Even though Windows 8 comes with a new user interface and a lot of new features, there’s at least one which seems that it did not get the same level of attention from Microsoft. I’m talking about the way that users are notified about the available updates for Windows 8. While this feature was implemented with the help of a pop-up balloon message ever since Windows XP was launched, it seems to have been turned off by default in the latest version of the operating system.
Unfortunately, in Windows 8 the only way to tell if there are any updates available or not, is to always check the log on screen at boot up. For those of you who do not use a password and log on straight to Windows, the missing feature could turn into a serious problem.
Moreover, if you have previously configured them to not install automatically once they are available, months could pass without installing them. Unless you lock your computer or expressly check for updates manually, you will not be aware of the updates. In the long run, this means that your PC is likely to be the target for a number of security exploits.
Through its Technet network, Microsoft released an official answer on why they made the changes to the Windows update notification system. You can read the statement of a Microsoft tech user below:
“The reason of removing this feature is based on most of the users’ feed-backs If a notification were to be displayed, this is suppressed if the user is doing something important, especially when a user watching a movie or playing a game, or in the business environment being interrupted during a PowerPoint presentation.”
The decision does not seem to be truly to the benefit of the user, or at least they could have tried to make a different adjustment to the system. For instance, it would have been better to just add an option next to the others, to enable or disable the notification feature. By doing this, those who were bothered by the notification could disable it and those who were not, could benefit from it.
A solution to this problem is to install a stand-alone application called Windows 8 Update Notifier, which comes as a replacement for the system. Once an update is available for your PC, the tool will display a pop-up in the bottom right corner of the screen, allowing you to take action or not.
What I should mention here is that you a tweak is necessary for the application to work in a similar way to the system of the previous Windows versions. The does not start automatically once you boot up the computer, so you must add it to the startup entries. All you have to do is drag and drop the executable file in the Startup Folder and it will run with each of your sessions.