Wasn't there talk that security would ALWAYS trump nice features in Vista? So, I assume MS at some point had to figure out whether to do AutoUpdate (I operate under the further assumption that they came up with that idea in the first place internally)
or integration with restart manager. Hell, how could you decide for restart manager and against AutoUpdate in that case?!?
There are two problems in the update story: 1. Being notified about available updates (or app automatically checking for updates), and 2. actually applying them. Often updates don't get installed because they would require a reboot or at least a restart of
the app, which the user doesn't want to do right now*, or there's no user sitting in front of the machine to save their open documents when you deploy updates at night. Restart Manager can help with problem number 2. But I agree that a central location for all updates would be great.
* Typical situation: When I double click a PDF file Adobe Reader tells me that an update is available. But at that very moment I want to read the document, not install an update, so I decline the update.
Basically, upon shutdown you use the Restart Manager interfaces to persist the state of all running processes, which is restored when you log in again after the computer comes back up.
Note that Restart Manger itself doesn't save the application's state. It only tells the app to save its state, then closes the app and later re-starts it. The app needs to be coded such that it responds to the message from Restart Manager and saves its state.
I too find this cool, and I hope that application developers will start to prepare their apps to support this.