It can be replaced with Microsoft Update, an expanded version of the service which provides for other Microsoft software as well, such as Microsoft Office, Windows Live Essentials and Microsoft Expression Studio.
Windows Update clients normally download updates over an Internet connection, although Microsoft makes provision for installing updates on computers without an Internet connection and a range of alternative methods and programs also exist to install updates. Security updates or critical updates protect against vulnerabilities to malware and security exploits.
If this service is disabled, users of this computer will not be able to use Windows Update or its automatic updating feature, and programs will not be able to use the Windows Update Agent (WUA) API.
Alternatively, you can download software utilities such as Belarc Advisor that will list the updates installed on your computer and any critical updates you may be missing.
Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Whenever you are prompted to reboot the computer, reboot the computer.
Rebooting is an important step and in some cases may be required several times before you have installed all the Windows updates available.
The Windows Updates Downloader is a free tool for meticulous Windows users who are careful about which updates they download.
Instead of having your computer search out download and install your updates you may turn off automatic updates and choose the updates you want to download and install.