Google Open Source Blog: Google Update, regularly scheduled
It has always seemed ridiculous that so many programs run their updater as a background process, even though they only have to run periodically (e.g. once a day or week). I realize they probably don't use a lot of cpu or memory and they're probably swapped out most of the time, but if nothing else starting them all slows down the boot process.
As a programmer, I can understand the desire to keep control, but these are updaters, not critical operations. The software itself can always check for updates as well.
It's nice to see at least Google switching to running their updater as a scheduled task.