As promised, I went back and investigated my experience with Windows Update inside of Windows 8 Pro x64.
Be warned: Lots of pictures, and lots of reading here!
When I went through the install process, you of course get to a point where it asks if you want to take the "Express Options" or "Customize settings". I am someone who always likes to make sure I know what is going on, so I selected "Customize Settings". One of the many options that the install asks is below. I have added the bold to show the default option
Windows update options
• Automatically install important and recommended updates
• Automatically install important updates
• Don't set up Windows Update (not recommended)
I choose the 3rd option, to not setup windows update at this time (during the install).
With the install of Windows 8 complete, we move on to how I configured Windows Update, complete with the options I selected, and the screens that I saw.
Picture #1 is what I see when I click on "Windows Update" from inside the control panel. Of note is the text "Find out more" indicated by the Red arrow. I'll touch more on that in a second.
I then click the text "Change Settings" that is on the left side of the screen, and I am presented with what is shown in Picture #2. Since I did not make a choice during the install of Windows 8, no choice is made here, and it is then asking me how I would like to set this up. Picture #3 lists the options that I have to choose from.
I go ahead and select the last option, "Never check for updates (not recommended)", and then check the box "Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates". My screen then looks like it does in Picture #4.
I then click the OK button, which returns me back to the screen shown in Picture #1. It is at this time that I click the blue text "Find out more".
Doing so opens up Internet Explorer 10 in desktop mode. The web page that I am presented with is shown in Picture #5.
Doing so kicks off the install of "Windows Update" to my system. It takes just a few seconds, and I am then presented with the what is shown in Picture #6.
Of note at this point is the fact that I do not see what you did. There is no mention of Windows 7, or clicking the start button. Mine does say the "Start Screen" at the top, as well as the screen containing the words "Swipe" and "tap", which are all new things inside of Windows 8.
Closing IE, I go back to the Windows Update screen, which is now in the process of checking my system to figure out what updates I'm missing. Instead of letting it finish, I click on the "Change Setting" button again. Now, as I showed in Picture #4, I already set the options how I want them.
However, I am now surprised and shocked by what I see for the options, and that is shown in Picture #7. Microsoft has updated my selection from "Never check for updates (not recommended)" to "Install updates automatically (recommended)". Also, a new check box is now present, and its checked: "Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows".
The additional box is OK, as that is what I installed. However, the fact that Microsoft changed how Windows Update will work on my system, and did not tell me, is the part that I'm not to happy about. Sure, its easy to change back (which I did), and now my screen looks like it does in Picture #8.
I did want to point that out to you, as you mentioned in your first post that you knew you changed the option for Windows Update, and how your updates would be installed on your system. Yet they were not working the way you had set them. This is probably why.
I know this same behavior happens inside of Windows 7 too, as my steps for setting up Windows Update are the same there as they are inside of Windows 8.
Finally, the last two pictures (#9 and #10) are just to show what updates I'm being offered.
Well, that's what I found out. Going by your screen shots, it looks like Dell messed something up in their image of Windows 8, as the windows update screen looks totally different then mine. It makes me wonder if you should try to acquire another source for Windows 8.
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