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  • Patching survey: Consumer — 2020

    Posted on Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Patching survey: Consumer — 2020

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      • #2292630 Reply
        Tracey Capen
        AskWoody MVP

        PATCHING SURVEY By Susan Bradley Over 1,400 Windows and Office users contributed to our survey on the state of Microsoft patching. Consumers’ overall
        [See the full post at: Patching survey: Consumer — 2020]

        7 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2292700 Reply
        ascheeli
        AskWoody Plus

        The expected upcoming changes to the Control Panel have me very worried. It has been painful in Win10 to have parameter setting scattered hither and thither. Especially consumers who set parameters rarely need a single place, a single click, to bring up a single window that contains links to everything. Now, I mostly have two places: the toothed wheel that goes to the very inefficient, highly graphical settings for some things, and the familiar, dense, comfortable, efficient Control Panel. I don’t know where to go to tell Microsoft what I think (and I have too much real work to do to go fishing for it), but maybe you have a pipeline to give them feedback: on the main menu, I want one click to Control Panel. And if there’s info about or adjustments to Windows, I want them all accessible from there!

      • #2292703 Reply
        Elrod
        AskWoody Plus

        Links to the newsletter appear to be broken on the homepage.  All I’m getting right now is this link, which leads to a forum topic from 2003.  This is true even after I log into the site.

        https://www.askwoody.com/URL

         

        Group "L": Linux Mint

      • #2292715 Reply
        doriel
        AskWoody Lounger

        Sound like very realistic outcome.

        Microsoft needs to make the (update) process easier to manage and more reliable

        Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

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

      • #2292728 Reply
        vietmedic68
        AskWoody Plus

        Re the Office survey, it would have been interesting if a separate question was asked:  Do you use something other than MS Office?

        I gave up Office way back when Mozilla offered what appears to be a virtual mirror of Office, and I’ve been using Moz Open Office for years now.  Not sure why IT pros and especially consumers don’t.  It can easily open MS files and also convert files to that of MS Office format.

        • #2292738 Reply
          AlexEiffel
          AskWoody_MVP

          As a power user of Excel, I can tell you that the alternatives don’t come close. Trust me, I would love to get rid of my dependency on this excellent product so I can avoid the subscription trap that will probably be difficult to escape down the road, Microsoft having reduced the support time from 10 to 7 years on Office 2019 vs the previous versions.

          We use LibreOffice (similar to Open Office but maybe more supported) for some people at work whose needs are basic and don’t need to maintain compatibility with Office on complex documents. See the following for some reasons as to why it is still not a suitable replacement for Office. And Office keeps many people on Windows, it has never run seamlessly on Linux from what I understood.

          https://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/libreoffice-7-review.html

          Also, businesses (not us) usually run Outlook for email and that is a not minor part of Office.

          What is very sad with that is for people with lower income, it is not nice to shove the subscription model down their throat when they would be perfectly happy using the equivalent of the 2010 version of this mature product patched for security forever, but then who would that much want to pay more for frequent updates? The results is lower access to mature technologies, just like Adobe did with Photoshop, for casual users.

      • #2292735 Reply
        WSMartinWCole
        AskWoody Plus

        I installed an update for Win 10 Pro, and it s****ed up some of my software, like Teamviewer. Because I have Disk Image backups, I restored to my last update. I read that “Woody” did not like the update and others had troubles also. So I have prevented any updates.

        I am currently using version 1909, build 18363.959.

        Does anyone know if the issues have been corrected yet with the newer build?

         

        • #2292740 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          What update caused the problem?
          Was it the upgrade to v2004? Or the August Patch Tuesday monthly Cumulative Update for v1909?

          • #2292773 Reply
            WSMartinWCole
            AskWoody Plus

            was upgrade to 2004

            • #2292783 Reply
              PKCano
              Da Boss

              We recommend staying on version 1909 for now. v2004 still has too many problems. Wait for a while longer before trying to upgrade.

              • #2292841 Reply
                WSMartinWCole
                AskWoody Plus

                Thanks – I just refreshed my current backup, and will wait until Woody recommends a new version.

                 

      • #2292757 Reply
        AlexEiffel
        AskWoody_MVP

        Thank you for this survey, Susan.

        For me, it is clear that Microsoft should do this to get the respect they could command:

        -Offer a 5 year LTS version to those who wish to use it. Most small businesses would use that I am sure, as they see IT as a cost to do basic tasks supporting their specialized apps securely and that’s it. Consumers that are less excited by folder background color changes might want to use that too and those that are supporting them would benefit from it too. There is value in learning a product well, sets it the way you like and then run on it with no more thoughts for a few years, knowing that it is patched for security and that’s it. Consumers and SMBs will still pay when they change computer. But Microsoft would have less free beta testers…

        -Reduce coupling of features/apps with the OS. Keep it clean and make many things optional. We don’t want the bloat (see Noel Carboni’s regular comments about the number of processes on an idle desktop that keeps growing up every version).

        -Stop deprecating or restricting security features and useful OS features like imaging/ReFS for consumers and SMBs. They are not less important because they have less resources on that front, to the contrary. Granted, not everyone will use those, but the power users or IT Pros who support others might like to be able to set stations in a more secure way to hear less often about problems.

        -Open up the UI so people can mod it easily. I am not a fan of these type of things usually, but I can’t believe we are still transitioning from the old control panel to the new one. Seriously, it is not hard to develop, they put the junior summer intern on this or what? Plus they dumb it down and don’t even do a good job on it? I am not reluctant to change per se when it is not done constantly, but the new settings removes some useful settings and information and is really not good in many aspects. I would welcome a new settings that can be efficient on mobile devices and desktop place if it was done well in one shot and I think it would require two UIs to be truly efficient.

        What I always disliked with Windows since after XP is the scattering of settings, the idiotic network neighborhood and hiding of the quick link to the network cards (those were easy to find in XP, now it’s WIN-R, ncpa.cpl) and other nonsense. XP or 2000 were so much cleaner. There should be one place to find everything so you can decide I will check everything and make sure I agree with Microsoft decisions on those default settings, based on my privacy and security requirements. I don’t mind redundancy, many paths leading to Rome using the object model of right-clicking on something to bring settings that are also found at the one and only “all settings” place. I don’t mean god mode where there is too much information on one screen, I mean a control panel like the early versions had, where you could reach everything from the main menu organized in categories and made sure you covered everything. The new settings might be trying to do that, but instead of doing it once well, they seem to move stuff around and don’t seem to know what they are doing. They also don’t put enough on one screen so it is not easy to glance at everything. Stop with the many links to other hidden places. Use one advanced settings link if you want per panel, but that’s it and then put everything there. Or let you choose between default dumbed down or show all without advanced link.

        It also seems third parties could do much more to make Windows have a constant UI that don’t change. I see Ascaris ideas for readability with developers doing wonders on this. We could maybe have the elegant but updated pure simplicity of Win 2000 era or the beautiful Aero of Vista without the annoying inefficient launcher of 7 (I still install the quick launch bar on Windows 10 and I hate not seeing all my open Windows at the bottom without hovering the mouse on the launcher icons). All of these versions could put settings in one place and stop moving them around. You add a way to export and import those settings from one station to another for a quick setting up of a new station when you support people, regardless of which UI they use to set them, that would be great. You could prepare Windows profiles efficiently on the desktop UI and then export it to import them in the inefficient to set tablet device.

        With such possibilities, some fans of simplicity would run the pure desktop with the convenient Start Menu that doesn’t change for a very long time and would not care if Microsoft change the stuff around for insiders and those who like change.

        Ascaris believes that Microsoft wants to control the appearance of Windows. His arguments are convincing. That might serve Microsoft’s marketing goal, but it doesn’t make users more happy. It’s time Microsoft reinforce their serious for work side after trying poorly to emulate the cool factor of other companies. Seriously, I think many workers, IT pros and people would love to choose their mature desktop UI with the start menu and settings they like and keep it for a very long time. Microsoft could do that themselves too. In the past, they have been very good at designing an efficient UI and I feel like they lost it in the last few years. Design should follow function and I don’t feel it has been the case for many years while people are debating the value of a large scroll bar and flat design and big buttons considering touch screens while Windows runs on desktop most of the time. We need the most efficient desktop UI and that doesn’t mean you can’t have another mode for on the go. There is so much to do there.

         

        What I retain from your survey is:

        Most people don’t care for new features and they are annoyed by changes or at least often indifferent.

        They want a secure computer that works reliably and not spend more time thinking about it.

        Office 365 is less liked that previous versions because it changes too much and people don’t see value in this but they still buy it, maybe for good reasons like in the case of consumers due to the sharing with other family members and devices. If they could have the same benefits on a non changing version, they might pick this one, but then, it would look more outrageous to charge each year that much just for security patching, so it is better to move icons around and pretend so much is done. Don’t send me the list of changes for Windows and Office. I know this is a long list. But really, which consumer and SMB user can name you more than 2% of those changes and also tell you they enjoy the change they named?

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2293052 Reply
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          Seems my original post disapeared. Nevermind, lets try again 🙂
          That was very well written, sir. You pointed out all things I think about too. Mainly my impression is (and I play with HW, programming and SW for at least 20 years since early age, and still I consider myself as greenhorn), that large percentage of all these updates are just cosmetical changes.

          People want and are used to have reliable OS, which does not interfere with their settings. Users like to find what they are looking for exactly where they expect it.
          By updating so often, users are disapointed and they have to spend some time with excersising new ways of doing things. And no general informations are given. Usualy user sees some profound statements like: “Hazaa! Here is our new astounding super-secure nice-looking version with bunch of new features including new calculator interface!”
          Which standard user knows about SMB protocol? His application stopped working. And thats all user sees.

          This artificial need of changes just creates fake opportunity to feed users with all these fairy tales about how this system is constantly improving. And it also creates hundreds of jobs. Which is good. But seriously, all these PR announcements.. Also changing so much invokes errors in the source code.

          I like Windows, but I am not going to purchase not a single license for my personal use, I will stay at Linux for some time.

          I think it was @Paul_T who stated, that there is no honor in marketing. I second that thought. And to be fair enough, Microsoft is not the only one, whos practices should be disciplined. Sadly, marketing is hard-coded into western civilisation.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

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

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2293878 Reply
        dsliesse
        AskWoody Plus

        How ironic that right after this article was published I got the rescheduled update from some time back (whichever one I deferred to 8/31).  The system forced an Edge update on me, bringing it up front and center, inserting itself into my task bar and onto my desktop.  About the only thing it didn’t do was make Edge my default browser!

        As many of us noted in our comments: Microsoft, this is my computer, not yours.  Keep your stinkin’ software to yourself unless I ask for it!

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2294479 Reply
        blueboy714
        AskWoody Plus

        I only use MS-Office because my employer – up until last year – allowed us to purchase a home-use Office CD for $20 with 5 installs.  I find Office 365 god awful (my employer has switched to that) and now recommend to anyone that asks LibreOffice or OpenOffice and Mozilla Thunderbird depending on their needs.  I would rather throw my money at those user supported apps than MS-Office.  If MS-Office reduce the price on their CD installs rather than forcing 365 down our throat I’d start recommending and using them again

      • #2294481 Reply
        blueboy714
        AskWoody Plus

        As a power user of Excel, I can tell you that the alternatives don’t come close. Trust me, I would love to get rid of my dependency on this excellent product so I can avoid the subscription trap that will probably be difficult to escape down the road, Microsoft having reduced the support time from 10 to 7 years on Office 2019 vs the previous versions.

        We use LibreOffice (similar to Open Office but maybe more supported) for some people at work whose needs are basic and don’t need to maintain compatibility with Office on complex documents. See the following for some reasons as to why it is still not a suitable replacement for Office. And Office keeps many people on Windows, it has never run seamlessly on Linux from what I understood.

        https://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/libreoffice-7-review.html

        Also, businesses (not us) usually run Outlook for email and that is a not minor part of Office.

        What is very sad with that is for people with lower income, it is not nice to shove the subscription model down their throat when they would be perfectly happy using the equivalent of the 2010 version of this mature product patched for security forever, but then who would that much want to pay more for frequent updates? The results is lower access to mature technologies, just like Adobe did with Photoshop, for casual users.

        This is the Catch 22 – I purchase a lot of add-ons for Office (esp. Excel) from some very good companies/individuals so I don’t have to spend my time figuring them out.  I’ve noticed a lot of these people are also creating add-ons for OpenOffice too now – so there is slow shift away from Office.

      • #2295412 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Easier? How much easier can it be to restart your computer?

        • #2295448 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          Easier? How much easier can it be to restart your computer?

          Yes, it restarted – several times for some reason. And then it said something happened and barfed up a weird error code. But after update failed, Windows still worked so I was happy. But then update kept repeatedly trying to install. But then I guess I got lucky, because update eventually was able to install successfully so I was happy again. But now I can’t see several other computers on my network, and for some reason my printer won’t work…

          • #2295573 Reply
            doriel
            AskWoody Lounger

            Wellcome to the jungle of neverending updates. Your experience is not unique. Would be nice if we at least could have known, what went wrong. These infinite loops of stuck updates are unfortunate.

            MSFT should implement some variable, which could store last installation status.

            0-all OK, no updates pending
            1-updates pending
            2-fist attempt failed, ask user if he wants to try again
            3-update did not install, stop trying to install, telemetry data sent

            this is just example. It should be more sophisticated

            Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

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

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