I guess I should have been paranoid and looking at my settings now and then because for some reason, Windows Update set itself back to automatically install updates. That is not what I usually have it set to.
In essence what this means is, after a certain time ignore what the user is doing, don't give them any warnings, close their running tasks, log them off, shut the machine down and do the updates.
If I had been working on something important, there's a chance I would have lost progress. As it turned out, what I lost was about five turns of inching forward to the alien spaceship in XCOM. But I was still pretty annoyed that Windows is, as always, about as user-friendly with updates as a breeze block to the face.
Why the frelling frell are automatic updates recommended when it basically involves taking over control of the machine and cutting out user intervention? And what's the point of having a setting that says 'download updates and notify me to install them' when it's going to get overridden anyway?
Presumably Microsoft have noticed that updates are not getting installed in a timely fashion and have introduced some sort of periodic reset to defaults so that there aren't machines stuck in a time warp. Great job guys. I'm sure that you're patting yourselves on the back for your ingenuity and oh my god how lame are you, not bothering to give the user an option to set a deadline by which updates will be installed? Not bothering to mention, ogh by the way we're going to set you back to automatic updates now. Not bothering about the aggravation users will face if they haven't saved their work recently.
I know! How about you slick programmers who think you're so smart, don't bother coming in to work on Monday. As far as I'm concerned, you're fired.