First, I appreciate all of you who actually take the time to read my blog. Secondly, my last post generated some interesting comments that I thought would make a pretty cool post in itself, so I thought I would answer some of them here.
1. In general as a user, I also hate how Vista/Windows 7 has the "Please wait while Windows configures updates" screen with 3 steps that slows down logoff and the next logon after installing any update/hotfix. If XP doesn't have it, for any reason whatsoever (stability/reliable servicing), I see no reason why the "upgraded" OSes should make users wait and I don't care why. Why can't it do whatever I/O operations it does using low priority I/O introduced with Vista? After service packs or bigger updates like feature pack for wireless, TV pack the waiting time increases even more.
--I say: The reason that this happens is because the process is a lot more thorough than update.exe was. When an update attempts to install on a system, we do applicability checks against the component store to see if the update applies, is already installed, or isn’t needed.
2. Installing updates/small hotfixes is also slow because after double-clicking the MSU, it "searches" for quite a long time before applying the update.
--I say: What is going on there is we're checking the package to make sure its complete and pulling down any deltas that might be needed for the fix to your \SoftwareDistribution folder. Deltas are smaller packages that might be needed for the update to work properly.
3. The error given when an update does not apply and when it is already installed is the same (...."does not apply to your system") ??! when it should be different and clear (you can't install this again as this is already installed or it does not apply only when it does not apply).
--I say: Excellent feedback and I agree. This is changing in the WUSA implementation for Windows 7. Error handling will now display the proper message (such as "Already installed", "Not needed", "and doesn’t apply", etc.)
4. Windows Vista and Server 2008 updates are numbered the same way (Windows6.0___). I understand the 2 OSes are serviced simultaneously and share the same kernel etc but updates' numbering should be differentiated so users can figure out what to install on what.
--I say: Windows 2008 and Vista SP1 are the same codebase. There is differentiation for the service packs and major update releases that apply based on OS version. Some updates apply to both though. I actually think we do a pretty good job with this in the documentation.
5. Some updates (especially Ultimate Extras) are delivered as CAB files making it extremely difficult for end users to install them. (WUSA or PkgMgr).
--I say: I agree with you here. I am not aware of any changes but I will note this.
6. Sometimes after installing some updates using PkgMgr to install updates to Windows components (especially 2 updates that require reboots one after the other without rebooting), my Windows Installation and Servicing Store gets corrupt and Add or Remove Windows components list becomes empty. I've to use System Restore to revert and then if I install again, it succeeds without any error.
--I say: If you have an update that pends a reboot, please, reboot the machine. Because of the way the servicing stack works, we need to flush out information that is pertinent to that updates installation first before we can do additional servicing. This can, and often does, lead to corruption. You cannot QCHAIN updates like you could in the past.
7. Give me back my /nobackup switch to save disk space as I never uninstall updates.
--I say: I understand the need for space reclaiming and I promised in the comments of another post to bring this up internally. I will come through on the promise but can’t tell you what will happen as an end result.
Thanks again for all the comments, keep them coming.