It's not progress.
They're rolling very patch into one big blob - take it or leave it. If the latest update causes your system to crash because one patch borks some hardware or software you rely on, then you can't get the 26 other patches and ignore the one bad one until they fix it.
Further, they force you to download what essentially amounts to a full OS image in order to patch, not just the files that have changed.
This has no impact on the code base, and as far as dependency hell goes, Windows has had the obnoxious Windows Side-by-Side system to deal with this since Vista. Every version of every library, every MSI, etc. you ever touch is stored and kept in the WinSxS folder, which just grows geometrically over time. (For years MS claimed that the dick space is not actually consumed as things are effectively symlinks, but that's just bullshit. Even if it were true, Explorer sees the space as used and thus the space effectively is used as Explorer can't grok it.)
It was a hard enough battle to get them to give us the option to skip kernel mode driver updates in Windows 10. (You can thank Nvidia for this as they kept pushing out WHQLd drivers that caused crashes.)
The fact that the update blobs have come to Windows 7 is a travesty, and it came along with the "Fuck you, we're not telling you what's in the updates anymore." bullshit. They've temporarily partially backed off on that bit for Windows 7, but you still don't get the full details of what an update actually does or what the file versions are, etc. Don't forget they also killed technet.
All in all the consolidated updates are just one more rusty genital they use against us in the orgy of fucking over their users.