There have been some questions raised about how we service the Windows Update components and concerns expressed about software installing silently. I want to clarify the issue so that everyone can better understand why the self-updating of Windows Update acts the way it does. So first some background: Windows Update is designed to help our consumer and small business customers (customers without an IT staff) keep their systems up-to-date.
To do this, Windows Update provides different updating options:
1) Install updates automatically,
2) Download updates but let me choose whether to install them,
3) Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them, and
4) Never check for updates.
Our goal is to automate the process wherever possible so that we can increase the likelihood of a system being secure and up-to-date, while giving customers the flexibility to control how and whether updates are installed. The reasons for this are both philosophical and practical. Philosophically, Microsoft believes that users should remain in control of their computer experience. Practically, customers have told us that they want to have time to evaluate our updates before they install them. That said, and to the benefit of both customers and the IT ecosystem, most customers choose to automate the updating experience. So what is happening here? Windows Update is a service that primarily delivers updates to Windows. To ensure on-going service reliability and operation, we must also update and enhance the Windows Update service itself, including its client side software. These upgrades are important if we are to maintain the quality of the service.