Ars Technica has an article describing Microsoft Windows Vista’s “Anytime Upgrade” feature. In the patent for the technology Microsoft describes it as “modular OS updates.”
So far it sounds like Microsoft got a clue from Linux and Apple: users want timely, incremental updates. Not years of silence followed by a monolithic change.
“Modular OS updates” sound exactly like packages and package managers in Linux distributions. Both systems even have facilities to verify the updates. However, in Microsoft’s case the verification isn’t to protect the user like Linux does with checksums and GPG keys. With Microsoft the verification is to make sure you’ve paid for the extra bloat you’re installing.