With tools like the automatic updates client and Microsoft Update, keeping a modern Windows system up-to-date is pretty straightforward.
For those who have a network of computers to manage there are additional tools, like the Microsoft baseline security analyzer (which helps to identify if any patches are missing) and Windows software update services (which keeps a local copy of Microsoft update on one or more servers on a network).
It’s just taken me over two hours to patch a single computer running Sun Solaris 10 x86. Like Microsoft, Sun provides tools that assist enormously in the process, but honestly – two hours! First I had to install the Sun update connection software, then once I’d launched Update Manager, there were 53 updates to download and install (and that was just security patches and driver updates – Sun restricts access to certain patches to organisations with a service plan). After a very long reboot (whilst some of these patches were applied), there were still 15 more updates (probably a subset of the original 53). Then a further reboot (shorter this time), and I was up and running again.
In fairness, Windows updates often require restarts and it can take several visits to Microsoft Update before a system is fully patched but this was ridiculous.
Next time someone tells me that patching Windows is too difficult, my response is unlikely to be empathetic.