Ok, I mentioned that I rarely boot Windows these days. Pretty much, it's just to watch a webinar that requires some silly Windows-only software like Silverlight. But when I do boot into Windows, I always take the opportunity to install updates.
I attended 2 webinars yesterday. During the first meeting, I got that little pop-up that there were updates available for Windows. So I started Windows Update, and let it do its thing while I finished my meeting.
That was a huge mistake. But I didn't realize this until much later.
You see, Microsoft has this concept called "Patch Tuesday" where they dump a whole bunch of patches together and release them on the second Tuesday of each month. Apparently, this was a really big "Patch Tuesday".
The first meeting ended about 10 minutes early, and Windows Update said it was finished - I figured "hey, I'll reboot and let those changes take effect." I rebooted Windows, and got the message that Windows was finally going to install those patches. As I watched the progress indicator slowly count its way up I got that sinking feeling. This was going to take forever.
About 10 minutes roll by, and Windows had worked its way to about 30% complete. Then, it rebooted.
But Windows wasn't done installing updates. Again, I watched the progress indicator slowly count up from 30%.
Keep in mind that my second meeting was starting about now. But I couldn't join, because I foolishly assumed Windows "only" needed to reboot for changes to take effect.
Another 10 minutes went by, and and Windows had reached about 75% complete. Then it rebooted again.
I thought, "How many times does Windows need to reboot just to install some patches?" But fortunately, that was the last reboot, and the progress indicator eventually reached 100%, and I could finally login to Windows.
So 15 minutes late, I joined my second online meeting. For those keeping track at home, that's 25 minutes and 2 reboots (3 if you count the first reboot that started this) for Windows to install updates.
Again, I'm reminded how Windows Update owns my machine. This was true in Windows Vista, and it's still true in Windows 7. Microsoft needs to fix this bug! And I do consider it a "bug" because other operating systems don't require this kind of nonsense to install patches.
On Linux, most patches don't require you to reboot your computer. Sure, some patches may not take effect until you logout, and login again. A kernel update won't take effect until you reboot. But most patches just get installed, and you don't notice anything.
And in Linux, when you reboot or shutdown, you actually reboot or shutdown. None of this "let me install a few updates before you really get to shut down your system." Reboot means "reboot", and shutdown means "shutdown".
I guess I got spoiled for how cleanly Linux systems apply updates. Microsoft sure could take a lesson from that.