As much as I hate to hear it, the death of Windows 7 seems imminent. I don't mean the end of support — that deadline is still several years away.
Microsoft in their all–knowing wisdom has decided to stop providing individual Windows Updates, from which users can pick the updates they will implement and skip (or hide) the others.
Instead, Microsoft has announced that it will implement Windows Updates for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (non–SP1 support has ended) and Windows 8.1 (Windows 8 support ended 12 January 2016) as rollup, combined updates just as it does for Windows 10.
Their rationale seems to be that it's too difficult to test updates against different combinations of installed updates, with resulting user–problems from the updates breaking Windows, software, and drivers. Of course, they’ve been doing it pretty successfully that way for about 20 years, but now, it's just not working for them.
This new scheme is designed to get all our computers synchronized with the same updates. Of course, it's going to be hard for that to happen without forcing us to automatically install updates, in the Windows 10 style. I can imagine that the automatic-only updating patch will show up in the not–to–distant future.
In May, 2016, Microsoft announced that it would start creating roll–up packages of non-security Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 updates. They’ve provided several of those across the summer.
The world changes in October, though. The monthly non-security updates will be the new roll–up packages. The monthly security updates will be combined packages of that month's security patches.
Just in case you haven't heard (been living in a cave?), Windows 10 combined updates have been less than fully successful, with reports of problem such as BSODs (system crashes, originally blue screens), printer failures, driver issues, updates failing to complete, update reboot loops, etc.
And, then, there was the roll-out of the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition…
The new Windows experience will come to Windows 7 SP1 users and Windows 8.1 users. At least for now, we'll still get to decide when to install updates, or if we will install them, rather than having them shoved down our throats windows 10 style.
In case you haven’t read between the lines, I think this is one of Microsoft’s least user-friendly changes. It really makes me want to consider upgrading all my computers to Windows 10. Or maybe Linux.
Maybe switch to the Mac and MacBook universe…
My decisions will probably be easier if I remember that we desktop and laptop computer users are not Microsoft's customers — their customers are the computer manufacturers and the businesses buying Enterprise licenses.
You can read more about the new Windows Update process in Microsoft’s article Further simplifying servicing models for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.