back to article Dear Microsoft – a sysadmin's wishlist

I yell at Microsoft a lot. It's cathartic. Microsoft make several decent pieces of software and quite a few great cloud services, but for every awesome thing they create it seems they ruin something else. Over the past year I've developed a wishlist of changes. Dear Microsoft... Azure Stack I like Azure Stack. A lot. What I …

  1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    MSFT remind me of Commodore in the late 80s/early 90s

    "Load... Fire... Aim!"

  2. McWibble

    Auto-installed Crap

    > Nor is installing apps without user permission. Please stop.

    Oh dear God, please stop this. I'm not sure why anyone would think installing Candy Crush automatically on business machines is a good idea. Also resetting the language to English-US after each major update. This is so teeth-grindingly annoying!

    1. Hans 1

      Re: Auto-installed Crap

      >Also resetting the language to English-US after each major update.

      English-US? That is what I want and have to reset it to because it sets it to French-France, including keyboard layout ... aaaaaaaaargh!

      The other day, I added a user, defaulted French-France and I left that, cause I did not care for that user ... but that changed the login screen keyboard layout FROM US TO FR and did each time I used that user, there you go, switch that user to English-US.

      Now, I have NOT gone through that user's telemetry settings and the login screen background switcher is back including "fun stuff" such as ads !!!! FFS ???? I need anger management!

      Why, ohhhh, WHY ????? did I set location to "France" at installation time? I should have set it to US ... My Linux has been through 5 or 6, no 7 years of updates/upgrades, location France, keyboard layout English ... none of this crap ....

      Now, I could get Linux on this laptop, but I don't want to, I want to be reminded daily that this piece of shit that goes by the name of Windows 10 deserves its name, besides, I have enough Linux/Darwin/FreeBSD boxen around here for the real work ....

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        It's no longer YOUR computer

        And MS has a long history of fudging about with Windows settings because it knows better than you do what it is you need - except that before, the impact was not so big since you could control and roll back any updates you didn't want.

        But you no longer have control, and MS has decided that every Windows install is its own little playground to do with as it pleases - never mind that you paid for the hardware.

        It's kind of like inviting someone over for dinner and five weeks later he's still there with his hand constantly in the fridge. He's eating your food, paying for nothing and you can't get rid of him.

        Windows 7 is my last MS OS. I am currently contemplating Debian for my home server. That move will happen this year.

        Thanks, MS - you've managed to finally push me out of my comfort zone.

  3. ChrisElvidge

    Dear Microsoft - Windows 10 Phone

    As one of the few using this, I would like to be able to update the OS over 3/4G.

    Phone c/w unlimited 4G is my main connection to the Internet. Hence Wi-Fi connection runs as hotspot over 4G (but has download limit.)

    Also take aim at BBC/ITV/Ch4/Ch5 on-demand services. Won't run over 4G, must use Wi-Fi. However torrents work perfectly over 4G. There's a clue there.

    1. Gavin Chester

      Re: Dear Microsoft - Windows 10 Phone

      I would assume the requirement for Wifi to download comes back the fact the beeb got a lot of flack in the past for letting downloads happen on 3/4G.

      There were reports of holidaymakers who were downloading TV over hotel wifi (I guess regional restrictions were not in place back then) when the wifi died and the phone switched to a data signal. That resulted in a huge bill.

    2. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Dear Microsoft - Windows 10 Phone

      That used to really annoy me too, a few years ago. Unlimited 3G, yet metered Wifi. And everything insisted that "I need wifi to upload this huge file that will cost you extra money on wifi, but won't cost you a cent on 3G..."

      That kept me on Android longer than I really wanted to because Apple devices don't know the difference between an Android wifi share and real wifi (but they do with Apple, and treat it as mobile data - which is really annoying).

      The new metered connection stuff on Android, allowing limits - it's a step in the right direction. But it's not a cure... (not until people wake up to the fact that in some circumstances, mobile really is cheaper than wifi...)

  4. h4rm0ny

    It must be great to have your own news outlet

    So you can rant about all the things you're upset about.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Anonymous Git

    Stop moving the goal posts!!!

    please stop removing features from products that people buy.

    aka. windows 10 pro. you've removed some GPOs and labeled it for the enterprise version only!

    Small businesses buy the Pro version so it has the GPO/domain features! We are not an enterprise with 100+++s of users!

    i don't want telemetry, nor lock screen ads, nor store, nor special candy crush crap. Businesses are not you home user kids playing on candy crush. Its unprofessional to see this crap!

    seriously, you make it harder for us by removing these GPO, so we have to hack around the problem a different way. its just lame. why should we have to deploy a script, or reg hack, or software restriction. when the GPO already existed!!!!

    And then a filter list on the firewall in hope to stop your gay ass spying!

    grrrrrrr. i wish i could go for linux workstations! if Adobe/Autodesk etc etc pull their fingers out!

    1. Hans 1

      Re: Stop moving the goal posts!!!

      >i don't want telemetry, nor lock screen ads, nor store, nor special candy crush crap. Businesses are not you home user kids playing on candy crush. Its unprofessional to see this crap!

      Well, tablet OS v3, aka Windows 10, is not a business OS, has never been designed to be one ... it is a consumer OS, MS have abandoned business client OS'.

      >grrrrrrr. i wish i could go for linux workstations! if Adobe/Autodesk etc etc pull their fingers out!

      Good luck with that ... Adobe ? You allow Adobe code* on your systems, sorry pal, you deserve all you get!

      * I do know Adobe do Premiere and PhotoChop (typo intended), rest assured they have the average 5 CVE's per line of code as well, you know, that is Adobe coding standards ...

      1. Anonymous Git

        Re: Stop moving the goal posts!!!

        yes Adobe is crap. but rarely used. Our business uses autodesk for production. and other linux based CAD software hasn't got the same features.

        plus i don't have time to teach/test new software.

  6. MrRimmerSIR!

    I thank you.

    1. Hans 1


      You trust that ? Has anybody ran through the code ?

  7. foxyshadis

    Drunken Dr. Seuss

    I am amused by the juxtaposition seen in this article.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Drunken Dr. Seuss

      I got the "Make F8 great again." line right next to the image of Trump with the no wifi password for isis caption. So whatever algorithm was doing the layout today was doing a bang up job of it.

  8. Sil

    "Never again should we submit to the tyranny of WinSXS's exponential growth, nor some remnant application interfering with a new one."

    Yes please.

  9. herman Silver badge

    I honestly don't know what Windows is actually good for these days, or why people still use it.

  10. Stuart Halliday

    Oops I've slipped into the Twilight Zone.

    Loved the piece on Containers. Why not simply put a ! in front of a directory name and be done with it! (Subtle old Acorn humour there).

  11. UKHobo

    I agree they're generally crap at updates but there appears to be something going on inside MS at the moment in this area and it looks like another case of one waring department against another. As a company they're swinging in their approach with updates between "take it all, we document nothing, like it or lump it" and "read about this one, take it if you want it". Here's an example of the latter: who knows what they're doing with updates and what the future may hold..which to be fair is pretty much par for the course with Microsoft in general.

    Personally I'm in the camp of having to suffer windows in my day job and avoiding it like the plague when working on my own stuff at home.

  12. dan1980

    While reading this article, I had a notepad (++) file open, copying and pasting snippets so I could respond. After five such actions, I realised that my response was the same each time: yes, please!

    The problem with all of this is, as Trevor well knows, MS just does not care about any of this. In fact, they are actively against most of it. Why? Because some of the things Trevor is complaining about used to work well but were deliberately changed by MS.

    The reason for that is Microsoft's chosen paradigm where they control the desktop rather than the user. As we have seen with the gradual removal of previously-existing features in Windows 10, MS are increasingly trying to position the ability to actual control the OS (and the applications) as a premium, niche feature that (they believe) should only be relevant to large enterprises. Everyone else, so their line goes, just wants to have all that pesky choice and control taken off their hands.

    The lynchpin of this whole system is the updates.

    The main reason, I believe, that MS pushed so heavily getting Win 10 onto PCs is that it wanted to force as many people as possible to just accept whatever updates were given. Sure, updating can improve security and an unpatched system is, all else being equal, less secure than a patched one, but that is not the concern from MS.

    What they want is the control - the ability to add and remove features as they please - to essentially reconfigure the user's OS as and when they want.

    Have you removed the Windows Store shortcuts? Silly you - we'll go ahead and put those back where you can see them. There you go - all better now. What's that? You've somehow used a group policy to disable the Store all together? How clumsy of you! You must be at your wit's end wondering what you've done. But worry no more - we'll fix that right up and, just so you don't accidentally do it again (who would want that!), we'll be a good parent and take that dangerous option away. There, now you can't break anything.

    And what's this? You've turned off our monitoring? How will we know when you need us? You could be floundering away over there and we'd never know!! For your own safety, we'll turn that back on for you.

  13. ForthIsNotDead


    It's been many years since I was involved in building and administering Windows servers... In fact, it was the days of Win NT4 and Win2K.

    Seems like fuck all has changed. In fact, sounds like it may have got a lot worse.

    That's progress.

    Meanwhile, I'm running my final MS OS on my old laptop: Windows 7. Took a look at 8 - what a joke, and Windows 10 is fast but they've moved EVERTHING and dumbed down EVERYTHING. I literally give in.

    I now run Linux Mint most of the time at home and am very happy with it and increasingly impressed with Linux as I learn more and understand more about it and it's ethos.

  14. tastyratz

    How about the new official change policy of "whatchoo gunna do bout it?"

    MS has been forcing a lot down our throats lately with server 2016 and win10 that is ESPECIALLY impacting the business customers. They are making server-based licensing uneconomical with new many-core processors, and they are making a very disruptive end user experience without respecting a business need to support and maintain legacy custom applications.

    How about

    On another note.

    How about expanding SMB protocol to be file size and placement aware?

    Why is fragmentation still such a thing?

    How about having a filesystem that is predictive and application-aware so it can essentially provision space for files based on expectation, current configuration, and usage patterns? Why do I have .log files that are in 300k fragments. Why not free a larger contiguous block for file placement based on existing fragment count and or application request? It can still be thin provisioned and reclaimed without being a sparse file if needed once free space gets low but that shouldn't be a thing.

  15. Zane

    Nice idea!

    Yep nice catalogue.

    I just wonder - isn't it faster to install some Linux instead of writing an article like this?

    Have a nice day


  16. mstreet

    On a positive note...

    It seems M$ have finally removed whatever it was they were using to slow Windows 7 updates down to a crawl. For the better part of a year, fully patching an out of the box Win7Pro machine was taking the better part of 3 days (2 days or running the updater, before it even found anything to install).

    Now they are back to their pre-Win10 benchmark of almost a full day.

    On an even more promising note, the long wait for machines to patch let me do a bit of experimenting, were I discovered I can do 27 installs of Ubuntu Mate, all fully patched, in the amount of time it took to patch a single win 7 box. Numbers even our Windows addicted bean-counters (should) pay attention to.

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