back to article Fed-up sysadmins beg Microsoft to improve pisspoor Windows 10 update notes

Microsoft has been criticised for dumbing down the information on updates to Windows 10 it provides to IT pros. Thousands of corporate tech admins have vented their frustration at a lack of communication from Redmond on Windows 10 updates in an online peition. A growing lack of clarity means pros must rely on word of mouth to …

  1. Bota

    Because "Backdoors"

    Does anyone really doubt that the real reason they're so obscure about what these updates do is because of their "partners" *coughs NSA?

    Also does anyone have a router model for an easy install of openwrt? No reason :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Because "Backdoors"

      Does anyone really doubt that the real reason they're so obscure about what these updates do is because of their "partners" *coughs NSA?

      Nonsense. As if they would add in an advisory note "patched backdoor to NSA department 55 because it kept crashing when they were remote viewing the desktop". That stuff will never be in an update note, it will just happen.

      No, I rather think some marketing type got involved who doesn't know the realities of keeping a platform up, and thus decided to bollocks up some new note format that helped nobody at all. After all, that's what their marketing does (not helping).

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Your confidentiality or your applicaitons … time to decide.

    Seems we're at a cross-roads now. Many are married to Windows because certain applications they use only run there.

    Many are concerned about the confidentiality of their systems, and in particular, Microsoft's insistence on monitoring everything and generally giving us the mushroom treatment.

    As one commenter put it (surely breaking an El Reg up-vote count record in the process), it's your PC no more. Microsoft seems to have forgotten what the P in PC stands for. Maybe WC is more appropriate?

    I think the industry is going to have to decide what's more important: the confidentiality of what goes on inside their computers, or what they run on them. Microsoft is showing itself to be an untrustworthy supplier going forward. If something is deficient on another OS, then perhaps now is the time to start investing in ways to improve that situation, preparing the life boats for when the Microsoft ship sinks.

    1. rtfazeberdee

      Re: Your confidentiality or your applicaitons … time to decide.

      you forget, you don;t own your windows operating system. check you EULA - it belongs to microsoft and you only lease it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Your confidentiality or your applicaitons … time to decide.

        rtfazeberdee,

        you forget, you don;t own your windows operating system. check you EULA - it belongs to microsoft and you only lease it.

        Don't care about the OS, I own the computer it runs on. I do not lease the computer hardware from anyone.

        What goes on, on my network and on my hardware, is my responsibility. Therefore I have a right to know what is being transmitted, to whom, and how. I also have the right to veto: as in some circumstances, the data concerned may be confidential in nature and I may not be at liberty to disclose it to others.

        Microsoft is a guest and may be asked to leave. EULA has nothing to do with it.

        1. Joe User
          Thumb Up

          Re: Your confidentiality or your applicaitons … time to decide.

          "Microsoft is a guest and may be asked to leave. EULA has nothing to do with it."

          +1

        2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: Your confidentiality or your applicaitons … time to decide.

          Bravo, MS or any OS is a guest on my hardware. On my hardware my rules will prevail and if that means Windows never runs on any of it the future that is my call.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Your confidentiality or your applicaitons … time to decide.

            Bravo, MS or any OS is a guest on my hardware. On my hardware my rules will prevail and if that means Windows never runs on any of it the future that is my call.

            Oh really? Who came up with the UEFI idea for hardware? Hint: it makes it harder to install anything but Windows, such as Linux.

            If we as users could start offering some credible resistance to such flank movements which have but one goal we'd all be better off. The fact that I have to wait 30 seconds to a minute for a flash based system to boot is ridiculous. I recall reports from some open BIOS projects that reported they had to slow down the boot cycle to allow the harddisk to spin up, so it IS possible.

      2. Turtle

        @rtfazeberdee Re: Your confidentiality or your applicaitons … time to decide.

        "you forget, you don;t own your windows operating system. check you EULA - it belongs to microsoft and you only lease it."

        You own a license to use it. Don't think that your license can be easily revoked. And for pity's sake, don't be one of those fools who thinks that all the terms and conditions in a EULA are legally enforceable.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: EULAs vs the law

          "Don't think that your license can be easily revoked. And for pity's sake, don't be one of those fools who thinks that all the terms and conditions in a EULA are legally enforceable."

          That's the theory. No one's really tested the enforceability of EULAs in the courts, because if a precedent was set it might upset the vendors.

          Now the reality: in a comparison between (e.g.) Windows Genuine disAdvantage and the opinions of the law courts, which one is most likely to be able to control (enable or block) your use of a PC?

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. asdf

            Re: EULAs vs the law

            >Now the reality: in a comparison between (e.g.) Windows Genuine disAdvantage and the opinions of the law courts, which one is most likely to be able to control (enable or block) your use of a PC?

            For me the courts because the only time I ever use Windows on a PC is when I am paid too and in that case its up to my employer to worry about conforming with Microsoft's garbage. In fact as much as we are moving to Linux in the server space(instead of HP-UX, talk about a downgrade in all but price) I think in the not too distant future on the desktop it might be a possibility as well. On my own time though *BSD all the way. So happy *BSD is here to save us from the raging dumpster fire that is Windows 10 and increasingly serious tire fire that is Red Hat turning Linux into Windows. So Microsoft can go get f__ked (doing a good job of it themselves) as far as I am concerned with them having a say on how I use MY hardware.

            1. s2bu

              Re: EULAs vs the law

              I'm sorry, but HP-UX is horrible crap too. Tru64 was much much better until HPaq took it behind the shed...

              1. asdf

                Re: EULAs vs the law

                >but HP-UX is horrible crap too.

                Relative term but I disagree. As long as a UNIX doesn't include the hairball bash by default it doesn't count as horrible. True there are some better ones.

                >Tru64 was much much better

                Better yes much stretching it. Both though are a metric shit ton better than Linux.

                1. Deevo

                  Re: EULAs vs the law

                  So none of you guys use Google? Have Chrome installed? I believe, by any objective assessment, that you've already given up more privacy than anything Microsoft would dream of taking. Also Microsoft doesn't trawl your photographs and documents for information or use your contacts for their own nefarious purposes or record your query and ad usage to target you with more crap like some companies I could think of.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Re: Your confidentiality or your applicaitons … time to decide.

      Except the 'hardware' these days is increasingly software defined, like the inner rings of code on Intel CPUs.

    3. theOtherJT

      Re: Your confidentiality or your applicaitons … time to decide.

      Time to decide indeed.

      I'm worried that the decision is going to be "Productivity trumps privacy" in basically every workplace and people do tend to just stick to what they know.

      For what it's worth tho, I have finally gotten pissed off enough to switch to Linux as my primary OS - ok, it's only been a few weeks, but I've not missed Windows at any point so far.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quite Frankly

    The lack of info re: Windows Updates is a small part of a much bigger problem. To wit, the complete cluster-fuck that is Windows 10 and the dodgy underhanded tactics M$ have decided to employ to push this dog egg of an OS onto its loyal users.

    *I'd rather use ME or Vista at this point in time. 99% of hardware WILL work, Updates are clearly explained as to their function, it wont report what colour shoes I'm wearing back to the mothership etc etc..

    In fact, the reasons NOT to upgrade just keep coming....

    *OK, a bit of an exaggeration but the point is still salient.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quite Frankly

      Even more frankly, I *do* use Vista right now. Vista is "easily satisfied with the best", i.e. runs happily on hardware that was top-of-the-line in its day. The only thing it lacks is TRIM for the SSD.

      Windows 7 would be better, but my Thinkpad came with Vista and if I did have W7 I'd be worried about it transmogrifying into W10 overnight...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Quite Frankly

        Its a sad day when someone advocates for using Vista, and I think "that's really not a bad idea".

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: Quite Frankly

          I'm going to get downvoted straight to hell for this one, but Vista, post SP2, is perfectly inoffensive for the most part; all the performance problems nixed, and just with a slightly different shell to Win7 and lacking some of its features, but nothing gamechanging. Networking config is a bit more annoying in some respects, but otherwise it's OK.

          Vista SP2 or Win8/10? Hmm. You want to have a hand chopped off or a foot?

          /me pats Linux boxen

          Steven R

          1. moxberg

            Re: Quite Frankly

            Vista may buy you some time, but I can foresee Microsoft scraping the barrel before support ends in 2017. They may not touch XP because of the high number of illegitimate copies, but I'm not sure about that. One last "gratuitous" security fix might sneak in GWX on those as well.

            Plan B has become Plan A now for many. Patting my not-really-lacking-anything box as we speak.

          2. TimeMaster T

            Re: Quite Frankly

            I have a Vista SP2, fully patched, system I use only to play the 2 "Windows only" games that I like. I don't surf the web or install other apps on it. It works perfectly for what I use it for, never crashes or locks up.

            For everything else, including the rest of my game collection, I have a GNU/Linux box.

            A fully patched Vista system can handle just about anything the common user is going to do.

            While Windows 10 may not trigger the "Year of the Linux desktop" it might get software developers to start providing more GNU/Linux and Mac applications

    2. rtfazeberdee

      Re: Quite Frankly

      Microsoft have been doing this from Windows 3.x. they released fixes for things without telling you because that would mean they'd have to admit the bug. They might mention fixing one thing in the release bug fix but the update would include loads more fixes which would sometimes crap all over the work around you had to do to get around a problem.

    3. RegMidnight

      Re: Quite Frankly

      The vague updates do suggest a tactic. After decades of computing, I'm used to seeing detailed "what's new" lists for even single developer projects.

      Considering the significance of an OS, and the massive resources available to MS, there's little logical explanation for the maneuver, other than either a tactic, or plain incompetence. Exploring the tactic angle, it's troubling to consider this could pave the way to install the bing toolbar (or worse) with a "update to improve Windows" description.

    4. Deevo

      Re: Quite Frankly

      Well you've obviously not upgraded for some time, so how the blazes could you possibly know what you're talking about? Thirty five years of experience has taught me that actually you can trust Microsoft. And Windows 10 is their best OS yet.

      Cornz1 - if it doesn't run with Windows 10 then it's about time you got rid of that Athlon 64 system!

      Don't assume I'm some naive fan boy. I don't owe MS anything and if something better came along I'd use it. But I've tried virtually everything else, including Unix for years professionally, and keep coming back. (Cue the Linux trolls - I've only got one thing to say to them "drivers and driver installs")

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Quite Frankly

        There's a degree of truth in that. But the fact is that Microsoft do seem to be doing their best to piss people off. And I mean people who broadly like what they do. I've already commented on some of the Win 10 issues.

        But here's a good example of a more general one. Despite all the years of development MS software still give misleading or just plain unhelpful error messages.

        Case in point. I was just transferring a couple of files from my Winphone to my Win 10 PC by Bluetooth. I accidentally started the second transfer before the first one had completed.

        And the error message.....

        "Your device does not support Bluetooth transfer".

        Which is the most infuriating kind of error message, because of the intense desire it generates to grab someone by the throat and scream* "It is transferring a file, you dick".

        *Or equivalent for all the other times that something like this has occurred.

  4. captain veg

    Microsoft, meet shark

    Microsoft: "How high?"

    -A.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Red Hat's push for SystemD

    is making more sense in light of how bad Windows 10 is. No safe place to turn.

    There are a few projects trying get rid of SystemD. Hopefully, they'll succeed.

    1. herman Silver badge

      Re: Red Hat's push for SystemD

      You can always use PC-BSD: http://www.pcbsd.org/

      It is pretty good.

    2. rtfazeberdee

      Re: Red Hat's push for SystemD

      list them for our delight.....

      1. Jim-234

        Devuan for Init Freedom!

        The people over at Devuan are busy working on a new fork of Debian that removes that SystemD stuff and is based on you controlling your own computer the way you want it.

        You can look at the project over at: https://devuan.org

        It is however still in development stage, however once it is complete, I expect there will be lots of distributions based off it with various GUI choices readily available.

        1. asdf

          Re: Devuan for Init Freedom!

          Yep and in two years tops like BSD they won't be able to run Gnome (no big loss) but the list will grow sadly. You will be able to technically run without systemd on some stuff but it will be an edge case with all kinds of weird bugs nobody has tested as is already happening. Most maintainers just say screw it and make a hard dependency.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Red Hat's push for SystemD

      You do realize there are Linux distributions other than Red Hat's, right?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. asdf

        Re: Red Hat's push for SystemD

        Yep and thanks to freedesktop.borg the main difference tends to be the artwork and branding.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Terminator

    On-premise sysadmins are dinosaurs

    Yep, harsh but true.

    99% of C-level peeps aren't interested in the regular demands from IT Dept. for £££M capital to upgrade servers etc. or that Windows 201x is now out of support and the EA needs renewing. The direction of travel is to SaaS and 'evergreen' (i.e. automatically patched) services and no-one is much bothered about the details.

    1. Pirate Dave
      Pirate

      Re: On-premise sysadmins are dinosaurs

      I was gonna downvote you, then realized, shit, you're right. Unless you're in an IT-centric industry, nobody cares what your IT dept. says. We've finally become the "computer janitors" of the company. I mean, we spend part of the day cleaning Windows, right?

      I shoulda finished my welding degree...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: On-premise sysadmins are dinosaurs

        "Unless you're in an IT-centric industry, nobody cares what your IT dept. says."

        Welcome (back?) to reality.

        Some people have been warning about this for a few years, but much of the certified Microsoft dependent community has insisted on believing that tomorrow will be the same as today, forever. Well I guess tomorrow's reality will come as a shock to some of them.

  7. jnemesh
    FAIL

    The problem isn't coherence...

    It's knowing EXACTLY what is being installed on systems that you are responsible for! If they can't come clean and explain EXACTLY what the patch is, it's a fail. A BIG one. How are you supposed to trust what they are force feeding your users? How is a company (or foreign government) supposed to trust that a new NSA backdoor isn't being installed? How are users supposed to know that this "patch" is stable? They don't. I wouldn't touch this OS with a 10 foot pole...and I have rid myself of every other MS product as well, since they seem hellbent on backporting their spyware to Windows 7 and 8 too!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The problem isn't coherence...

      "How is a company (or foreign government) supposed to trust that a new NSA backdoor isn't being installed?"

      That would probably be slipped in with a documented fix for a genuine problem. It is becoming a case of do you trust Microsoft? Do you trust any USA corporation?

      Q. where do you hide a tree

      A. in a wood.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: The problem isn't coherence...

        It is becoming a case of do you trust Microsoft? Do you trust any USA corporation?

        The answer to both questions should be: "No. Hell No." At this point, if you (or anyone elee) trusts any corporation to do the right thing.. be honest... be fair.... you're either a corporate shill, naïve, or living in a walled garden with a very high wall.

        1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: The problem isn't coherence...

          Trust MS absolutely never, generic USA corporation it depends but mostly, sadly no

        2. asdf

          Re: The problem isn't coherence...

          >At this point, if you (or anyone elee) trusts any corporation to do the right thing..

          Depends on what you consider the right thing. To many people sadly, enriching speculator share holders in the short term at the expense of everything (including often the long term health of the company) is the right thing (thank Jack Welch for getting the clueless masses to believe the law requires executives to put shareholder gain first). And many corporations you can trust to do so.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The problem isn't coherence...

      At least with 7 and 8 its NOT hard baked into the core.

      Disabling GWX via a reg edit stops it dead in its tracks.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The problem isn't coherence...

      "It's knowing EXACTLY what is being installed on systems that you are responsible for! If they can't come clean and explain EXACTLY what the patch is, it's a fail."

      It's more than that; if the patch does something (probably unintended) that causes support companies to breach SLAs / privacy rules etc., then whose is the legal liability? Obviously the shysters will say the support company has the liability, despite the fact that there is an equally obvious fault right at the door of the Update process, those who run it (and who those who provide their legal cover) etc.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Patching decisions are too important to be left up to sysadmins.

    1. asdf

      don't think many caught your sarcasm.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hint: They don't want you to understand

    The whole point is illegal invasion of your privacy and spying.

    1. asdf

      Re: Hint: They don't want you to understand

      Yep but at least here stateside you can cross out the illegal part since the founding fathers thought the right to privacy was so inherent they only implied to it in the constitution (fourth amendment which the SCOTUS has been weakening for at least the last 50 years) much to our modern disadvantage.

  10. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Well..

    .. time to defenestrate, methinks.

  11. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    my theory

    ... is that Microsoft is simply actively developing Windows 10. The long list of files and not indication of changes in them, because they simply do not consider the OS to be finished . I guess the list (for every update) is very long and includes a lot of very basic stuff like "properly checking permissions" "allocating and freeing memory on time" "some basic performance improvement because we finally had gotten to benchmark a thing" etc. Of course, making this public would be bit embarrassing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: my theory

      I didn't give M$ permission to use me as a beta tester. Nor did I give them consent to dump a 3gb+ turd on my hd..

      They COULD have asked. They didn't. Don't expect me to bend over backwards for them.

      I will actively resist any attempt now to shit on me from any height.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: my theory

        What about from orbit? Because NASA's apparently shitting on your from orbit according to that other Reg article!

      2. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: my theory

        Of course it is hard to argue with this and I am not trying to. I am simply guessing reasons why Windows 10 updates have no proper documentation.

    2. Joe User
      Flame

      Re: my theory

      "is that Microsoft is simply actively developing Windows 10. The long list of files and not indication of changes in them, because they simply do not consider the OS to be finished."

      Irrelevant. Microsoft is asking me to patch the o.s. without telling me what the patch does. Considering the shit that they've snuck on my Windows 7 setup lately (which I have since pried back off), I am not inclined to accept their "Just trust me!" attitude at this time.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow, they are redirecting uservoice thread now.

    The original uservoice.com thread now redirects to the main windows page. Utterly spineless.

    https://windows.uservoice.com/forums/265757-windows-feature-suggestions/suggestions/9483897-we-need-better-knowledge-base-articles-for-windows

    -----------For those that can't stop javascript and redirects-----------------

    We need better Knowledge base articles for Windows 10 update releases

    Recently a spokesman told the IT press (see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/21/microsoft_will_explain_only_significant_windows_10_updates/) that "As we have done in the past, we post KB articles relevant to most updates which we’ll deliver with Windows as a service. Depending on the significance of the update and if it is bringing new functionality to Windows customers, we may choose to do additional promotion of new features as we deploy them".

    To many a sys admin the current communication levels in the knowledge base articles that document the contents of the cumulative Windows 10 updates are not complete enough and we cannot determine if a released update has fixed a bug that we noted. Instead we have to rely on the community word of mouth "Gee, did that fix that issue for you?" which is not a good way to handle communication or patch management.

    It would be more appropriate to include information on what non security items were fixed in each release so we can assure ourselves that what bugs we are seeing are being resolved and we no longer need to report these issues. It will also be an enticement to install updates as we will know exactly what was fixed in each patch.

    While consumers have less options to opt out of updates, Enterprises still have the ability with WSUS to fully control when updates get installed on machines. Thus having timely and actionable information from the vendor is key to getting patches installed quickly. If we have to rely on word of mouth reports of included fixes in patches and then wait for sufficient community affirmation of these resolutions, it will delay our installation of updates.

    Our request:

    Can we get coherent KB articles for Windows 10 updates and not rambling lists of files that were changed?

  13. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Never thought it would come to ths

    These days i don't have to take responsibility for keeping work stuff working anymore, And iI would never have been able to get the big high ups to allow us to dump Microsoft when I was. But then I wouldn't have wanted to. I was happy to use Windows 3.11 to 7 (Give or take the odd ME ).

    Post Windows 8 my feeling has changed pretty dramatically.

    I loathed everything about 8. Not just the OS itself, but the attitude to customers behind it.

    8.1 was a significant improvement in usability from 8, but so grudging as to be beyond belief.

    Now 10. And Microsoft have taken their attitude of trying to control us and how we use their software to new depths.

    The Office ribbon was dumb enough. Forcing users to have either all the menu items or none of them, in effect.

    But the new version of the start menu, with it's Byzantine limits on how we can organise it. and which will block Windows Update if certain shortcuts aren't where Microsoft put them.

    Coupled with updates that are kept secret from the users and admins and privacy breaches that we can't block

    Just appalling. A terrible, insulting, arrogant, almost vicious attitude to customer service.

    Microsoft have finally done what no 'nux fan has been able to. Persuaded me to start dumping MS and moving my home machines on to Linux

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never thought it would come to ths

      You and I both.... Others too, no doubt.

      I cannot up-vote you enough times to emphasise how much I agree with your sentiment..

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never thought it would come to ths

      "Customer Service".

      Todays poignant oxymoron.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never thought it would come to ths

      I'd say that Microsoft has drawn exactly the wrong lessons from Apple. One consequence of the mobile revolution is that devices, and services, are now fungible. If I don't like the Experience, a few months to say twenty four months, I can do a replacement. Sooner if I'm allowed.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Never thought it would come to ths

        Interesting you mentioned Apple, after learning about the secret W10 upgrade download I called the local Apple store and asked how Apple's upgrade policies.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Never thought it would come to ths

          @a_yank_lurker - Apple uipgrades

          From what i can tell apple give you a nice big splashscreen with a "Yosemite is out, do you want to upgrade" question.

          If you say "Yes, do it now" (as opposed to "ask again later" or "no") then it goes and downloads many, many files.

          It doesn't download them, and then ask...

          Of course many of the minor fixes are vague as well, although I don't know if that is just to consumers and IT depts (with paid up support) get more detailed descriptions.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Never thought it would come to ths

          Interesting you mentioned Apple, after learning about the secret W10 upgrade download I called the local Apple store and asked how Apple's upgrade policies.

          An OS update will be flagged in the App Store. From there you will find a link to what that update does, and there will be a link to the security issues it fixes. It does mean you'll have a dig a bit, but everything is documented, properly credited if a 3rd party submitted it and linked to the relevant CVEs.

          You do have the option of not patching, but it won't stop nagging until you do.

          App updates will be flagged in a similar way, but not all companies are as good with disclosure as Apple is so there's no real difference with the Microsoft world here (also because you can buy apps outside the App Store mechanism, which tend to have their own update mechanism. Most Open Source projects are examples of that such as LibreOffice, Thunderbird, Firefox and FileZilla, to name but a few that I have installed).

          Updates for applications you have compiled yourself via Macports & friends will require you to run the framework update process manually, it's not automated. However, it being BSD under the hood there is no reason why you cannot cook up a cron job to do this, but my personal preference is to stick to manual. I rather like being in control of what happens on my machine.

          It's worth noting that in the 5 years or so I've been using OSX I haven't had an upgrade yet that borked my machine, but that's no reason to become careless - backups are *never* a waste of time, provided you ensure that restores actually work :).

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Never thought it would come to ths

            Remember Apple have different update policies for OS/X and iOS. With iOS you tend to get a flashup invitation when the update is released, but it will automatically try and download on to the device in background if you ignore this. However, as yet I've not had an update auto install.

            I suspect with W10, MS opted for the iOS approach plus some.

    4. anoco

      Re: Never thought it would come to ths

      While I'm just hours away from starting the Windows Exodus, I have to stop and beech about who I think is responsible for all of this. The damned Jobs and his fanboys. If he wasn't so Machiavellic and if they weren't so sheepishly stupid, maybe we wouldn't be dealing with blind updates and non-removable batteries.

      It's not just the big guys that got contaminated by the easy money Jobsian approach. Even non-profit companies like Mozilla think that their users should be treated like apple sheep. Jobs, which I once admired as a bridge from engineers to regular people, is now an industry cancer (no pun) in my pov.

  14. Joerg

    Microsoft is a scam company now. The CEO is the worst...

    The new CEO is the worst.

    He managed to do worse than Ballmer on everything already.

    This Microsoft deserves to go bankrupt quickly.

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: Microsoft is a scam company now. The CEO is the worst...

      Be fair. He hasn't had any realistic chance to make his mark yet. Most of what we're seeing was set in motion by the former CEO. Not that I'm confident things will get any better.

      "When a management with a reputation for brilliance tackles a business with a reputation for bad economics, it is the reputation of the business that remains intact." (Warren Buffet). I think you can substitute "software" or "engineering" for "economics". A kluge today is a kluge until it dies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft is a scam company now. The CEO is the worst...

        In other words, this is a poisoned chalice that Satya has been handed?

  15. moxberg

    It's about time ...

    ... for someone to write the obituary for Windows as we knew it, or, while on the job, for Windows altogether.

    I can't say exactly what happened to Microsoft development. Seeing Win10 (functionality-wise) only _taking away_ from what's been there before (in 8.1, 8, 7 and even further back), as opposed to _adding_ new things (which can be a rough ride), I have a strong suspicion there's just nobody knowlegeable left after the lay-offs and restructuring.

    Keeping, not to speak of redacting, change logs appears to be the least of their problems.

  16. MotionCompensation

    Machine gun

    Windows 10 and Microsoft: how to shoot yourself in the foot with a machine gun. With a stuck trigger. And a crate full of ammunition.

  17. Palpy

    Windows, the unplugged mix

    Deleted GWX.exe on the Win7 partition, but until things are sorted out Winjdows only gets booted when the leetle blue Ethernet hose is unplugged. Need a file from the interwebs? Download with Linux, scan for malware, copy to Win partition. Pain in the rump. Ah, l' monde pue. At least, Microsoft pue.

  18. jtaylor

    Disconnect between MS and IT depts

    The story I read here is about a gap between what Microsoft delivers and what IT departments must deliver.

    If an organization finds a particular problem, they have to find a way to continue operating until the problem can be solved. This is true in Sales, in Design, in Production, in IT....

    For example, if users become unable to properly preview documents before printing them, that's a problem. IT has to respond. Maybe we say "if you are using X software, please save the file to PDF and view in PDF reader to preview it. We're sorry for the trouble, and we'll tell you when this is fixed."

    In the past, we could look through patch notes and get an idea when the vendor fixed the bug. When the vendor doesn't say what they fixed, it's much harder for IT to know whether or when to promise users that specific problems were fixed.

    In other words, IT still has to answer to the organization, regardless of what support they get from the vendor. In this case, it seems that Microsoft has decided to hang IT staff out to dry.

    Microsoft has chosen not to respond to conspiracy fears about Windows 10. Maybe conspiracy theorists are not their target market. We'll see how much pain this causes medium-to-large organizations, and how Microsoft responds to that pain.

  19. BlartVersenwaldIII
    Go

    Relax you guys

    Be happy that MS is now XKCD 1294-compliant

    1. moxberg

      Re: Relax you guys

      Nay. They promised to be, but utilizing the long proven "embrace and extinguish" strategy, they went straight to "mum".

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Relax you guys

      That's XKCD 1296. 1294 is the spec for monotonically-increasing scope nomenclature.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You think you got problems ?

    We are required by the FDA to test any update for possible incompatibilities or safety issues before allowing any users of our software to use it with patients .

    The same FDA also required "for cyber security" that our users do ALL security updates on any systems with patient data immediately.

    One suggestion is that we simply detect a windows10 update in our software and have it disable itself.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You think you got problems ?

      We are required by the FDA to test any update for possible incompatibilities or safety issues before allowing any users of our software to use it with patients.

      But the good news is, with he new information at your fingertips you won't not dis-un-know what is not un-re-dis non-incompatible and therefore you'll be in a prime position to not disinform your uncolleagues. And with that in mind your can make your patients sign a completely not anti-ironclad semi-admissable waiver to make yourselves utterly non-semi-responsible for any don't-not-unknow any dis-non-assocable data social-unmediaisation. What's not to don't not undislike?!

      1. moxberg

        Re: You think you got problems ?

        Don't have no un-half semi-negated down-thumb then!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You think you got problems ?

      We are required by the FDA to test any update for possible incompatibilities or safety issues before allowing any users of our software to use it with patients .

      The same FDA also required "for cyber security" that our users do ALL security updates on any systems with patient data immediately.

      One suggestion is that we simply detect a windows10 update in our software and have it disable itself.

      From what I have seen so far, anti-virus software should zap any attempt to establish a Win10 install on a machine. Otherwise it's not anti malware IMHO :).

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: You think you got problems ?

      Well given the update policy, I doubt MS will be releasing an EAL4+ version of Win10 (ignoring embedded variants). So if you need platform stability and security, it is looking like Windows is no longer the platform for you...

  21. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Pre-release software

    I really think there's a simpler reason for the nearly useless update notes -- I don't think they know what is being updated. I've seen this in Ubuntu pre-releases too -- there'll be this rush of updates to packages with a description like "version bump" or "bug fixes", whereas after release there'll be fewer updates which will have more useful descriptions. To me Windows 10 simply appears to be (despite Microsoft already shipping it and taking money for it from OEMs) in a late pre-release stage of development. I'm guessing once things "settle down" a bit the update notes would be more descriptive.

    That said... I'm glad I don't use Windows! Win7 trying to force Win10 down people's throats (unauthorized multi-GB download? Ugh.), Win10 spying on customers, then Win7 getting a spyware update to spy almost as badly as Win10? Being expected to install updates without knowing what it'll do, on what is after all supposedly a release (not alpha or beta!) version of the software? Ugh.

  22. Bladeforce

    I'm so glad...

    ..our IT has been moved away from anything windows over 4 years ago. Now thats forward thinkng! So happy not to be stuck in the nerver ending spiral of BS from Redmond anymore. So little headaches

  23. Howard Hanek
    IT Angle

    Software As a Service

    Software As a Service? Won't last long if the service is lousy or impossible to control in a business that requires more than insincere expressions of concern.

    1. theOtherJT

      Re: Software As a Service

      I wish that was true. Once something becomes "Business critical" you're stuck with it regardless of how bad it is.

      We have genuine known problems with $SOFTWARE_A which, if patched, would bork $SOFTWARE_B. We (IT) have brought these problems up with every possible level of management, and the answer has always been "$SOFTWARE_B has to run or we shut down. You are not allowed to fix this." and the problem in $SOFTWARE_A goes unfixed.

      Never mind the fact that we know for a fact that what we're doing is dangerous and insecure, never mind that we've demonstrated proof of concept for how someone could utterly fuck us via these vulnerabilities and it's only that no one knows we have them that is keeping us "safe".

      Once you have an immovable object somewhere in the chain anything, no matter how awful, will be permitted to make sure that that immovable object stays where it is.

      I don't find it at all implausible that Windows As A Service could become a prerequisite for some cruddy piece of 3rd party software that we HAVE to run, and as a dependency we HAVE to run WAAS regardless of what it may or may not be doing without our knowledge or permission.

      1. asdf

        Re: Software As a Service

        To some extent that happens with most big organizations to a slight bit but in a case that extreme you might want to thing about a new employer. Who do you think they are going to blame when the inevitable happens and both A and B take a shit? Probably don't want to be facing personal lawsuits or at least having that taint attached to your working reputation.

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Software As a Service

        I have ti agree, sadly.

        A few years ago when I was still working in educashun we had to operate a new web based database that was meant to be core to what we did.

        BUT, because of it we couldn't update IE. And had to use an older, insecure version. It just didn't work on newer IE versions. We were forbidden from installing a newer version of IE.

        Which rather meant that all the security features in the database, let alone the rest of the PC work, were undermined out of the box.

  24. Drudgery Leak

    Haha I thought it was only our company that filled up its change logs with "Fix bug" "Fix bug" "Fix bug" ....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There's a difference between a development change log, and an application change log.

      Yes, I've been guilty of "fix bug", "fix typo" type messages. That's for me as a developer. What the customer gets should be a lot more explicit about what the changes are trying to achieve.

  25. Aurelian2
    Coffee/keyboard

    Feeling antsy

    After three decades on Wintel, I considered myself to be strongly pro-Microsoft. I admire such products as Word, Excel, Visual Studio, and SQL Server. I earned my living with them.

    Recently, I was disconcerted to see advertisements for Windows 10 in my Windows 7 PCs and VMs.

    My disquiet was intensified when Windows Update presented yet again the Windows 10 promotional updates which I had uninstalled and hidden.

    I'm not sure I credit the stories about Microsoft's co-opting our PCs into its Windows 10 distribution mechanism, or about Microsoft's downloading the Windows 10 ISO onto the PCs of those who have not reserved a copy of it. Such stories are unsettling, however, and they prompted me to consider the Linux alternative.

    This weekend, I installed Linux Mint 17.2 with the Cinnamon desktop on a spare laptop and it impressed me. I went on to install the free VMware Player 5.0.4, which entailed finding and applying a patch -- a valuable exercise which taught this utter Linux ignoramus some useful terminal commands and revealed the vast array of online expertise available to the novice.

    I'm now embarking on an evaluation of my computing missions, the tools used, and the available alternatives.

    1. jamesb2147

      Re: Feeling antsy

      I'm no *nix blowhard, but I suspect you'll find many products to be superior for a power user.

    2. asdf

      Re: Feeling antsy

      Figures you and many others in the windows crowd finally find *nix just as POSIX is dying. Don't worry Red Hat will make sure you never have to know what that means pretty much regardless of what distro you use. Linux the new Windows hairball lite.

      1. Aurelian2

        Re: Feeling antsy

        @asdf

        I'm disconcerted.

        Which personal computing operating system do you recommend?

        1. asdf

          Re: Feeling antsy

          Depends on your skill level. In the UNIX world if you are not comfortable with the command line (and basic unix commands) and are on a laptop you are probably best sticking with Linux (looks like the windows crowd has discovered Linux Mint which is what I would recommend for them as well) as you are its target market now (and probably won't care about POSIX anyway). Otherwise for desktop users coming from other *nix I suggest PC-BSD (I use Lumina as my main DE because I just can't take KDE's bloat). FreeBSD is fine too for the desktop (PC-BSD basically just a flavor of it). OpenBSD is the ultimate in POSIX love, stability and security but the base system comes with very minimal windows managers which I actually prefer for many things like banking. Definitely more for power users and has less software available for it. Haven't played much with NetBSD or Dragonfly but they seem to be pretty solid for many purposes as well. Finally if you want to go full nerd you can looking at running something like illumos or one of the proprietary UNIX at home but neck beards who do that won't be asking for suggestions.

          1. asdf

            Re: Feeling antsy

            Notice I didn't include Mac OS X also. They love selling their UNIX roots but honestly it pretty obvious over time the non core UNIX stuff is just placeholder filler for them they are slowly replacing. That said they are obviously quite viable on the desktop and may actually be the best choice for pure GUI non power users wanting to avoid windows. I actually do recommend Apple hardware if you can afford it (what I have on desktop) because that way you can multi boot into virtually any OS you want. Be aware though that all the extra OS's you install will support your mac long after Apple stops letting you upgrade to their yearly service pack pretending to be a new OS (lol even Windows).

            1. Aurelian2

              Re: Feeling antsy

              @asdf

              Many thanks. That's very helpful.

              I can see I've got some homework to do.

              I'd ruled out Apple. Nice kit but I'm a longtime ThinkPad man myself.

              I use VMware Workstation for the resilience it affords, and I'll be using it on the Windows-free rig.

  26. steamnut

    It's only about the money

    All of the changes being forced onto us by U$oft are about money - nothing else. All of us that held onto XP upset their upgrade/churn cashflow plans. Even Win7 is getting the "metering" patches by the back-door so we cannot escape unless we ditch Windows.

    After failing to spot Apple becoming a larger company using the "regular drip" model they want lots of regular payments for upgrades, features, apps etc etc. Once most of us have the "free" Win10 then the screws will start to tighten for sure.

    They are not alone with Adobe, Oracle, Netflix, Amazon and even Jetbrains all getting in on the game. They all want your Direct Debits or CC numbers.

    Our only hope is the EU will spot their monopolistic practices and call a halt to it. But, such is their power (and bank balance) that they will continue to get away with it much like the failed Anti-Trust actions in the US.

  27. jamesb2147

    SBS Diva strikes again!

    I had no idea Susan was a reader of El Reg! Surprised you guys didn't toot on your own horn, so to speak.

  28. Roland6 Silver badge
    Pint

    Mary Jo Foley

    I like the fact that MJF is also not happy about W10 and its 'instability':

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/my-biggest-problem-with-windows-10-stability/

  29. Whistlerspa
    Holmes

    What data are Microsoft actually taking? & Win 10 performance

    I've been following the posts on several stories and am wondering what is the data that many people are saying that they are taking. If it's contact lists say, well if I use web based email or social media then that's already out there. If it's browsing metadata I'm really not too bothered. A library would know what books I'd borrowed so why does that matter. It's nothing that Google or Facebook or Twitter et al aren't already taking.

    With regard to Win 10 performance I installed from scratch and it's been performing pretty well. All updates installed so far have increased performance and it works far better on my laptop than Mint 17.2 did before it. Had problems with NVIDIA drivers and wifi connectivity under that OS, plus general software instability such as start menu issues and dodgy Libre Office documents.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What data are Microsoft actually taking? & Win 10 performance

      " It's nothing that Google or Facebook or Twitter et al aren't already taking."

      There are people who understandably choose to minimise their contact with Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc, for reasons of privacy. Not just by not having accounts, but also by blocking their various webtrackers etc.

      How does a Windows user achieve the same kind of result, while remaining a Windows user?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020