Package selection is much improved. I chose to see the details of what packages were going to be updated, which also gave the opportunity to see all the potential conflicts during updating.
Some packages I had previously installed were 'locked', for reasons I do not understand. I think most of the 'locked' packages were packages I had installed myself and not part of the standard SuSE distribution. During the update process, SuSE would not update the 'locked' packages, which could create conflicts. Fortunately, a little 'lock' symbol appears beside the name of these 'locked' packages. If available, the update system shows what version of the package is available with SuSE 8.2. Using the mouse, it is possible to 'unlock' these packages, allowing SuSE to update or remove those packages.
SuSE makes some suggestions as to how to resolve conflicts. Unfortunately, I often found the suggestions misleading. Often, a package will require an old version of an RPM, whereas some other packages require a newer version of an RPM. The SuSE update program makes the situation clear. Unfortunately, its suggestion is often to get rid of programs which require both the older and newer verseion of the RPM. Usually getting rid of the program which requires the old version of the RPM is enough.