatically delay the restart until the next available opportunity.

Microsoft is hard at work on Windows 8, with a Developer Preview already available, it is only a matter of time before we see a beta. Microsoft is expecting to launch Windows 8 sometime in 2012.

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