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Thread: Why are Windows updates so slow?

  1. #1
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    Question Why are Windows updates so slow?

    I have always wondered why Windows updates are so incredibly slow.

    Windows XP was the worst — after installing, you had to update, reboot, update, reboot, update, reboot, … Even on a modern computer with broadband, it takes an entire day to install and fully update.

    Windows 7 is much better, but it's still like treacle in comparison to Ubuntu, and that's even ignoring the fact that you don't have a package manager for the various non-Microsoft programs.

    I am just curious. Why are Windows updates so time-consuming? Surely updates are just downloaded files and, for Windows, updates to the Registry? Or does Windows do all kinds of weird and wonderful stuff when updating?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Why are Windows updates so slow?

    Depends what the updates are for. I've had to download 1xx updates on a clean install of XP SP3 and if your internet is slow, that just blows. Install time takes a while too.

    Win7 isn't as bad, but there are still a ton of updates for it.

    As far as rebooting for updates, it's probably because Windows cannot update whatever file needs updating while the machine is running.

    Ubuntu is the same way with various updates - they prompt you to reboot instead of stopping and restarting a service, or in order to boot into a new kernel.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Why are Windows updates so slow?

    I find Windows Updates run slow when it includes the malicious software removal tool, which executes a scan of the windows directory. Then if it finds anything out of the ordinary, it does its job of removing the problem(s).
    This is released monthly as part of the super tuesday(or whatever day microsoft calls the bulk update day they use)update.
    Most other updates go as normal, comparable to Ubuntu as far as speediness, but when that tool is installed, it feels like the system stopped.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Why are Windows updates so slow?

    I hate that windows doesn't warn you that it will take 20 or so minutes to process the updates before it shuts down. Sometimes, when I need to leave the coffee shop for example, I'm stuck with a computer that I can't power down.

  5. #5
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    Re: Why are Windows updates so slow?

    It's always a killer when you have a fresh install of any OS, the update hit you like a ton of bricks. The time it takes Windows to update though, is just rediculous, and not just as fresh install; everytime it updates.
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    Re: Why are Windows updates so slow?

    The main reason is because MS is a cheapskate company. If MS would invest in better servers, then it will be faster, but they do not make money from updates.

  7. #7
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    Re: Why are Windows updates so slow?

    "You can keep working while updates are being installed."

    Okay, great!

    *opens three programs, begins work for the day*

    "Windows needs to restart in order to complete updates."

    GAAAHHH!!!
    If you can't be bothered writing coherently, I can't be bothered reading your post.

  8. #8
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    Re: Why are Windows updates so slow?

    Quote Originally Posted by HermanAB View Post
    If MS would invest in better servers, then it will be faster…
    Well, even when the updates are already downloaded, it can take a long time. There is something about Windows updates that defies my attempts to understand them. The updates must be doing something significantly more than replacing files and making a couple of changes to the Registry.

    I think that the sizes of typical Windows updates are larger than those of typical Linux updates, too. That makes sense, as the entirely of Ubuntu (which is a large distribution), including all the software that goes with it, plus all my data, fits into ⅔ the size of Windows installation, which has little additional software (not even Office) and barely any data.

    The old XP style of updates (download, install, reboot; repeat about a dozen times) was madness; thank goodness MS has resolved that! If I recall correctly, Windows 7 needed "only" a couple of reboots for a fresh installation.

    Quote Originally Posted by HermanAB View Post
    … but they do not make money from updates.
    They probably do, albeit indirectly. Without the updates, customers (especially business customers) would lose faith fast. The updates help to retain customers as repeat customers.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Why are Windows updates so slow?

    It just seems to take a lot longer to install anything on Windows generally. One time I had to install some printer software on my boss' computer, and in the time it took to do that I could have installed Ubuntu, realised I buggered up the partitioning, wiped it, and done it again.
    If you can't be bothered writing coherently, I can't be bothered reading your post.

  10. #10
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    Re: Why are Windows updates so slow?

    I agree with all the irritations above. On the subject of size, I believe that Windows applications include all their libs, as opposed to Linux, which shares libs. That makes Windows applications larger, but more independent than Linux (which needs the entire OS to be updated when updating an application)

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