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  • Five steps Microsoft should take RIGHT NOW to help us through the pandemic

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Five steps Microsoft should take RIGHT NOW to help us through the pandemic

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      • #2224010 Reply
        woody
        Da Boss

        Microsoft’s made plenty of bad decisions over the years, but right now ancient decisions geared to enhancing profitability should give way to clearer
        [See the full post at: Five steps Microsoft should take RIGHT NOW to help us through the pandemic]

      • #2224015 Reply
        jhvance
        AskWoody Lounger

        My suggestions: 1) extend the drop-dead dates for existing versions of Windows 10, and 2) defer the next version release in the cycle for 6 months.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2224017 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          Two excellent ideas! Take a look at the article when it’s posted….

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2224023 Reply
        MikeMc
        AskWoody Lounger

        Over the last couple of weeks I sent out these 2 emails to a tech. journalist:

        March 24th:

        ‘Since 1709 has been extended, perhaps 1809 (May 12th) will also be extended to this fall.’

        March 30th:

        ‘Since large numbers of people are not working remotely, I don’t think Microsoft will release an update that could introduce problems.

        I bet MS will only release one update this year, probably in September after the virus. It just doesn’t seem like the time to introduce a variable into a working system.

        And then there is the bandwidth needed for this update. The internet is running at near capacity now.’

        Lets see if common sense will prevail.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2224021 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        1 Fix the Problems with 1903/1909

        2 delay 10/2004’s release for a while.

        3 Extend 1809’s EOL deadline at least until the 1903/1909 issues are fixed.

        4 Focus on OS Stability more so than usual because of the pandemic.

        5 Maybe look longer term at OS stability rather than this rolling release madness that in times of crisis really does not help at all for folks working from home. Just think about the power utilities and what results from any power outages and that’s true for any majority PC/Laptop OS market share holder as well if something pushed out under 10 breaks things at the worst of times.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2224026 Reply
        Seff
        AskWoody Plus

        Excellent article Woody, I agree with all your points. If Microsoft accepted them they might actually regain some trust and reduce the loss of lifelong Windows users to Chromebook and Linux.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2224082 Reply
          RamRod
          AskWoody Plus

          I agree. I might actually return to the flock if MS backed off a little on the update madness and treated me like a valued customer again.

          My hardware is getting older. Every time I shop for new hardware I blanch at the thought of buying into the WinX roller coaster. Apple, Linux, Chromebook all seem so much safer – and I’ve never used any of them. MS has me in a bad psychological place. I hope that gives the sales department at MS a clue.

          5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2224027 Reply
        Susan Bradley
        AskWoody MVP

        The testing of updates – they actually do it now.  However it’s only for people under a strict NDA.  Opening it up to an insider like program would put us more at risk not less.  Attackers could sign up for insider access and reverse engineer what updates are coming out.

        I do agree they need to expand the testing program they have now – it’s called SUVP program – but I don’t agree that it should be a public like testing process like the (uh messy) Insider program is now.

        There needs to be a strict vetting process that includes trusted consumers to be included in testing for sure, but not open to all.  I’d start with vetted AskWoodyites and go from there, but I’m biased.

         

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2224038 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          HA! From your mouth to Satya’s ear.

          That’s why the group has to be small, controlled, and invitation-only. Anything else is a marketing mess, not a beta testing team.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2224064 Reply
            anonymous
            Guest

            This is the crux of the matter, at least as it relates to updates.  As long as the marketing people have the final authority (including the ability to overrule the techies), we’re going to continue with the same dumpster fire that we’ve had. That includes feature set updates that there’s very little customer demand for, but where Microsoft insists on pushing them anyway.

            It’s not that users (whether enterprise, small business or individual) need any of those, as it is that Microsoft needs them available so that developers will develop for them.  Even then, we get duds like Cortana — Microsoft introduced with great fanfare, and now we’re seeing yet another product where Microsoft is re-positioning and de-emphasizing. Eventually, I think that we’ll see Microsoft get to the “never mind” stage with Cortana.

            Patching has the same issues, where it’s driven by the marketers. Besides the de-commitment to serious testing (and the flawed assumption that testing could be done adequately by crowd-sourcing and AI processes), this is one of the downsides to trying to focus everything into Patch Tuesday.  I fully get the intent of having a predictable release schedule, and I agree that it’s important, but there’s too much expectation on Microsoft’s part that they can commit everything that they want into a Patch Tuesday batch and be done with things.  Too often, the marketing people don’t understand that When It’s Ready often doesn’t fit a pre-planned calendar, especially if what is released hasn’t been thoroughly tested.

             

            4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2224029 Reply
        lurks about
        AskWoody Plus

        Reinstitute a true testing department would be the first step. Second learn what a rolling release OS really is (hint look at the Arch Linux family for good examples; there are others). Third cure the ‘featuritis’ disease as it cripples stability. Fourth, more long term, review the internal design of Windows with an eye to make more modular with layers that are loosely coupled with each other (hint look any Linux distro for good examples). Fifth, freeze all versions of 10 until the crisis has pasted and extend all EOL until end of crisis plus 6 months. Six, officially extend 7 EOL to crisis plus 6 months. Seventh listen to your customers for once and not your navel.

        7 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2224053 Reply
          warrenrumak
          AskWoody Plus

          They’ve already finished this layering work.  It’s done.

          For example, a few years ago it was completely impossible to contemplate an edition of Windows that didn’t have Win32 support. Now it’s possible.

          They’re also using Windows Core OS as the base OS for their millions of Azure servers.  It’s a really teeny tiny variant that takes hundreds of milliseconds to boot…. and it can maintain things like networking state and VM operation across reboots.

          They aren’t going to ship this stuff to customers because such a thing isn’t actually all that useful.

          But it’s there.

        • #2230360 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Second learn what a rolling release OS really is (hint look at the Arch Linux family for good examples; there are others).

          Indeed, the closest analog to the new MS “rolling” update cadence is Ubuntu, which not only releases twice a year like MS, but also shares the nomenclature for versions– just with an extra period in Ubuntu  (20.04 for the upcoming April 2020 release, which would/will be 2004 for MS).  Ubuntu is often the standard example of a Linux distro that does not have a rolling release model, in contrast with Arch.

          That’s not to say that Ubuntu borrowed the practice from Microsoft.  Quite the opposite!  Ubuntu has maintained the YY.MM nomenclature and six month release schedule since their initial release in 2004, fully eleven years before Microsoft adopted their version.

          The one bit that MS missed when copying the Ubuntu model was that each fourth Ubuntu release is a LTS release that will receive updates for 5 years for everyone, consumers included (or 10 if you are an enterprise customer willing to pay for it).  Canonical reports that 95% of Ubuntu users use the LTS versions, as do the users of many Ubuntu derivatives like Mint or Neon, which are also based on Ubuntu LTS.  Clearly, the vast majority of people have voted with their feet, and they prefer not to have to upgrade every six months!

          It’s a shame MS didn’t copy the LTS bit also.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.20.2 User Edition, Ubuntu 20.04 base).

          4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2224044 Reply
        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        Dear Mr Nadella..This invisible enemy won’t be forgotten and neither will decisions by businesses. Profits and goals can wait, the world is on it’s knees with more pressing issues. Bill and Melinda are doing their enormous bit for humanity (bless them both) why not do yours, it’s all I ask. Thank You

        Win8.1 Pro | Linux Hybrids | Win7 Pro O/L | WinXP O/L
        6 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2224059 Reply
          b
          AskWoody Plus

          Please don’t make out that SatNad is doing nothing:

          Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella admits to feeling the personal anxieties many of his employees have shared about the coronavirus pandemic.

          His son, Zain, 23, is a legally blind quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, which weakens his immune system and requires constant care in what Nadella likens to “a nursing home” at the family’s Medina residence. While navigating the crisis, attempting to marshal forces within his company to become “first responders to the first responders” in the medical and scientific communities, Nadella and his wife, Anu, are also ensuring their immediate family and son’s caregivers aren’t exposed to COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

          “At some point, either someone close to us or within the family is going to be affected by it if we don’t find the treatment or the vaccine,” Nadella, 52, told The Seattle Times in a Saturday interview, speaking of the population as a whole. “And so, one of the keys for us has been the protocols inside the house. We’re making sure we have some care help and about how we take care of them so they have some flexibility and some quarantine time. So, we are trying to do everything to help them. And then, the protocols around Zain — with us and the providers helping him and who work with us — is what we are looking at.”

          https://www.seattletimes.com/business/microsoft-ceo-satya-nadella-to-employees-on-coronavirus-crisis-we-need-the-world-to-do-well/

          Coming together to combat COVID-19 [Email from Satya Nadella to Microsoft Employees]

          Microsoft Gives Employees Pandemic Leave Benefit

          Amid Pandemic, Microsoft Alerts Dozens of Hospitals Vulnerable to Ransomware Threat

          • #2224073 Reply
            Graham
            AskWoody Plus

            Please don’t make out that SatNad is doing nothing:

            That’s all very well, but that from Seattle Times is looking out for his own family. Nothing wrong with that, but it does nothing for the hundreds of millions of other people who use Windows. None of the others appear to anything to help general Windows users either. Woody’s article is specifically about helping general users, most particularly Windows users.

            • #2224083 Reply
              b
              AskWoody Plus

              I was replying to the “Dear Mr Nadella” post, not Woody’s article.

              What has Bill Gates done for Windows users lately?

              • #2224109 Reply
                OscarCP
                AskWoody Plus

                Bill Gates is no longer in the board of MS and has pretty much retired from the running of the company he co-founded with Paul Allen, back in 1975, and has said that he now plans to be more active in the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation, that is presently engaged in the search for medicines and vaccines to treat and prevent COVID-19:

                https://www.gatesfoundation.org/TheOptimist/coronavirus

                Not a big fan of Bill myself, but funding the work of his foundation is a good way for him to spend some of his huge fortune.

                 

                Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

              • #2232526 Reply
                Ascaris
                AskWoody_MVP

                What has Bill Gates done for Windows users lately?

                His Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $125 million to COVID-19 vaccine research… that’s pretty good for Windows users or non Windows users.  If it helps speed the research, it speeds the moment that we can put all of this junk behind us and start rebuilding whatever will be left at that point.  The sooner, the better.  We all would benefit from that.

                Going back a few decades, Gates’ decision to forego a per-unit royalty on PC-DOS, and to accept a one-time payment of (I think) around $80k, in exchange for the right to sell the same product (less the PC branding) on the side, which the shortsighted IBM (bless their hearts!) thought was pointless, as every IBM PC would already come with PC-DOS, is what brought us the PC market we know and (mostly) love today.  The wealth of hardware choices available within the “PC” umbrella ultimately leads back to that point, and the legacy of that position, the OS maker for “the rest of us” who did not wish to be constrained to Apple’s hardware choices, continues today.

                That’s not to say it might not have happened without that particular turn of events; just as the PC-BIOS was eventually cloned exactly by reverse engineering, so would be (and was) MS-DOS, but Gates made that unnecessary… we could have the real thing, even without an IBM, early on in the race, when it really mattered.  That (along with IBM’s failure with OS/2) eventually led to IBM exiting the PC market it created, but not before that PC market had taken root and flourished.

                Gates was also at the helm for the watershed releases of Windows 95, Windows 2000 Pro, and for most of the development of XP (which was closely related to Win 2k).  Windows 2000 remains the high water mark of UI design in any Microsoft OS to date, in my book, and it was all based on the same research that led to the breakthrough Windows 95 UI, a huge step up from what had come before, and all during the Gates era.  It was during Ballmer’s tenancy that the move away from all that was learned during that research project began to be summarily discarded.

                There are negatives, of course, like the browser wars, the cutthroat competition, E.E.E., but we can’t take the bad without the good.

                But lately, as a retired CEO, what has he done for Windows users specifically?  I guess not much, given that he’s not in that business anymore, but he hasn’t done anything to Windows users lately either.

                Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.20.2 User Edition, Ubuntu 20.04 base).

                2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2224074 Reply
        EP
        AskWoody_MVP

        well woody & others, we’ll have to wait ’til next Tuesday April 14 to find out whether or not MS will extend support for 1809 Home/pro and whether or not new Win7 updates will be available to all Win7 users regardless of ESU status

        • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by EP.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2224110 Reply
        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        If qualified testers are to beta-test updates, who chooses the testers and what criteria?

        G{ot backup} TestBeta
        offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3
        online▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox83.0b6 WindowsDefender
        TargetReleaseVersion=1909
        WUMgr
        • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by geekdom.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2227941 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          I don’t  know. But there has to be a good way to select them.

          Microsoft ran respectable beta test programs for many, many years before the Insider Program and expansion of marketing betas.

      • #2225643 Reply
        formack
        AskWoody Plus

        Old guy here who does not tax his Dell device too much, but who is frequently vexed by the consequences of pressing the “download and install” button (even when Woody and Susan say I can!). Woody’s five suggestions make sense. However, will someone in the know analyze and explain Microsoft’s strategic and financial motives in conducting updates and upgrades the way they now do? Are they deliberately arranging Windows so that users (subscribers?) will be nickel-and-dimed feature by feature?

      • #2227086 Reply
        Northwest Rick
        AskWoody Plus

        Microsoft hoped to push most customers from Windows 7 to Windows 10 by cutting off security patches. Demonstrably, that hasn’t worked. Nobody knows how many people dusted off old Windows 7 machines in order to work from home, or let their kids get online for school, but in my experience, the number is considerable…  Isn’t it time to give Win7 users a break, and keep them up to date?

        Thanks for going to bat for us Never 10’ers Woody.

        M$’s plan to force us Win 7’ers to give up our high-wire act by taking away the safety net below hasn’t worked because per Ol’ Adam Smith, we buyers are exercising our market power by refusing to switch to a shoddy and inferior product, and denying M$ market share when they insist.

        M$ is on the wrong side of the old Tareyton cigarettes marketing slogan:  “I’d rather fight than switch!”  They could welcome the Win 7 resistance as evidence of brand loyalty (which it is), not fight it as though it were an insurrection.  But that would require the kind of imagination they don’t nurture at Biz School, which remains mired in the Pavlovian approach.

        As a Group W who sporadically reached for PKCano’s Group B treasure chest in emergencies (i.e., Bluekeep etc.) I would be willing to take advantage if M$ left us all speechless and actually followed your advice on inclusion, but you can be sure I would still look that gift horse in the mouth!  You know how the saying goes:  Fool me once, shame on you…

        Thanks again for making the effort.  Baying at the moon can be therapeutic, even if it doesn’t succeed!

        5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2232061 Reply
        TaskForce141
        AskWoody Lounger

        There’s quite a few Win 7 machines in the “Work-from-home” population.

        Older PC’s brought back to use, in households that had converted to phones and tablets.

        And thought they’d never need to touch that ten-year old Dell desktop again.

        Instead, Covid-19 means ALOT of unpatched Win 7 (perhaps even XP !) machines are now accessing corporate and government networks.

      • #2232232 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Instead, Covid-19 means ALOT of unpatched Win 7 (perhaps even XP !) machines are now accessing corporate and government networks.

        A lot more than you might think. There are XP throughout the governments and businesses and hospitals and banks and military etc. These were used before and are being used now and for many more years to come.

      • #2232472 Reply
        abbodi86
        AskWoody_MVP

        Win10 version 2004 is already 4 months old, and will be 5 months old if released on schedule in May
        how more delay do you want? 🙂

        btw, is it me or the version lack the deferral options in WU settings?

        changing registry directly or group policy still work and has effect

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2232568 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          I think that’s as intended. Not clear to me if the GP settings will work in Home — which is to say, the Registry settings associated with the GP settings.

          • #2232787 Reply
            abbodi86
            AskWoody_MVP

            No, they don’t work for Home variants

            1 user thanked author for this post.
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