back to article Microsoft halts downloads of new PowerShell power-up

The revolution has been postponed: the long-awaited update to PowerShell that yesterday we reported as having launched, has now been pulled by Microsoft. Redmond says its reversal is due to “a bug which resets the PowerShell module environment during installation” that “can have a serious impact on our customers” because it “ …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    How come this wasn't discovered during testing?

    Doh!

    Ok, so I'm not a fan of Powershell after an update removed one critical library (server 2008-R2). MS said sorry, just remove that update. Two days later the same update appeared again. This time it didn't remove the library, just updated it.

    1. Mikel

      Re: How come this wasn't discovered during testing?

      Testing? What's that?

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: How come this wasn't discovered during testing?

        It's for the consumers. If they burn their hands, it's hot?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How come this wasn't discovered during testing?

        It was discovered during testing: the paying customer testing phase. But I too am surprised this slipped through Microsoft's H1B-stuffed testing donut of excellence.

  2. Nanners

    Can't believe

    You just put the words smart and Microsoft together in the same article. A release... Right before Christmas.... That resets everything. Like a 90's style OS update. Good grief Charley brown.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    WTF!

    1985 called and wants its $PATH variable back

    1. boltar Silver badge

      Re: WTF!

      "1985 called and wants its $PATH variable back"

      Err, ordered search paths are pretty critical in pretty much every OS. Otherwise the OS would have to search the entire local disk array and any NFS/NAS devices to find the correct binary on every attempted execution of a command/program. I think perhaps you can see the problem there.

      Also $PATH is unix. IIRC for windows its %PATH% though I could be wrong.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF!

        OSX doesn't need a PATH variable because there's never any need to search for anything. With Apple, everything you need is right where you need it, else you don't need it.

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Bugs-as-a-Service

    Their QA has gone to pot if an update from PS 4 to 5 wasn't a test case.

  5. brotherelf
    Trollface

    Ah!

    So they moved the person who didn't catch the 1511 update overwriting settings bug and put them into the Powershell QA team to atone.

    (Makes me wonder if somewhere in MS internal docs, there's a buggy "how to write an installer/deployment config" tutorial.)

  6. Paul Shirley

    windows as a service

    Remind me why windows as a service makes any sense at all with this consistent record of borked updates?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: windows as a service

      Remind me why windows as a service makes any sense at all with this consistent record of borked updates?

      It'll provide us who have left that idiocy behind with an endless source of entertainment and opportunities to say "I told you so"?

      :)

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: windows as a service

      It only has to make sense to MS, not their customers.

  7. phuzz Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Who forgot the golden rule of using Microsoft products? Never not always wait for SP1.

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      @phuzz It's the golden rule for all software, play it through your landscape dev -> test -> production.

      As others have noted it becomes problematic when these "-as-a-service" offerings enforce an update.

  8. steamnut

    Too big to fail?

    If you look across the board then all of Microsoft's products have become bloated and full of unused code that no one seems to look for.

    Each update and bug fix must take progressively longer to implement as the codebase increases in size. This has an almost exponential affect on the testing time as the permutations multiply. In my view, it is the testing that is not being done as thoroughly in order to meet self-imposed release schedules. Of course the staff shrinkage may also have created a resource issue too.

    Clearly, in the dash for cash (aka monthly subscriptions) , Micro$oft are failing.

    1. Eddy42

      Re: Too big to fail?

      This is precisely why *NIX operating systems have always stuck to small(ish) packages of code which can be worked on, tested etc. separately. As soon as you are reliant on one company and therefore one dev team (however big and expensive they say it is) managing all of that code it becomes unworkable - the human brain cannot recall all of that data reliably enough.

      1. Adair Silver badge

        Re: Too big to fail?

        Let us all now bow down to the power and reach of systemd.

      2. PNGuinn
        Linux

        Re: Too big to fail?

        "This is precisely why *NIX operating systems have always stuck to small(ish) packages of code"

        <<choke>> systemd <<choke>

        One day the s**t is going to hit the fan. One hopes someone is pottering around in front of that fan at the time ...

        Roll on Devuan.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: Too big to fail?

      The code isn't necessarily unused, a frightening amount of it duplicates past ms errors that we poor devs had to code around or against. Bugs they can't remove without breaking an unknown number of apps.

      Unix got it right by minimising the api surface into small testable chunks for small separated tools. Then Linus buggered it up into a monolithic kernel in Linux, just not quite as badly as windows.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Too big to fail?

        Then Linus buggered it up into a monolithic kernel in Linux, just not quite as badly as windows

        You keep using that word, "monolithic".

        I don't it it means what you think it means.

        All Unix kernels have been "monolithic" (not exploded into separate processes), ever.

        If you are looking for Mach, it's not a Unix. It runs a monolithic Unix kernel.

        buggered it up

        Oh really?

        1. s2bu

          Re: Too big to fail?

          Technically both OS X/Darwin/XNU and Tru64 aka Digital UNIX aka OSF/1 used a hybrid kernel, just like NT does.

  9. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Happy

    If this update fixes the regex implementation in PowerShell we will finally have a native scripting language in Windows that is usable, 30 years overdue ...

    1. kryptylomese

      Why bother hoping that they polish the turd otherwise known as Windows?

    2. boltar Silver badge

      "If this update fixes the regex implementation in PowerShell we will finally have a native scripting language in Windows that is usable, 30 years overdue ..."

      If Microsoft had stuck with Xenix - put a decent GUI on it like Apple did with Mach - and used it for both workstation and server systems they really could have cleaned up almost the entire small to mid range computer market.

      Unfortunately some clueless idiot - probably Gates - thought that backing the underpowered GUI shell called Windows that had no VM protection and ran on top of a useless monitor program with piss poor memory and device management called DOS was they way forward. I can only assume this was a business decision because as a technical decision it was one of the worst made in tech history as it literally took them 20 years to catch up to what they threw away (sold to SCO, same thing).

  10. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Again?

    Is there any QA? This becoming a very regular feature; MS releases patch then within a couple of days MS pulls patch. Often, it seems it was a fairly obvious thing to check; such users will customize their kit. Therefore have a some test boxes with some common user customization.

  11. Bladeforce

    At Microsoft...

    ..we certainly know how to lose track of how our software works

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    Leave it up to MS...

    To ruin something which has a tremendous potential. I consider myself a PowerShell fan, I'm really in favor of the environment because it's the best of both worlds... It mimics and feels like a Unix shell but has everything good about Windows on board. Referring to the entire .NET library. You can actually use .NET commands and routines straight from within PS.

    If you're familiar with the Unix commandline you'll have everything you need to become familiar with PS. 'man man' works like a charm, the use of \ isn't mandatory ('cd /users/peter' works just as fine as 'cd \users\peter') and I love the command chaining. Because everything in PS is an object you can do some crazy things with the info you receive. And best yet: connecting to other servers isn't a problem either.

    I used to have a PS script which would check the event logs on 4 different Windows servers and warn me when something odd was found. That is innovation for you.

    Of course it started going downhill when they introduced mandatory translations. All of a sudden "man man" stopped working because I happened to be using a Dutch Windows version. My Windows 'culture' was nl-NL, so the help system looked for Dutch contents. Which unfortunately weren't made, and I couldn't force PS to use the English locale. Effectively rending the dynamic help system useless. It was made with help updates in mind, I think I never ever got one. So why did they need to break the help system in the first place?

    Sure, I could use a hack (copy the English help into the Dutch help location), which I ended up doing, but ye gods... It's a really good way to make me lose interest in an environment: adding plain out sloppy and crappy updates. Even though I'm a big PS fan... Heck: you can even use PS to perform administration tasks for SharePoint, they're really taking it quite far.

    And instead of learning from their mistakes they just keep blundering onwards while continuing to wonder why their user amounts keeps dropping and dropping.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Leave it up to MS...

      It [Powershell] mimics and feels like a Unix shell but has everything good about Windows on board

      Then why not stay with Unix? I guess you didn't have a choice, but "everything good about Windows" is decreasing so fast it may end up as a black hole before long, whereas Unix is still ramping up because it's quite simply based on better principles.

      The reason for the difference IMHO is that Unix is focused on solving real world problems, whereas Microsoft's focus is relentlessly and exclusively on profit, on what it can flog to people or blackmail them into buying. Thus, MS design is driven by marketing, not by engineering which explains the featuritis in everything they do and the absence of any appearance of Quality Control.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Leave it up to MS...

      It seems that MS have never really understood localisation, it's always been a last-moment bolt-on that gets broken in odd ways.

      I've yet to see any usable localisation tools from them at all, which is probably one reason.

    3. The Real Tony Smith
      Linux

      Re: Leave it up to MS...

      'I used to have a PS script which would check the event logs on 4 different Windows servers and warn me when something odd was found. That is innovation for you.'

      Innovation? Maybe in the Windows world but that's Linux basics!

  13. druck Silver badge
    Flame

    FFS - WMF

    FFS - WMF is Windows Meta File (a rather crap early vector graphics format), MS can't just redefine the TLA.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FFS - WMF is Windows Meta File (a rather crap early vector graphics format), MS can't just redefine the TLA.

    Oh really? They can redefine whole words:

    "Kerberos" (their version is incompatible with the original and the rest of the planet)

    "Open" as in OOXML

    "Trustworthy", but I guess that was more an attempt at black humour.

  15. Cincinnataroo

    $PSVersionTable.PSVersion

  16. SteveKingSmith

    That is creepy

    Posting a long awaited and taking it off immediately.. Ahh.. Guess rush to holidays fired back..

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