Of interest... Russ Cooper wonders in Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine why many computer software and system vendors can't seem to rationalize the efforts around automatic updates.

"We definitely have a problem with every vendor wanting to use automatic updates. What occurs on setup of a new PC these days is simply ridiculous.

"To solve this mess, PC vendors need to figure out how to get new machines set up at the consumer's home without this flourish."

This can be hassle when you buy a new PC on the leading edge of a new major service pack or update. I've run into this, where a new PC out of the box had to download a number of updates from Microsoft, as well as from the OEM for on-board systems (like Wi-Fi and graphics chips) and peripherals.

Most OEMs are super and able to get the most of the updates loaded on the PC, but it can be challenging to get it to be up-to-the-minute current. Virtually every computer peripheral I've brought into the house had a new update available (even major firmware revisions, as was the case with a wireless router recently).

For me, Automatic Update not only keeps keeps Windows current it also ensures that the latest security updates are installed. 

I have a Windows Media Center at home along with PCs running standard Windows XP Home and Professional, and I haven't been impacted by any limitatons the author noted... but I recall past glitches with some peripheral vendor updates.

Since moving to Windows XP SP1 and then to SP2, I've found that the number of times my PC has to reboot after an update has gone down... my main gripe surrounding reboots with Automatic Update.

Take a look at the Updates & Maintenance site for more information.

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