back to article Happy fifth birthday, Windows Insiders! We'd bake a cake, but it might explode without warning

Come gather one and all to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Microsoft's Windows Insider programme and its army of volunteer testers. The Insider scheme put in an appearance the day after Windows 10 was announced and was aimed at providing users with preview versions of Microsoft's biannually updated operating system in order …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Happy fifth birthday, Windows Insiders!"

    And happy forced and unpaid vacations, all MS QA department !

    /sarcasm

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and five years later...

    we still CRINGE at the thought of:

    borked monthly updates

    patches for monthly patches

    biannual feature updates, aka service packs henceforth

    and now AI to screw it up further.

    must be working well, nice move M$. /facepalm

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "cut down on the borkage"

    Maybe, maybe not. More borkage will incite more businesses to move to Linux, maybe. I wonder what proportion of new small businesses are not under the Redmond influence. Surely young entrepreneurs are not all afraid of living a Windows-free life ?

    1. Yorick

      Re: "cut down on the borkage"

      Not Linux, but a UNIX offshoot: MacOS. Young entrepreneurs, and for that matter middle-aged ones too, seem to really like MacBooks.

      1. vistisen

        Re: "cut down on the borkage"

        In my company you can chose whether you want to use MacOS, linux or windows. It seems to be management and sales that use MacOs, and the tech guys that use Windows or Linux. It also seems to be the Management / sales guys that spam the service desk with , why can't I find my files on the server?how can I print? type questions.

      2. JohnFen

        Re: "cut down on the borkage"

        Not around here. Macbooks are not commonly seen among tech entrepreneurs (of any age) in my part of the woods. As with iPhones (which are also rare here), I suspect that how common they are is dependent on the local culture.

    2. jelabarre59

      Re: "cut down on the borkage"

      Maybe, maybe not. More borkage will incite more businesses to move to Linux, maybe.

      It's kind of like NY State and their ever more oppressive taxation and regulation environment. Every time the state makes things more difficult, more companies and individuals reach their own particular "pain point", and it becomes a better choice to *leave* NY. After which the cycle starts over again.

      I expect MSWindows is becoming much like that. As more borkage and vulnerabilities crop up, and costs go up yet again, it becomes viable for another batch of companies and users to make the jump to Linux.

      1. ma1010
        Linux

        Re: "cut down on the borkage"

        New York sounds a lot like California!

        And I hope more make the jump to Linux as they can. MS hit my "pain point" when they were forcing those Win X updates on people. That's when I let a friend talk me into installing Mint, and I've been with it ever since.

  4. Hans 1
    WTF?

    Microsoft's biannually updated operating system

    I only got one version last year, 1803, around September ... I managed to install 1809 in March or April, Microsoft FanGirlSupremo Mary Jo Fouley only recently announced that 1903 was ready, however, it will not install on my box, yet, and I doubt I will before 2020 ...

    Two years in a row where I have but one version ...

    1. JohnFen

      I recently noticed that something went wrong on my Windows work machine, and it hasn't installed any updates for over a year.

      This pleased me, and I'm certainly not going to volunteer this fact to our IT department. :)

    2. Ilgaz

      Funny thing is

      Ms just announced 1903 is trustworthy, stable update days ago. It was released months ago, hundreds of millions were release candidate /beta testing something without being aware. That thing happens to be an OS.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In my line of work...

    In my line of work, the early "You WILL update NOW. <reboot> " thing made win10 completely infeasible for normal usage.

    In the middle of working on a huge piece of equipment is not the time for a forced, non-skip update that may completely uninstall/reinstall/change the OS.

    I've heard that updates can now be put off, but the damage was done.

    My hat tips to all those that find happiness in being unpaid testers for Microsoft, and I hope they can use the experience to further their careers.

  6. coconuthead

    Where did "ring" come from?

    Not having had much at all to do with Windows over the past decade, I haven't kept up with the folklore.

    Where does the term "ring" come from? Is it from Dante? If so, where are the other 5?

    1. JohnFen

      Re: Where did "ring" come from?

      I don't know, but I always assumed that it was related to the use of the term "ring" to describe OS privilege levels. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protection_ring

    2. cookieMonster

      Re: Where did "ring" come from?

      Bend Over???

    3. Aussie Doc
      Trollface

      Re: Where did "ring" come from?

      I think it's to do with the suffer-'ring' that seems to occur regularly.

  7. TVU

    Happy fifth birthday, Windows Insiders!

    What Microsoft should do is reverse the very bad 2014 decision and now hire more in-house quality assurance and testing staff. Simples, innit?

  8. LeahroyNake

    MCT

    The only thing that MS has done well is the Media Creation Tool. Being able to download the latest version as an iso or direct to a bootable USB stick is a lot better than fishing around for old Win 7 install discs. The UEFI install / auto license key... Hmmm not bad suppose its better than not having a key / rubbed of on the bottom of laptop etc.

    The downside is that need to keep a Win 10 install USB and a Linux based file recovery OS in my toolbox because updates bork systems way too often. Keeps me employed though.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: MCT

      As I back up data to NAS anyway.

      Having a clean recovery image (Apps installed\configured but minimal data) with the ability to download & install the latest update version is really quite handy & then make a updated clean recovery image, rather than plough through update after update.

      That said I still keep a copy of Offline Update to hand to download & update Windows & Office as I'm getting very tired of being nagged to sign in every time I use the Office 2016 suite. When the day comes that I am forced to sign in with my Microsoft account rather than a local one, is the day I jump to Linux Mint (or similar).

      http://download.wsusoffline.net/.

    2. Ilgaz

      Re: MCT

      Nope. Run Rufus. It is ages ahead of that media creation tool and way more trustworthy.

  9. ma1010
    Megaphone

    WORST idea MS ever had

    And that's saying a LOT. But it's just the way software is done these days. You half-ass do it, pretend to test it, then push it out and let the users suffer through the real testing. Where I work we've got some new software, and it has more bugs than a cut-rate cathouse. Apparently the same testing methodology with a dash of PHBs trying to show how fast and efficient they are at getting the new software "out there" -- well before it was ready. (Software isn't the only thing that's "out there," but that's another story.)

    I used to write specialized accounting software, and I tested it by paralleling every single transaction for at least a month against the old system before I released a module. Any discrepancies that couldn't be traced to data entry errors meant another month's testing after I fixed the bugs. But I guess that sort of thing is just old-fashioned, like me.

    Excuse me a minute; I need to go chase those kids off my lawn again.

    1. JohnFen

      Re: WORST idea MS ever had

      "You half-ass do it, pretend to test it, then push it out and let the users suffer through the real testing."

      Welcome to the wonderful world of Agile.

      (Before Agile proponents jump on me, I'm talking about how it's commonly put into practice, not the platonic ideal.)

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: WORST idea MS ever had

        The only things that matters is what really happens. The platonic ideal is pie in the sky until someone makes it happen on the ground, where all the people are. A lot of things sound good in practice, but can never actually work when all of that real life stuff gets mixed in. I think it's been pretty well demonstrated that worse isn't better.

  10. SVV

    Windows Insider programme celebrates its fifth birthday

    That's a long cruel time inside. However the prisoners must be the only ones on Earth who have never hoped for an early release.

  11. Carl D

    Wonder if all those people who lost their files in the botched first release of Windows 10 1809 a year ago ever got their files back?

    From memory, one person lost over 200GB of photos which were irreplacable (yes, we all know he should have had a backup).

    Last I heard (which was shortly after the brown stuff hit the whirly thingy) there was an "official" announcement from MS (might have been from Dona Sarkar, not 100% sure) that stated (in true MS speak): "We have the tools in place to get these people back to a good state" (whatever that means?).

    So, I'm still wondering a year later - did any of these poor unfortunates get all or any of their deleted files back? Because, I didn't hear anything further after MS's "announcement" (Spoiler alert: I'm guessing the answer was NO).

  12. Ilgaz

    We have to

    I have a strange Hp Laptop which can't boot to Linux no matter what I tried. Also even if it runs live (Fedora with mbr) there seems to be zero interest in Linux world about 2 in 1.

    So, kind of stuck to Windows, there aren't any testers at MS, even if they exist they're template typing outsourced people who has no clue. If you don't want a update nightmare with your own, unique computer when next version is released, you have to test it yourself and hope your feedback & telemetry make a change. For example, idiot thing complain about not being able to downgrade all my drivers via Windows update right now.

    If I could somehow install and run Debian fine, I'd willfully spare my time and data though.

  13. Blackjack Silver badge

    This is one of the reasons why I definitely don't want to use Windows 10.

    I mostly use Windows for Videogames, and updates borking or deleting my games is a big no.

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      It turns out that people who use Windows 10 for non-gaming purposes feel the same way.

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