The Importance of a Running Server (Microsoft engineers, please read)

So it turns out that Microsoft has gotten serious about security in Windows 8. So serious, in fact, that they have enforced computer restarts when security updates need installing.

So instead of installing updates while the system is running,which would be the right way to handle these things, Microsoft has decided to force your computer to reboot to fix its own security flaws.

Given that the code jockeys can’t figure out how to install updates without rebooting (ahem, Linux), they could at least bug you to restart or at least let you schedule a restart like with Windows XP (which bugged you every 5 minutes), Vista and Windows 7. But the Windows 8 developers — who are much smarter than you or I, obviously, and know better than we do — decided they weren’t going to wait for unreliable users who keep hitting “Postpone.” So they force a shutdown, usually in the middle of the day. And since Windows 8/8.1 updates are complicated affairs, the computer routinely takes 30 minutes to restart.

Meanwhile, the employee, locked out of the computer, is lost productivity. In some situations that I have seen, the computer might be a Point of Sale system, which means the register is down for business until Microsoft can get its act together.

It is also fairly common for Windows 8/8.1 updates to fail after 10 – 15 minutes, adding an additional retry. I have seen updates fail twice, bringing the total wait time for a reboot of Windows 8.1 to about 1 hour.

It would be bad enough if these updates merely took down an individual or a single point of sale station. What’s worse is when the server does the same thing. Since Server 2012 and 2012 R2 are based on the same code as Windows 8, they also force shutdown whenever they feel like it, and usually in the middle of the workday. There is nothing worse than getting a call from an irate client whose server has just kicked 12 engineers off of their work because it wants to install updates from 2:00 to 2:30 Thursday afternoon. You can bill Microsoft for that lost productivity, guys.

Now, I’m no software engineer, but if I were, I think I would have put in a requirement to NOT RESTART THE SERVER DURING BUSINESS HOURS. Sounds like a no-brainer, but again, I’m not a software engineer!

The solution? Disable automatic updates, of course! Install them manually when you have downtime. It’s ironic that we need to disable security updates in order to keep our companies productive. Pretty stupid, too, Microsoft. Fix it.