Even if I would shutdown the machine, it would just try and fail.
And not simply fail... but give me an amazing error code (80070490) which to cut a long story short meant that some internal database of updates was corrupt and I had to repair installation from the Vista CD. What???? Over my dead body!
Can you see the big picture here? I was minding my own business and one more Digital Misfortune came my way uninvited. But don't get me wrong here. If there is ONE technological feat that I admire in this world that is Microsoft Update. I just can believe such a thing is working. One major screw up (or security breach) and millions of computers can become unusable; just the security requirements of this blew my mind away... So I forgive them some glitches.
Anyway, since I had to debug this issue, I thought I might as well write a couple of lines about it, so that other poor souls like me might get a better chance when searching for an answer.
By searching the net and reading other posts I found some people mentioning that in similar situations they downloaded the standalone installer for the update and surprisingly enough it installed without problems.
Now that should ring some bells...
It is a seemingly non-rational action but it often has results.
So I downloaded the standalone installer for KB967723 and bingo! It installed and problem solved :-)
Isn't digital life so sweet?