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With a Visual Studio 2012 instance open, and running the updater from MonoDevelop on Windows 8, the updater force closes Visual Studio without any warning. I assume it ends the devenv process. Surely a message could be presented to ask you to close all instances of Visual Studio before the updater can proceed? I lost a few files of work in Visual Studio from this.
Latest version of the Xamarin Installer (27/07/2013) detects that a running Visual Studio instance is detected and displays an appropriate page in the installer wizard.