Windows 8 updates will be less disruptive

Windows 8 updates will be less intrusive, with no pop-ups and far fewer restarts, according to a blog post by Microsoft.

Part of the way that this will be achieved is by scheduling. Instead of prompting for a restart after each security update, Microsoft plans to collect these updates together, only asking for a restart periodically - perhaps once a month, on the second Tuesday.

The streamlined updates process was revealed in a blog post by Farzana Rahman, an acting director at Microsoft. To combat the constant restart reminders that Windows 7 pumps out, 8 will only issue a few restart warnings over three days after downloading and installing updates. If you don't restart by that point - which seems unlikely - the OS will check if anything critical is running and if not, it'll restart by itself.

News site The Register reports that Windows 8 will also contain some new update options, giving you the chance to choose 'Update and restart' and 'Update and shutdown' depending on your preference.

One feature users wanted in Windows 8 was the ability to bring a PC back to its original state after a restart, even doing this over remote desktop. Apparently there's not enough development time left to put this feature into this OS, but it's something that Rahman hopes will end up in Windows 9 and beyond.

As a final discussion point, the blog post addressed whether the Windows system could incorporate third-party security updates. Unfortunately the answer to that question is no.

“The wide variety of delivery mechanisms, installation tools, and overall approaches to updates across the full breadth of applications makes it impossible to push all updates through this mechanism,” Rahman wrote. “As frustrating as this might be, it is also an important part of the ecosystem that we cannot just revisit for the installed base of software.”