Microsoft Testing Windows Update Installation without Reboot: Hotpatching

Microsoft is testing a new feature in Windows 11 preview build 26058 that allows for the installation of security updates without the need for a system restart. This is achieved through hotpatching, a method that applies updates on-the-fly by altering the code of running Windows processes. This approach relies on virtualization-based security (VBS), which requires hardware with virtualization capabilities in Intel, AMD, or ARM processors.

While hotpatching can eliminate the need for frequent reboots, Microsoft notes that a major update requiring changes every three months will still necessitate a restart. Additionally, in the case of an urgent security threat, such as a zero-day vulnerability, a reboot might be needed sooner. 

According to Windows Central, hotpatching is expected to be included in the Windows 11 24H2 update later this year, initially supporting x86-64 systems. Plans are in place to expand this feature to Arm64 systems by 2025. Microsoft already uses hotpatching in some versions of Windows Server and on Xbox consoles.

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