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  1. Architecture of Windows NT
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  5. Calibri
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  25. INI file
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  28. Kernel Transaction Manager
  29. List of Microsoft software codenames
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  57. Security and safety features of Windows Vista
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  94. Windows System Assessment Tool
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  100. Windows Vista Startup Process
  101. Windows Workflow Foundation
  102. Windows XP
  103. Windows XP Media Center Edition
  104. XML Paper Specification
  105. Yahoo Widget Engine

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Windows Update

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article describes the Windows Update Control Panel. For earlier, web-based versions of Windows Update, see Microsoft Update.
Windows Update interface in Windows Vista
Windows Update interface in Windows Vista

Windows Update is a Control Panel applet found in Windows Vista that provides updates for the operating system and related components, such as definition updates to the Windows Defender anti-spyware product and Junk Mail filter updates for Windows Mail. The users that choose the recommended setting for Automatic Updates will have the latest drivers installed and available when they add a new device. Windows Update is also the means to download Windows Ultimate Extras, optional content offered to users of Windows Vista Ultimate.

Microsoft Update is an optional feature in Windows Update that provides updates not only for the operating system, but also certain Microsoft software. It is not enabled by default.


In older versions of Windows, Microsoft Update was a web application. The move away from the web-based paradigm for Windows updates could alleviate the concerns by critics regarding the ability of a web browser to perform trusted update operations on a Windows computer.

A common irritation for Microsoft Update users was that updates requiring a reboot would pop up a dialog box requesting that the user reboot their machine every 10 minutes.[1] This dialog box would also typically be displayed on top of whatever other applications the user was working with at the time. While Windows Update will still require reboots for certain classes of updates, this dialog box was changed to allow the user to select a longer period of time (up to 4 hours) before being prompted again. The revised dialog box also displays under other applications, instead of on top of them.

Revised Restart dialog box in Windows Vista
Revised Restart dialog box in Windows Vista

Windows Update also makes use of Transactional NTFS, a new file system feature in Windows Vista, when performing updates to Windows system files. This feature helps Windows recover cleanly in the event of an unexpected shut-down during an update, as the transactioning system will ensure that changes are committed to the file system in an atomic fashion.[2]


  1. ^ Jeff Atwood (13 May 2005). XP Automatic Update Nagging. Coding Horror: .NET And Human Factors. Retrieved on 2006-09-22.
  2. ^ NTFS Beta Chat Transcript (July 12, 2006). The Filing Cabinet. TechNet Blogs (2006-07-12). Retrieved on 2006-09-22.
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