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This may come across as a rant, but I seriously want to know if there is a valid reason for this.

One of the great things about Windows 7 is I can update just about anything, even video drivers, without rebooting. Now I have a Mac Book Pro running Snow Leopard and I reboot for anything that involves Quicktime, Safari, iTunes and it would appear fonts. What is up with that? I thought all the Apple fan boys teased the Windows users about having to reboot so often with all the updates, when it certainly seems to be the other way around now.

Is there a valid reason for why Mac OS X needs to reboot so much? What is so fundamentally wrong with the OS that it doesn't allow updating without a reboot?

Rebooting for a font update?

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Related (but not duplicate I think!) - A question on the Windows 7 restart manager… – dsolimano May 14 '11 at 2:07
"One of the great things about Windows 7 is I can update just about anything, even video drivers, without rebooting." Really? My windows 7 machines go down so often to update that the Windows Vice Squad has our house on speed dial. – Jerry May 14 '11 at 5:39
Well I just installed IE9 on a Win7 machine and I'd rather have a reboot than having to close Explorer.exe, all my browsers, all other programs, etc. – slhck May 14 '11 at 10:25
@Jerry I agree I just posted this… – Simon Mar 13 '13 at 14:37
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Historically, it has been the other way around where Windows would require reboots more often than Mac OS. The latter also received small updates less frequently.

The reason an operating system update requires a reboot is that files or processes that are critical for the system’s operation need to be updated. Sometimes this can be done on the fly, but this is not always possible. Requiring the system to halt and update the files while the processes that require them are inactive.

As to why the frequency of the updates to Mac OS seem to have increased, this is probably because the number of security updates that Mac OS have received seem to have increased steadily over the years. (As have been the case with Windows for over a decade already.)

The font update in your screen shot is an example of an operation that is tricky to do while the system is still running. How do you reinitialize something that is in use by every [graphical] process? Well, a reboot apparently.

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