Microsoft Updates – what are the benefits?

By Chris Lord|24th August 2020

Microsoft updates Chris Lord

The installation of Microsoft updates on a regular basis can be very irritating, and I’m sure we all question at some point, “what is the actual benefit?”

There is software out there that can manage the deployment of Microsoft updates to all the computers in your business, but it requires an investment of time and money on your part. If you have upward of 25 users, it’s probably even worth the effort. However, even with such a software solution in place, your computer still has to actually install the updates at some point in time which will likely involve a reboot, and let’s be honest, there is NO good time for a reboot!

OK, so let’s imagine for a second that we don’t install the updates, and we simply ignore them. Sure, in the short term, you’re laughing! You can carry on for months totally unhindered. But waiting for you around the corner are a few traps for you to fall into!

We’ll make a start with the most important and valid reason for the updates, SECURITY! Without the latest security updates from Microsoft installed, it’s akin to leaving your front door at home unlocked when you go to work. If you are, let’s say, defrauded of money through your online banking, the banks are somewhat less sympathetic if you haven’t gone to the effort of ensuring your PC is safe and as secure as possible.

And then there’s new software. You want to install the latest Office, or the latest iTunes, or the latest anti-virus software, or an update for your payroll software. You cannot. Why? Because your computer isn’t up to date. What should be a quick 15 minute job turns into a 2 hour job, or even longer which in turn costs you (unexpected) time and money.

If you’re having problems with one of your applications (Word, Opera, Sage, iTunes, ESET etc), one of the first questions that is asked by the support representative is whether you have the latest Microsoft updates installed. If you haven’t, it will either lengthen the troubleshooting process, or at worst, you don’t receive any help at all from the software vendor until you have installed them.

You miss out on so many of the new features Windows 10 has to offer. Now here’s the part where you could argue “my PC works perfectly fine as it is!”. But you really are missing out on features like the new Notepad (another blog coming soon on this important and iconic program), the new Calculator, the new Edge browser built on Google Chrome, the Windows emoji keyboard, the new clipboard (save multiple items in the clipboard). And there’s so much more with the latest build of Windows 10 – see https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-insider/at-home/whats-new-wip-at-home-20h1. And I’m talking of features here that will make you more efficient in your working day, not hinder you.

It’s a regular occurence on our support desk that a user’s Windows 10 device is exhibiting odd behaviour. When we dig deeper we notice that the device hasn’t been rebooted for months. A quick reboot, and all the problems disappear. One silver lining of regularly installing those pesky updates is that this common problem, simply disappears.

As for a good time to install those updates, I make time outside of my working day to install them. For example, before I start my working day, at lunchtime, or at the end of my working day, or during the weekend. The updates in Windows 10 can be trusted to sort themselves out, it requires very little brain processing power, and it just needs you to press the “Go” button (Windows Key + i, then goto “Update & Security” )

So, to conclude, yes the process of installing Microsoft updates is annoying, but they are necessary in today’s tech world. Do we go with or against the grain? If we go with the grain, you ultimately make your life easier and you have the whole technical world behind you.