The new feature is more of a last resort tool — Microsoft says that it will only roll back updates in cases where the new software has failed to the point of preventing the computer from booting up, and only after trying all of its other automatic recovery options first.
According to ZDNet, the new feature can automatically roll back device drivers, hotfixes, updated system files, service packs, and new Windows features, making it a pretty comprehensive tool, at least on paper. Any updates that do get rolled back will also be blocked from automatically reinstalling for 30 days, giving Microsoft and its various hardware and software partners time to fix the issue, instead of just getting users stuck in an endless cycle of automatically applying and removing the update.
It’s not exactly a huge update to Windows, but it’s an important one. Undoing system updates isn’t the easiest process, and automating the process for users that do get bad or incompatible software by accident is a helpful move on Microsoft’s part.
But it also speaks to Microsoft taking even more responsibility over making sure that customers have a good Windows experience. Microsoft, with its hundreds of partners developing hardware, software, and firmware that all has to work perfectly with Windows, can’t control every aspect of its users’ experiences in the way that Apple does. By making Windows proactively and automatically deal with issues that do unfold, Microsoft is doing its best to make sure that the part it can control will help mitigate issues with all the pieces of the puzzle it can’t.
Update March 12th, 3:15pm: Added original sourcing for the new feature.