back to article Microsoft's carefully crafted Surfaces are having trouble with its carefully crafted Windows 10 May 2020 Update

It's only the second week of Windows 10's May 2020 Update and things are going... about as well as one might expect. Which, sadly for Microsoft hardware owners, is not ideal. The release popped up last week and we noted that it had its issues. Ten, to be precise. The bork count currently stands at 11 and, worryingly for owners …

  1. Robert Grant Silver badge

    That Panos video was...odd. I wonder how many rehearsals it took.

    1. eromana

      Body Language

      Panos repeated hands palms forward, towards the viewer, means: Stay Back !! Don't get any closer !

    2. steviebuk Silver badge

      It was awful. He said "super pumped" which is bad enough as it is, then the even more bullshit "Oh isn't it cute, my daughter accidentally interrupts the filming" yeah, did you pay her for that acting?

      Glad I got rid of My Surface Pro 4 last year. Was a bit of an impulse buy, wanted something for digital drawing. But like many of my "ideas" I never really used it. It barely played games. Was able to play Capitalism Lab while on the Euro Star heading to Belgium one year :) because I hardly used it, the screen issue never hit me, but I suspect its new owner will have to get a replacement at some point.

      Never purchasing any Surface line again.

  2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    I sometimes wonder whether Microsoft's current management aren't secretly undercover IBM/Oracle/Google stooges, sent to destroy the company from within. Because otherwise, I really don't understand how they can continue messing things up so often and nobody seems to be accountable for any of this.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      IBM/Oracle/Google stooges

      Apart from the fact that if you gave those companies a gun, they'd shoot themselves in both feet and in the groin too.

      MS don't have to be efficient, people buy their crap anyway, no matter the number of foul ups, dodgy behaviour and PR shiftiness.

    2. jgarbo

      Been wondering, too. They obviously don't do software, so how do they turn a penny?

    3. jgarbo

      You mean like they did with Nokia?

  3. karlkarl Silver badge

    It is odd. I am beginning to think that Windows Update is fairly defective.

    I install a clean Windows 7. Not cracked (this time). I connect it to the internet and just hammer the "check for updates" button.

    It dutifully downloads a load of old crap and tried to install it.

    20 were successful.

    5 failed (2 were due to not owning an extended support license so I am ignoring them).

    Now I am wondering why a clean copy of Windows with zero third party software would fail on 3 important updates. I also wonder what sort of non-deterministic, half installed state some of those updates left my system in.

    Completely unfit for purpose. And Windows 7 has been around for many years now. More than enough time to make things work.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      5 failed (2 were due to not owning an extended support license so I am ignoring them).

      Why was it even trying to apply something where a license is not present.

      Sounds like a waste of download for a start.

      Imagine if the user was on a metered connection and paying for the wasted megabytes....

      1. karlkarl Silver badge

        Good point.

        Probably so it could show the stupid error message and try to tempt the user to migrate to Windows 10 (or just make us feel bad that the extended support isn't available to us mere plebs).

        Check it out:

        I particularly like the section "Known issues in this update"

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      I'm not an expert but I suspect that some Windows updates don't get along well with other updates. Ideally they'd queue up nicely like supermarket customers during the coronavirus pandemic, but nevertheless some may trip up over each other and require a second try. There are definite issues if you do your patching by hand, that Patch 29 actually reverses Patch 11 (these numbers are not real) and it's even possible that they don't know that. In such a case, hopefully Windows Update knows to run Patch 29 before Patch 11 - or to run Patch 11 after Patch 29 even if Patch 11 was run already - and to sort the thing out. Or if not, Patch 37 ought to come along as a replacement for both of the others.

    3. Steve Knox

      Fairly Defective?

      I knew it was well borked back when Windows Update told me it was "Installing update 17 of 3..."

    4. robidy Silver badge

      > 5 failed (2 were due to not owning an extended support

      > license so I am ignoring them).

      Are they for unsupported operating systems like XP or Windows 7?

    5. UBF

      If you start from a 10-year old Win7 CD and try to update it, or if you are servicing a PC that had updates disabled for a long time, the process is likely going to get stuck around the March 2019 updates. Then you need the April 2019 Servicing Stack Update (KB3177467) to unclog the update process. This is a well-known issue that happened before and forced Microsoft to release the Convenience Rollup Update KB3125574, which essentially was a SP2 (500MB!). This is why you need to search for streamlined recent ISOs of Win7 (which MS never did) and the most certain way to find them is in the dark alleys of the net (just use your own legal serial number). However, after all these years of using and supporting Win7, I've never witnessed the catastrophic failures users of Win10 experience. That's why I personally consider Win10 not a mature product yet, and keep it away from me and my clients as much as possible.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        "This is why you need to search for streamlined recent ISOs of Win7 (which MS never did) and the most certain way to find them is in the dark alleys of the net (just use your own legal serial number)."

        MS has forced people to do this kind of thing, which is like saying "take your chances with whatever you can find out there -we don't care what infections you might get".

  4. pstancer

    Windows Insider Bork bork bork

    I'm a Windows Insider and I've been reporting some of these new Surface borks since November 2019, although it's a Green Screen Of Death for me on the Insider track.

    Sadly Microsoft QA is not what it was. I'm turning off Insider builds (even the supposedly stable slow ring) after this next update goes on to my system. It's just not worth the hassle any more.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Windows Insider Bork bork bork

      Sadly Microsoft QA is not what it was.

      Micros~1 "QA" was never "what it was"; it's never been anything but shit. Anybody here wizened (read: old) enough to remember Quick C? And don't even get me started on, Vista.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Windows Insider Bork bork bork

        Halfway through XP's life, MS ruined the update process. Presumably any decent programmers from the NT days had left by then.

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Totally unacceptable

    This is a Borkzilla OS on a Borkzilla platform. Borkzilla knows damn well how Surfaces can be configured - they're not PCs with endless possible configurations.

    And yet, Borkzilla still can't get its shit together.

    I am so glad I am staying with Win7.

  6. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    I have a home build PC that is displaying the same message. It's up to date (I essentially stripped my old PC out of it's case, and replaced everything bar the case, drives, monitor and keyboard just before christmas). I am happy to accept that there is something stopping the update, but I'd like some indication of what it is. It might be something I can change.

  7. katrinab Silver badge

    Works fine on my test VMWare and Hyper-V virtual machines, but they only have one network adapter.

    Not tried it on my bootcamp partition. It has wifi, plus a Thunderbolt ethernet adapter on my docking station + a USB-C ethernet adapter (not necessarily both plugged in at the same time), so maybe I'd best wait for that one.

  8. RM Myers Bronze badge
    Thumb Down

    My old home built PC's are not updating

    Cough..N..cough..vid..cough..ia. You can't sell new GPU's if you support the old ones with new drivers, can you? Linus isn't the only one who wants to give a certain graphics company the middle finger (and not just, or even primarily, for this windows update).

  9. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Who are the Rejects of Redmond hiring?

    Software releases of your own products should be tested on your own hardware internally rather thoroughly. You have control of both products so all problems are on you. It seems the Rejects of Redmond do not have enough collective gray matter to grasp this obvious point. And if you ignore the home brew kit out there, OEMs tend to each have fairly limited hardware combinations so internal testing of commercial hardware from OEMs would cover most of the kit (probably on the order of 80-90% of the kit) in the wild. I can accept that some home brew kit might be better described as a Frankenputer with an odd combination that is difficult to test. But the Frankenputers are not a large share of the market and those users are hopefully more knowledgeable and skilled; they are not likely your dear, elderly Aunt Martha.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I now have taken the plunge on my main system (after like nearly 2 years of dual booting the laptop) and have a dual boot on my main system. Linux and Win7. Win 10 is on a sacrificial 60gb drive that I hope dies before I *need* to boot into Windows 10. Also constantly forgetting the password for it means I just keep re-installing Win 10 over and over. I certainly ain't doing it on purpose so I don't have to use the thing! ;)

  11. swm Silver badge

    Windows XP

    I had a windows XP machine that was rock solid for 15 years. Last month one of the drives stopped working so I debated getting the machine repaired. However WINE ran all of my XP programs I needed on my UBUNTU machine so I think I will not bother fixing up the XP machine. I then discovered that my XP software ran considerably faster under WINE (because of a faster processor) so I am abandoning the XP machine.

    I have a windows 10 laptop and am currently trying to figure out how to stop all updates.

    1. Whyohwhy

      Re: Windows XP

      Unplugging the Ethernet cable works for me. There are Shut-Up-Tools aplenty if you still want your Install to talk to the Interwebs, but if you have suficient skill to run it boxed, why bother?

  12. Blackjack Silver badge

    Is Windows Phone all over again

    The Nokia branded Windows phones had decent hardware but the OS and software was worse than Symbian and crashed a lot more.

    Nowadays we see that Microsoft can't keep their own hardware working correctly with their own software updates and that's yet another reason to not use Windows 10.

  13. YetAnotherJoeBlow

    All of which shows...

    None of their testing volunteers could afford a MS Surface.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The landfill crud is Windows 10, not the hardware. Linux shows that.

    If Microsoft/Nvidia don't fix the older Graphics Card driver issue...

    There's a perfectly good Linux based OS that does run on those machines.

    Getting hardware/memory upgrades isn't easy right now. Software is.

    Both companies need to remember that.

    And if it doesn't get fixed, it's easy to conclude the blue screen is 'designed in' to sell new kit / obsolete old kit.

    Now, is a good a time as any to get off the Microsoft subscription sausage machine conveyor belt. Staying on it, leaves you with your hands tied, going forward.

    Listening Microsoft?

  15. Elledan

    Rock, meet hard place.

    So on one hand one can elect to have one's Windows 10 installation regularly b0rked by official updates, and on the other hand there is the scaremongering about not 'upgrading' from Windows 7.

    Maybe unsupported Windows OSes are the safest ones at this point...

  16. Unicornpiss Silver badge

    I've always found it ironic..

    ..that Microsoft software seems to run far worse on MS Operating systems than 3rd-party software, even freeware does. Case in point, the way Skype for business would never, ever select the correct audio device by default, but every other app would get it right on the first try. (Teams isn't much better at this)

    I guess they are just being consistent and extending this phenomenon to their hardware as well.

  17. PeterM42
    Thumb Down

    At least......

    .......Windows 7 was reasonably stable.

    Since then, nothing but crap from Redmond.

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