Windows Vista’s built-in Update Service

20 02 2007

Windows Vista, amongst other self-diagnosing and self-healing tools, has Update Service built into the operating system- this feature is an absolute boon, especially for mobile users.

It is so easy to check for updates and download updates- you can even set options to download the latest updates automatically (in the background that is). I read that Microsoft released a few Extras (DreamScene Preview, Hold em Poker Game, etc…finally!) for Vista Ultimate Edition users, and I wanted to download those “extras” tonight. If you are not familiar with Windows Vista Update, follow these simple steps-

  1. Click on Vista Start button or press the Windows key, on your keyboard, and type “Update”- you should see “Windows Update” in the Start menu search results- click that; if Windows Update is already selected just hit enter. As you notice, I just typed “Upda” and Vista brought back “Windows Update”, and selected it (as it was first in the list)- so, I just had to hit the ENTER key- too few keys, without use of mouse, to get job done is a good thing!

  2. You are now in Control Panel | Windows Update- before you click on “Install Updates” button, go ahead and View available updates for both Vista and the Extras. The point is that Windows Vista Update is very customizable- choose what you want to install. Of course, you want/have to install the required core OS updates. But, it is nice to have the capability to install the optional items when you want- very much like a shopping cart metaphor, only made easy.

  3. Always make sure that you install the “Recommended” updates (especially) for Windows Vista; in my example, I did not select the recommended update for “Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1”, because I already have a disk for this update. So, I selected Update for Windows Vista and couple of extras, which are available only for Vista Ultimate Edition.

  4. Click “Install”- that’s it. As you notice, the install button has a shield symbol- what this means is that in order to proceed, with the install action, you have to provide Admin credentials or consent. Please note that updates may require a reboot, as in my case tonight; but, for the most part Vista has gone to great lengths to reduce the number of reboots on updates and software installations.

    Next time you see a shield icon, next to a button or a control, you should understand that you need Admin credentials/consent to proceed with that task- this is for your protection- this is User Account Control (UAC) in action. I hope to write a detailed blog about UAC in the very near future, but meanwhile simply just search for “user account control uac”- there is tons of information out there.

Updating your Vista with the latest updates keeps your PC secure- so, update your system often with Vista and recommended updates. Here’s more information about the Extras:

DreamScene (Preview) is a new “extra” for Windows Vista Ultimate edition- you can select a video for your desktop background the same way you select a stationary picture. It also adds new positioning options for backgrounds, including stationary pictures. More details about DreamScene here:

Check other upcoming extras for your Vista Ultimate edition here:






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