Today sees a fire-drill test of the Microsoft Windows Update system for Windows 7 RC users: there will be downloads but Windows Update will actually be firing blanks.
To ensure that all is working well for when real updates arrive, Microsoft's Update Team has blogged about
a series of blank updates due to release today to test the Windows Update system. Some will be automatic while others will be available for manual download to test the notification features. In theory, there isn't a lot that can go wrong, but Microsoft is taking the better-safe-than-sorry approach, as it did earlier in the year with the first beta.
Get ready for some important, yet completely unimportant updates
When real patches do start arriving, it will be interesting to see what they fix, will they aim to improve Windows 7, or simply parallel Vista updates and fixes. These patches make no changes to the system, but please install them, just so Microsoft is happy that all is well in the world of update.
Also on the blog is an explanation of how Windows Update offers Internet Explorer 8, trying to defuse some of the ruckus about it being automatically added. "WU and AU will not automatically install Internet Explorer 8... The update will be offered to you, and you can choose Install, Don’t Install or Ask me later. If you choose Don’t Install then it won’t be actively offered to you again, and it will become an Optional Update which you can manually install at some point in the future."