It’s not ideal, but it has improved tons in the past few years.
This is how the Windows 10 updating workflow works on my machine:
I do shit as always.
Once every one or two months, there is an update, that gets downloaded and partially installed in the background. If it’s a big update, it will do almost everything online and will “finish” the update on reboot. However, it waits for me to reboot. So, basically, the only disruption I’m getting is that I have to wait for it a minute or two longer to shut down and a couple of minutes longer to boot up.
I never have to reboot immediately, ever.
The biggest irony with a lot of Windows users is, that they never update and then when the time has come that they did not update for so many months that they are missing even critical security updates, they start to complain, that Windows forces them to update.
This is the ironic truth: if you constantly keep your Windows up to date, you will barely notice any disruption.
The biggest and most ugly disruptions start to happen when you do not update Windows at all for 6 to 12 months.
However, if you just keep updating the system, you just have a longer shutdown and boot up for a couple of minutes, every one or two months.
Now, people can argue, that they want to decide when or what or if to update, at all, instead of being forced to do it. I see that argument a lot. I see some legitimacy in that argument, for sure.
Though, Windows 10 is the end consumer operating system on the earth. Every single day on earth millions over millions of people around the globe, no matter their techiness, provenance, attitude or whatever. This OS has to cater to all those people. So, of course, as any good developer and manager would usually do, they cater to the worst case scenario.
The worst case scenario is that someone doesn’t update their Windows for X amount of time, then loses data, etc. or their whole life over it and then Microsoft looks like the evil guy in this scenario, because they couldn’t keep the system up to date.
So, obviously, it’s a better image to be the annoying grandma telling you to update frequently, rather than the evil uncle letting you take drugs and go to hospital over it, i.e. allowing you to not update for X amount of time.
So, if it’s extremely important to not have new updates (which is btw. no good idea on any operating system, except airgapped ones, which are the exception, and even then it is important there, too), then this user perhaps shouldn’t use an end consumer focused operating system, but perhaps one that focuses specifically on advanced users.
I am not even pointing directly to Linux. It could be anything. Linux, BSD, Haiku, ReactOS or whatever alternatives there are. These have a lot more freedom, but also have a lot of other issues.
Last week i bought a chain saw with a twisted handle. Perhaps i wasn’t careful, but by accident it chopped one of my arm off, then i thought to myself “gosh, this is POWERFUL!”. This seems to be the fashionable mode of thinking among the unixers or unixer-to-be, who would equate power and flexibility with rawness and complexity; disciplined by repeated accidents. Such a tool would first chop off the user’s brain, molding a mass of brainless imbeciles and microcephalic charlatans the likes of Larry Wall and Linus Torvald jolly asses.