News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Beta testing buggy Win10 software on our production machines

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Beta testing buggy Win10 software on our production machines

    Viewing 16 reply threads
    • Author
      Posts
      • #2135742 Reply
        woody
        Da Boss

        The details are extensive, but the conclusion inescapable. Microsoft is using our machines to test some very buggy software. And there’s nothing you c
        [See the full post at: Beta testing buggy Win10 software on our production machines]

        9 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2135750 Reply
        John
        AskWoody Lounger

        Yep, don’t need to join Insider program to test beta stuff from Microsoft. We all get a half baked releases that typically takes weeks or months to fix. Now I also notice how the new Edge is behind in updating compared to Chrome. Someone needs to keep track of how long it takes Microsoft to issue current security issues in Chromium? I know myself I have always avoided the clone’s of Chrome because of the update lag.

      • #2135774 Reply
        krzemien
        AskWoody Lounger

        Surprised that you are surprised taking into account what’s been going on in the last few years.

        Is this not a natural and inevitable conclusion that what’s possible in – say, as an example – Android world, where there’s a lot going on behind our backs, is possible here as well? And that’s exactly what Microsoft is ruthlessly doing here by merely applying the same model. Formal release schedules – all this A/B/C/D nonsense – do not matter really at all as they’re mere smoke and mirrors for the Great Unwashed and their joy.

        Yes, you’re not in charge of this software and its build/configuration any more.

        What’s the alternative though?

        • #2135787 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          I’m not as surprised as I’m disheartened.

          We’ve seen some real improvements in Microsoft patching, culminating in the Pause Updates feature available to all in Win10 version 1903 (and 1909).

          The Win10 Search box blackout, though, emphasizes how little control we have: It amounts to an undocumented backdoor in our production, non-beta machines.

          It’s the kind of crass move I would’ve expected during the Sinofsky years. It wouldn’t have surprised me much in the Myerson years. But I never, ever would’ve expected it from Belfiore and ScottGu.

          Microsoft’s trying to make everyone believe that it values privacy and security as much as, say, Apple. And then we get this…

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2135860 Reply
            krzemien
            AskWoody Lounger

            Woody, if that’s an answer in a kind-of roundabout way: to this day I just don’t know / am not sure why my current PC:

            1. was crashing randomly when I got it in Jan ’17 – from 1607/1703/1709 onwards. Sometime it was days between sudden BSODs, sometime every couple of hours. With no pattern and clear cause at all.
            2. suddenly stopped crashing late Oct ’18 on its own – just like that – literally days prior to me moving to 1809. And has never crashed ever since, also with 1903 and 1909 on-board. Never. And nothing has changed hardware-wise either.

            And I’m not that bad at troubleshooting, usually have enough lasting patience and perseverance to pursue such nuisance. But not this time.

            It’s almost as if 3rd Party and its invisible hand was involved on the way and was fiddling / fine tuning some stuff behind the scenes – and found the reasons that led to these instabilities, and fixed them for me one day.

            Just saying.

          • #2136008 Reply
            anonymous
            Guest

            I expect that Microsoft does value privacy as much as Apple.  That is to say, I don’t think Apple’s any better.  It’s just their current marketing.

            • #2136406 Reply
              woody
              Da Boss

              It pains me to agree with you.

              But I may be wrong. Hope springs eternal.

              • #2136429 Reply
                Alex5723
                AskWoody Plus

                But I may be wrong

                You are wrong. There is no other company that has Apple’s strong commitment to privacy.

              • #2136440 Reply
                b
                AskWoody Plus

                Not much different from Microsoft’s:

                Disclosure to Third Parties
                At times Apple may provide third parties with certain personal information to provide or improve our products and services, including to deliver products at your request, or to help Apple market to consumers.
                Apple Privacy Policy

                Windows 10 Pro Version 2004: Group ASAP (chump/pioneer)

      • #2135780 Reply
        AlexEiffel
        AskWoody_MVP

        This is horrible. I thought after Win7 would be out, they would get even bolder in testing people’s tolerance, but I didn’t expect this, and that fast. Thank you for reporting this, Woody.

        That’s another good reason to not run the latest version of Windows if they don’t test on the older versions.

        And that is another reason to disable all things consumer feautures/Bing related and avoid as much as possible to use any Microsoft service in a vote with your wallet perspective. They need to get the message that people aren’t happy with the way they run the business.

        I have so much disdain for what this company has become and sadly, it is still as a whole the most professional unescapable ecosystem for my work. Wake up competitors!

         

        9 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2135792 Reply
        Fred
        AskWoody Plus

        The details are extensive, but the conclusion inescapable. Microsoft is using our machines to test some very buggy software. And there’s nothing you c
        [See the full post at: Beta testing buggy Win10 software on our production machines]

        H*** this is bad; reason to mistrust Micr0$0ft further more
        any idea how and what? . . . .

        After all.. Just because we're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get us.
        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Fred.
      • #2135818 Reply
        Cybertooth
        AskWoody Plus

        What’s the alternative though?

        Two alternatives that I can think of:

        A.

        Screenshot_20200206_121356

        B.

        Keep Running Windows 7 Safely for Years to Come

         

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Cybertooth.
        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Cybertooth.
        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Cybertooth.
        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Cybertooth.
        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Cybertooth.
        Attachments:
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2135826 Reply
          Microfix
          Da Boss

          now removed 🙂
          Edit: another alternative C
          is to run A with a VM of B disconnected from online access via virtualization settings if not patching via 0Patch or extending support via ESU.

          Win7 Pro x86/x64 | Win8.1 Pro x64 | Linux Hybrids x86/x64 |
          • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Microfix.
          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2135933 Reply
          Charlie
          AskWoody Plus

          Wow.  Very cool.  For those who haven’t seen it, this is how good Linux can look.  Way to go Cybertooth!

          Win 7 Still Alive, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Linux Mint 19.1

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2135829 Reply
        Mr. Natural
        AskWoody Plus

        FYI – I’m currently investigating something that has changed in my O365 Outlook program today. One of the add-ins has magically disappeared in my outlook program. I checked with my co-workers and they have not experienced my issue yet, but we’re keeping an eye out to see if we start hearing from others in the organization on this.

        It’s entirely possible that it may be related to the app in question, but I think everyone would be experiencing that if that was the case.

        I’ve noticed over the years using O365 that changes don’t always apply to all users at the same time and they kind of trickle out to users. An example being changes in appearance in O365. Many use the same version but the appearance on desktops is not always the same until after a few weeks the appearance gets changed for everyone.

        Red Ruffnsore reporting from the front lines.

      • #2135840 Reply
        Fred
        AskWoody Plus

        The details are extensive, but the conclusion inescapable. Microsoft is using our machines to test some very buggy software. And there’s nothing you c
        [See the full post at: Beta testing buggy Win10 software on our production machines]

        H*** this is bad; reason to mistrust Micr0$0ft further more
        any idea how and what? . . . .

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by Fred.

        Why is my text altered?

        After all.. Just because we're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get us.
        • #2135842 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Maybe to curb your language?

          cheers, Paul

          1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2135847 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          We Bowdlerize anything that would be inappropriate for my nine-year-old. Intentionally.

      • #2135982 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        I have five Windows 10 installations on three machines. My NAS and desktop are DIY builds on the same platform, Intel DH87RL motherboard and Core i5-4670 CPU @ 3.4 GHz. The NAS has a standard Windows 10 installation on a 250GB mSATA SSD and a motherboard-supported RAID 10 Array of four 3TB Seagate NAS ST3000VN000 HDD’s. The third is a Dell Latitude E5420 laptop with a 256GB SSD.

        The desktop is dual boot. In addition to the 250GB mSATA SSD it has two 250GB SATA SSD’s, a 250GB NVMe SSD mounted on a PCIe adapter, and two 1TB Seagate ST1000DX001 SSHD’s. The A side has a non-standard Microsoft supported installation. All Users folders that have a Location tab have been moved to a partition on a different drive. In addition, on another different drive I have a Programs partition where I have moved all non-Microsoft programs, and install any new programs. The B side is a non-standard and non-Microsoft supported installation, with gobs of registry changes. The Users folder is located in toto on a different drive. There is a C:\Program Files for Microsoft/Windows programs like Office which are hard-coded for C:\Program Files, but the default installation location for non-Microsoft programs not hard-coded for C:\ is on another different drive.

        The laptop is also dual boot. The A side has a non-standard Microsoft supported installation with Users folders re-located as above, but not to a different drive, just to a different partition. The B side is a standard Windows 10 installation.

        All five installations are kept fully updated/upgraded. The NAS I let wait for the push from Microsoft, the desktop and laptop are Seeker/cannon-fodder installations. All are on Version 1909 (OS Build 18363-628). The NAS was a clean install of Windows 10 1607 on bare hardware. The desktop A side was Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 8 Pro to Window 8.1 Pro to Windows 10 Pro. The B side was Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 10 Pro. The laptop followed the same update/upgrade timeline as the desktop.  Other than the NAS, no clean installs, all in-place upgrades.

        In Windows 8, at one point Microsoft Money wouldn’t run. But I had Windows 7 on the other side as my primary, so no biggie. In 8.1, Money would run again, and has continued to do so. I have maintained a committed regimen of routine maintenance and drive imaging.

        All of that to say this: with the exception of the minor hiccup with Money, and this current Search issue (non-issue for me), I have not had any problems with Windows 10 throughout all the updates/upgrades. No crashes, no interrupting spontaneous updates, no black screens, no BSOD’s no freezing or stalling, none of those things. It continues to be the most stable, efficient and productive version of Windows yet.  On earlier version upgrades, I would reset a couple of my tweaks that had been reverted by the upgrade, but the last two have left all my tweaks in place.

        Is Microsoft doing what they have said they could and would do in the EULA?  Absolutely.

        Are their actions causing me trouble?  I can’t say why with any specificity, but no.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by bbearren.
      • #2135983 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        This is also a reason for people like me to not want to upgrade, even after Windows 7 EOL. I mean, why would I want an intrusive, ad-laden web search when I’m just searching for files on my computer?

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2136132 Reply
        James Bond 007
        AskWoody Lounger

        Isn’t this latest Windows 10 search box incident just the last example of what many of us already know for years? Microsoft regards us end users as beta testers, every “half-year” release of Windows 10 is essentially forcing users to test for them by “upgrading”.

        There are reasons why users like me refuse to run Windows 10 (at least the “normal” versions like Home and Pro, for me) even now. This is one of them.

        Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2136381 Reply
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          I do not understand, why is it possible to change “search engine” immediatelly, but when MS Store stopped working on all 8.1 machines (including mine), there was just vague info “Something went wrong, try again later”, when they obviously have the power over users. Is it so hard to distribute sentence – Microsoft Store is out of order now, thank you, your Microsoft? If I didnt search whats going on, I literally did not have a clue whats happening.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, WX 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2136133 Reply
        Mele20
        AskWoody Lounger

        I mean, why would I want an intrusive, ad-laden web search when I’m just searching for files on my computer?

        I haven’t used Windows search since XP Pro days. When I got Vista Ultimate and put it on a virtual machine years ago, I was appalled at how the excellent XP search had been replaced by Microsoft with something awful and very slow that was full of errors and problems. So, I searched for something similar to XP search and I finally stumbled on a rather obscure blog for professionals by (of all things) a Microsoft employee working in Windows development who was fielding questions/protests from mostly IT pros and some power users about the awful Vista search.

        In the very long thread that resulted, was a recommendation to use Agent Ransack instead. Many replies (went on for months) and all very positive regarding Agent Ransack. So, I decided to try it. That was 2006, I think, and I have never looked back and never used Windows search since XP Pro after being pointed to Agent Ransack. It is free for all. (There is also a professional version which I haven’t needed).

        Agent Ransack

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2136140 Reply
        georgea
        AskWoody Lounger

        Not sure what all the fuss is about.  Replace W10 search box with Open Shell [forked from Classic Shell], and tweak it to not do internet searches.

        https://github.com/Open-Shell/Open-Shell-Menu

        Life is good again.

        • #2136851 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          The fuss is because most users have no idea how to change the search service. This is not how we (users) should be treated.

          cheers, Paul

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2136364 Reply
        UncleRemus83
        AskWoody Lounger

        I’m not as surprised as I’m disheartened.

        We’ve seen some real improvements in Microsoft patching, culminating in the Pause Updates feature available to all in Win10 version 1903 (and 1909).

        The Win10 Search box blackout, though, emphasizes how little control we have: It amounts to an undocumented backdoor in our production, non-beta machines.

        It’s the kind of crass move I would’ve expected during the Sinofsky years. It wouldn’t have surprised me much in the Myerson years. But I never, ever would’ve expected it from Belfiore and ScottGu.

        Microsoft’s trying to make everyone believe that it values privacy and security as much as, say, Apple. And then we get this…

        Woody, I think your instincts on Microsoft and tech in general are very good, but the fact that moves like this surprise you is surprising to me.  Microsoft has said that it has the ability to turn features on and off, its just said it was doing it in on Insiders rather than production builds, but clearly the mechanism is there for them to exert untold control over what you thought was your own copy of Windows.  Moving search (and everything else they can) to UWP from Win32 is NOT about being able to offer better software, it is about being able to control the experience from the cloud.  Microsoft never would have been able to push new Win32 based search builds to these PC’s without a Windows Update, but with UWP, they can (and do) whenever they want, without you even knowing its happening.  Of course Win32 is superior, the proof being the sheer amount of time and effort spent on just trying to bring UWP apps to feature parity which is still elusive.

        I think you should also take a step back and realize what has happened at Microsoft.  Under Gates it was “a PC on every desk” and of course those PC’s should be running Windows.  Then Gates steps back and Ballmer takes over and he seems to have no strategy other than expensive acquisitions that make no sense and end up being disasters, and getting run over by every emerging trend imaginable.  Now we come to Nadella, who is a smooth talker.  He tells a good story.  He realized that the world already had about as many PC’s as it was going to get (short of old ones getting replaced) and so Windows was no longer a growth vector.  He realized the ticket was to capture businesses and end users in a subscription quagmire.  Windows is simply the vehicle to on board people into the Microsoft Cloud quicksand.  Also understand that to Nadella, there are no products at Microsoft, YOU are the product.  Quality and innovation are no longer goals (remember, Nadella is the one who wiped out the QC folks in one of his first acts), the goals are how to capture people and businesses into the Microsoft Cloud ecosystem.  The goal is clearly to make Windows essentially just a dumb terminal to the Microsoft mainframe.  How ironic that the company that killed the mainframe is trying its hardest revive it (albeit in a different form).

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2136392 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        …what you thought was your own copy of Windows.

        This is one of the main user attitudes about Windows that has always rubbed me the wrong way.  Windows is not like our cars, our houses, our refrigerators, our washing machines, etc.  No one owns their own copy of Windows.  Microsoft has always retained sole ownership of the Windows operating system.  We pay for a license to use Microsoft’s Windows under the terms of the EULA to which we have intrinsically agreed by using the software.  In the case of Windows 10, we didn’t even have to pay for it; upgrading from Windows 7 was free, but that did not alter the basic terms of the EULA.

        For anyone and everyone who declares that the EULA is unfair, not ethical, appropriation of rights, etc. etc. there is a remedy spelled out clearly, plainly, in the first page of the EULA:

        “By accepting this agreement or using the software, you agree to all of these terms, and consent to the transmission of certain information during activation and during your use of the software as per the privacy statement described in Section 3. If you do not accept and comply with these terms, you may not use the software or its features.”

        As for the pushed changes to Windows “without my consent”, that is simply not true, and is in fact, disingenuous.

        “Updates. The software periodically checks for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them for you. You may obtain updates only from Microsoft or authorized sources, and Microsoft may need to update your system to provide you with those updates. By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice.

        Yes, we all have already agreed to Microsoft pushing changes to the software without telling us about it in advance or asking for permission.  We have given permission by using Windows.  Our only alternative is to stop using Windows and start using another operating system.  That’s it.

        I’m just guessing here, but I would suppose that it would take a prolonged defection rate from Windows to some other OS of greater than 15 – 20% to get Microsoft’s attention to any noticeable extent.  With the ubiquity of Office, I don’t see that happening.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        • #2137931 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          Your point is valid, it’s right there in the EULA in general terms, meaning a global over arching presence regarding what Microsoft can do.  Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should.  Until someone or some organization has the ability to bring up the caveat of this is MY hardware and you are using with with YOUR software, then this will always be a problem if you disagree with how the software is using your hardware.  There is no reverse EULA from users to Microsoft stating “We will allow you to do the following things with our hardware.”  There’s ethics in the cyber security space that says we are not allowed to use what we know in a bad capacity, but there is nothing like this for software makers.  That’s why the EU made a big stink about how Microsoft was going to use machines there.

          The way I see it, we’re renting their software and they are using our hardware for free to do with as they see fit.  Pretty sure there are political definitions that fit here, but your mileage may vary.

          I don’t agree with the practices I see, so I put technical controls in place to mitigate the ones I do not agree with.  So I’ll be looking for a way to drop windows and switch to an OS that supports video games I play and thereby drop that EULA from Microsoft.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2137016 Reply
        JCpharm
        AskWoody Lounger

        https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2020/02/06/windows-10-warning-serious-failure-provokes-questions-and-anger/#3933d83f6a52

        Seems as though Microsoft is wanting to hijack the search function by taking control of it for their monetization mostly. I don’t really need news, movie suggestions and their other noise or a black screen when trying to find my information on my computer. Based on the attached article, Woody has called it right. MS can’t be trusted to do the right thing.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2137853 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I remember when we were able to control our machines, prior to 10.  7 was iffy, but we could limit the impact locally.  When 10 came out I reviewed individual processes after reading another review that spelled out the services/features that called back out to the internet.  I couldn’t confirm the packet details, but I could confirm source and destination that was good enough for me.

        It’s beyond disturbing that we have lost control of our machines to this degree, but that writing was on the wall when I reviewed what that initial release of 10 occurred.   Unfortunately, I see 2 options.  The first is to discontinue the use of Windows 10.  Kind of like in the old days when the masses would boycott a company for practices they did not agree with.  This sends a clear financial signal to that company.  Second, switch permanently to another operating system.

        The fact that a company thinks it’s a good idea to share your wireless network information with others, can open your microphone or camera at will is not only creepy, but it also invades your privacy.  That’s not ok and certainly undermines a free society.  Companies like this chip away at your freedoms a little at a time, until you realize that your privacy is gone and possibly your freedoms are next.  At home I only use a windows machine to game and have set up a hardware firewall up to block outbound traffic to microsoft organizations.  I only allow updates at the firewall after everyone has reviewed them and I no longer surf the web with that machine.  This isn’t something a normal user can pull off, but it should never come that point.

        The fact that Microsoft’s team blamed a fiber outage on this tells me volumes about my ability to trust them.  Those in tech understand the lie, others have no way to know and certainly don’t care to know because it’s uncomfortable to address it head on.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    Viewing 16 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

    Reply To: Beta testing buggy Win10 software on our production machines

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.