Google Open Source Blog informs that Google Update, the software used by Google Chrome and other applications for automatic updates, no longer runs in the background. "Until now, Google Update would always run in the background, functioning primarily as a reliable scheduler performing update checks at periodic time intervals. With today's release, Google Update now uses the Windows Task Scheduler to only run at periodic intervals."
I've checked the Task Scheduler and I've found that Google Update runs every hour. You can change how often it runs and even disable the task, but I'm not sure if other Google applications change your settings. "If this task is disabled or stopped, your Google software will not be kept up to date, meaning security vulnerabilities that may arise cannot be fixed and features may not work. This task uninstalls itself when there is no Google software using it," explains Google.
Since Google Chrome is regularly updated, it's not a good idea to disable the updater, thinking that you'll install the new versions manually.
The first good news is that you'll no longer see googleupdate.exe in the list of processes when you open the Task Manager. The second good news is that Google Update's team listens to users and constantly improves the software: Google Update is now open source and administrators can disable it using the Local Group Policy Editor.