Windows 8 Promises Fewer Annoying Restarts - InformationWeek

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Software // Operating Systems
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11/16/2011
03:32 PM
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Windows 8 Promises Fewer Annoying Restarts

Microsoft says its next OS will only require users to restart their PCs once a month, unless there is a crucial security patch.

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Windows has a bothersome habit of interrupting users and asking them to shut down their PCs so that an update can be installed. That will occur less frequently in Windows 8 as a result of changes Microsoft is building into the operating system, a company official said.

Windows 8 "will make restarts less annoying," said Farzana Rahman, group program manager for Windows Update, in a blog post. "The challenge we faced was to find the balance between updating with speed and giving notice to the user for upcoming restarts."

Windows 7, the current version of Microsoft's PC OS, gives users a number of options when it comes to update notification and installation. Users can select to have updates installed automatically, they can opt for notification when an update is available, and they can choose to be notified only before an update is installed.

Those who choose to have updates installed automatically can elect to have the update occur at a predetermine time, or they can opt to have it installed as soon as it's available.

[ Waiting for Windows 8 on a tablet? Read Nokia Reveals Windows 8 Tablet Plan. ]

Most of those options will remain in Windows 8, with one big difference. Users will only be asked to restart their PCs so that an update can take effect once per month--on patch Tuesday. That's usually the second Tuesday of each month, when Microsoft releases important security updates, most of which also require a restart to work properly.

"With this improvement, it does not matter when updates that require restarts are released in a month, since the restarts will wait till the security release," said Rahman.

Rahman said there's one major exception. Updates that are issued in response to a serious security threat, such as a Blaster worm, will be issued as soon as possible and users will be asked to restart their PCs immediately upon downloading the update. "This will only happen when the security threat is dire enough," said Rahman.

With Windows 8, Microsoft also is changing the way Windows notifies users about the availability of an update. With Windows 7 and previous versions, users get a pop-up notification when an update is ready. "Having a restart notification or dialog pop up in the middle of an important presentation, a game, or a movie is not a pleasant situation," said Rahman.

Windows 8 will abandon the pop-up notifications and instead inform users that an update is ready through a message on the log-in screen. For users who have chosen to have updates installed automatically, the message will persist for three days, giving the user the chance to restart at a convenient time, before restart is automatic.

In enterprise settings, IT administrators can set a policy to prevent automatic restarts in all cases.

One area in which the Windows 8 update process will be the same as with previous editions of Windows is third-party updates. Rahman said Microsoft has received a number of requests from users for all software updates to be handled through Windows Update.

He said such an approach isn't practical. "The wide variety of delivery mechanisms, installations tools, and overall approaches to updates across the full breadth of applications makes it impossible to push all updates through this mechanism."

Microsoft, will, however, provide a central update service on Windows 8 for Metro-style tablet apps downloaded from the Windows Store because those apps have been previously vetted by Microsoft, according to Rahman.

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AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/19/2011 | 4:20:01 PM
re: Windows 8 Promises Fewer Annoying Restarts
OMG!!! I can't sleep at night knowing I have to reboot my PC every Monday morning. Sheesh, get a grip people. There are much bigger problems to worry about in life...
JBALONY000
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JBALONY000,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2011 | 10:11:04 AM
re: Windows 8 Promises Fewer Annoying Restarts
Microscum sucks period, they are a predator and everyone dumb enough to use their crap is the prey. too bad the US government is backing them 100% which a smart person might ask why that is so.

Linux does everything Winblows does only for free and open source ( so you can see what makes the software work MS is closed source meaning the can hide all kinds of crap and backdoors and you can't even hope that an intelligent person will tell you whats there lurking )
JBALONY000
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JBALONY000,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2011 | 10:06:29 AM
re: Windows 8 Promises Fewer Annoying Restarts
LOL I don't have to reboot even every month and have not had to for over 5 years, oh thats right I am using Linux and you are talking winblows made by microscum.

Ditch Windows folks while you still can !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YMOM100
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YMOM100,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/18/2011 | 8:58:44 AM
re: Windows 8 Promises Fewer Annoying Restarts
How about no restarts at all? Several Linux distros can do this and technically there is no reason why a reboot is even necessary. Load the new component and reroute requests of apps for the old version directly to the new version, then drop the old one. Some Linux distros can even swap the kernel while running and require a reboot only when the power is out or hardware needs to be changed.
CelticBrewer
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CelticBrewer,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/17/2011 | 3:11:27 PM
re: Windows 8 Promises Fewer Annoying Restarts
Uhm... I only have to reboot about once a month as is (usually once every 2-3 months) with Win7 & auto-receiving all updates. So what are people complaining about?
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