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  • Re-thinking the Windows development cycle

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Re-thinking the Windows development cycle

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      • #2273538 Reply
        woody
        Da Boss

        Ed Bott has a(nother) great piece out on ZDNet: Microsoft, stop feeding bugs to a billion Windows 10 users. Here’s how. He wraps a cogent argument aro
        [See the full post at: Re-thinking the Windows development cycle]

        8 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2273548 Reply
        alQamar
        AskWoody_MVP

        See also

        On name changes in the Insider program, optional updates, and Windows in general

         

        Thanks for comments and likes here

        https://t.co/FDBcxK40Hf?amp=1

        Woody how about commenting your article in techcommunity.microsoft.com

         

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2273549 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        … we’ve all been bellyachin’ about for… six?… years now.

        Not all of us.  There are those of us (not so much here, necessarily—folks who aren’t having any problems don’t ask for help on forums) who are getting along just fine.

        The “silo” effect of forums presents the appearance that everyone is having some sort of difficulties.  On the other hand, the news that makes mainstream media outlets are security related, millions having their privacy compromised.  Google Chrome is the most recent example that comes to mind.

        Surely if Windows 10 updates were causing problems for users in the tens of millions, we’d be reading about it somewhere other than CNET, Computerworld et al.  Yes, businesses small and large have to be cautious, test and monitor, but of the billion+ Windows 10 devices, they’re not all business devices.

        I’m one of the Windows Update canarys, and I’m still singing.  As for naming conventions, I think a lot of us simply don’t care.  If it shows up in Windows update as an update, I’m gonna download and install it.  My drive images (is there a major contributor here who does not say have a reliable backup?) make that scenario bulletproof.

        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 2 weeks, 2 days ago by bbearren.
        • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by bbearren.
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2273603 Reply
          Barry
          AskWoody Plus

          Well said bbearren. I also think these bugs affect a very small portion of windows 10 users. I have never had any problems with windows 10 Feature or cumulative updates except for 1 problem that was easily fixed with a back-up

          Barry
          Windows 10 Home V 2004

        • #2273865 Reply
          Noel Carboni
          AskWoody_MVP

          Doesn’t seem to be about problems or what doesn’t work after updates, per se, but the bigger concept of stability. I’ve had very few problems with Windows 10 updates myself.

          When building a home (metaphor here for developing a system into a suite of useful capabilities) one finishes the foundation (metaphor for the OS), then builds on top of it. The foundation is made to support whatever’s put on top.

          One does not undertake the rebuilding of the foundation before the home is finished. Building a new foundation implies creating a different home.

          How many of us build a new house and move every 6 months?

          The metaphor is valid because things have to move at the speed the users can handle, and the same humans who tend to stay in a home for years also need an OS within which the rules don’t change for years also.

          Woody calls for channels here – which means it could be possible to imagine even the very same person having multiple systems each of which has its own needs for stability vs. new features. I for one live in that reality.

          Some other important thoughts to ponder:

          We don’t need nor want a constant push leading to a feeling the OS is working against our goals (implication: towards Microsoft’s goals) after making choice of the “stable” channel. There needs to be a SOLID level of support, not just lip service, to supporting a long-term, stable OS. We are not sheep to be herded. Turn down Marketing, turn up user- and developer-orientation.

          There seems to be a move away from having the OS be a great integrator of things in a larger space (e.g., a suite of apps on a desktop that all work together to solve user problems) and toward a bunch of Apps from all different places that have their own unique ideas how to work. That’s a big picture change in direction that is just wrong.

          An operating system the size of Windows really is too large to rework every 6 months, and we’ve seen evidence that Microsoft developers would really like it to be a year (or – imagine this – three!)

          A single OS cannot be the right thing for both a touch screen device AND a desktop workstation. The needs are different. You can do a lot with a device, but some people need to get big, important work done on a real computer.

          -Noel

          5 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2273881 Reply
            b
            AskWoody Plus

            Woody calls for channels here – which means it could be possible to imagine even the very same person having multiple systems each of which has its own needs for stability vs. new features. I for one live in that reality.

            We already have exactly the channels suggested by Woody:

            Introducing Windows Insider Channels

            Which of them do you use?

      • #2273552 Reply
        John
        AskWoody Lounger

        It’s not just Microsoft doing releases prematurely, I think Apple has done some of the same stuff. Releasing Mac OS and IOS on preset dates no matter if they are buggy or not. Microsoft should commit to better criteria and more strict stability before releasing these feature upgrades. Do not set a predefined date, but stick with predefined levels of stability. It wouldn’t hurt to better educate users on how they can delay these upgrades and caution them that problems may occur and they may want to wait. You can’t stop the eager beavers from forcing a upgrade, but you can help others who wish to remain stable a clear option to do so.

        • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by John.
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2273553 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          I wouldn’t mind having a new stable version every two or three years.

          If it were, like, stable.

          I can count on one hand the number of worthwhile new features we’ve seen in Win10 over the past three or four years.

          12 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2273594 Reply
            lurks about
            AskWoody Lounger

            Essentially MS should go back to the old method of a major release every few years with a service pack or 2 between. I do not care if they call the major release Windows 10 xxxx or something else. Make the OS stable as a rock.

            As far as OS features, the features I am primarily interested in is support for new and updated connection protocols (USB, Bluetooth, WIFI, etc.) in a new release. But the usefulness of these updates will be limited by the hardware in use. Most of what MS touts as an OS feature should be a standalone application that is not coupled to the OS. Most of the items people will want updated are not moving that fast.

             

            4 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2273630 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            I would like it better once every five years. Or even better: every ten. That was the way until Win X and I never saw any good reason why it should not be that way again. Preferably now and forever. How fast is the world going to change, more precisely the relevant technology, primarily in telecommunications, going to change? I expect the world to move more slowly than it was moving until the end of last year in this respect, once we get into the slow and prolonged recovery of the economy after the pandemic. Many of the pieces needed to keep on bringing new hot things in software and hardware to market are likely to be missing, or not be widely available for a while.

            Even if every upgrade were to come magically bug and wrinkle free, “upgrading” has never been a totally seamless and painless experience for me, and I suspect I am not alone in this. More like an annoying waste of the time I need for other things I must get done every day. My PC and my Mac are not only for watching videos and doing email (although I use them for that too), they are first and foremost workstations for doing my work.

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

            4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2273555 Reply
        alQamar
        AskWoody_MVP

        I wouldn’t mind having a new stable version every two or three years.

        If it were, like, stable.

        I can count on one hand the number of worthwhile new features we’ve seen in Win10 over the past three or four years.

        The 2 to 3 years were like so stable or people just forgot about how c***y it is technically that they lived with tools and workarounds, so suitable they never leave this perfect tool spiced mess. Nope Woody, have to disagree.

        See XP, 7.

        Regular updates are OK once a year at least if carried out professionally. We should focus on how to get it shaped. As you did in the original post, not falling back to monolithic updates.

        • #2273587 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          All changes to software have the potential for introducing more bugs.  The more often new “features” that no one asked for are added, the more new bugs that will be introduced.  Over time, a code base that is only minimally extended as far as features (ie those that are truly worth the risk) and bug-fixed will tend to get more stable over time, while code that is subjected to new features every six months or a year just because the software vendor has to have something to put in the press release will always be more buggy than the former.

          Windows 8.1 was the last release of that version of Windows, and it was six years ago.  It remains the most stable Windows version at this point.  Windows 7’s last release was SP1, in 2010, fully a decade ago, and many people have stuck with it until the very end of its support, or beyond, in large part because it was not being inundated with unnecessary and unwanted feature updates.  By the time Windows 10 was released, 7 had not seen a major update in five years, and it took several more years beyond that for 10 to exceed the market share of 7.

          Some things should have been added to 8.1 for sure (which was in mainstream support for some time after Win 10’s release) and preferably to 7 SP1 as well, like support for new processor architectures and the like, and while those changes would have brought along bugs, there would not be as many as the many changes that MS makes to Windows 10 “just because.”  If MS would stick to this kind of incremental changes and avoid the silly stuff, Windows 10 would be a lot more stable.  Of course, it would also help to have a QA department that is paid by Microsoft to test Windows 10, rather than using their paying consumer-level customers for that role.

          Microsoft seems to have lifted its release cadence and nomenclature directly from Ubuntu, which releases every six months, and that uses the yy.mm naming, just the same as Microsoft, but with a period added in (which makes all the difference in ending the confusion of “2004” seeming like a year and not a version).  The thing that MS missed was that every fourth version is a LTS release, which will get support for 5 years.  Canonical has reported that fully 95% of people who use Ubuntu use the LTS version, and that’s not counting the scores of people who use derivatives of Ubuntu like Mint, which is also based on Ubuntu’s LTS editions.  Ubuntu gives customers a choice of “latest and greatest” or something more stable, and 19 of 20 choose “more stable.”

          If MS did that, giving people a choice of sticking with select versions of 10 for five years, I think you’d see the same pattern emerge as with Ubuntu.  MS does have LTSB/LTSC versions, but they take great pains to make sure that ordinary people can’t get them, and even in corporate environments that are able to use LTSB/C, they try to dissuade them from using LTSB/C on regular work computers.  Why should a stable branch only be for embedded applications if 95% of users are in agreement that stability is better than “latest and greatest?”

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.19.2).

          • #2273791 Reply
            lurks about
            AskWoody Lounger

            “All changes to software have the potential for introducing more bugs. ” This is one reason for internal QA department – regression testing. The unwashed masses will have no idea what possible regressions there might be in the code. Worse yet, the masses will have no documentation on how to test possible regressions. (I am a developer and our internal testers routinely catch errors developers make).

            2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2273558 Reply
        agoldhammer
        AskWoody Plus

        “It’s not just Microsoft doing releases prematurely, I think Apple has done some of the same stuff. Releasing Mac OS and IOS on preset dates no matter if they are buggy or not. ”

        I’m a photographer and have observed over the years that Mac OS upgrades tend to be problematic in many ways for those users.  I have several friends who adopt the same approach that many of we WinOS users employ – delay updates for as long as possible.  This is not a unique MSFT issue.  I have a 75 day delay set for these major updates and 15 days for the minor ones.  In the 18 months I have been on Win10, I have yet to experience any problem at all with applications or hardware on my workstation.  this is not to say that other users may have problems, it’s just that I don’t.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2273563 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          Man, the iOS release cycle looks like something invented by Microsoft. What have we had? Versions 13.0, 13.1, 13.1.1, 13.1.2, 13.1.3, 13.2, 13.2.1, 13.2.2, 13.2.3, 13.3, 13.3.1, 13.4, 13.4.1, 13.5 and now 13.5.1? All in the past nine months?

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2273590 Reply
            Alex5723
            AskWoody Plus

            Not a single problem with any of the listed iOS updates on iPhone and iPad.
            Currently on iOS/iPadOS 13.6 beta 2.

            • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Alex5723.
            • #2273639 Reply
              OscarCP
              AskWoody Plus

              For what it might be worth, my experience with macOS, over the last three years, has been pleasantly uneventful — and I have installed every update in my Mac computer through the most recent one, to two successive versions, first “Sierra” and now “Mojave”, the last-but one major release. The current one. “Catalina”, has some problems for people running certain applications that I prefer to avoid, so am waiting, instead, for the next major one, probably with a Californian-themed name, coming out later this year. When it comes to any bugs and wrinkles, with macOS (I am not considering iOS, that is a separate story that Alex5723 has covered in his comment, above) there has not been anything anywhere as disappointing as what seems to have been happening with Win X, since I started to pay attention, several years ago.

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

            • #2273643 Reply
              woody
              Da Boss

              Not a single problem with any of the listed iOS updates on iPhone and iPad.

              You live a charmed life. Each one of those versions has had problems – some of them major.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
          • #2273652 Reply
            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            That looks like a sensible numbering system to me… major release, minor release, bugfix minor release.  It took me a while to get used to how they do it in many bits of Linux, where 2.10 comes after 2.9, and is not the same as 2.1 with one more significant digit! By my thinking, after 2.9 comes 3.0!

             

            Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.19.2).

      • #2273566 Reply
        woody
        Da Boss

        At least one person is disputing my bonafides.

        Suffice it to say that I’ve been beta testing Microsoft products for a long, long time. My first official beta was in 1990, for WinWord 2.0, and I think I’ve tested every version of Windows (and most versions of Office), with varying levels of enthusiasm, in the intervening 30 years. You ‘Softies can look up my old beta id, 117868.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2273656 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Heh, you called it WinWord too.  Was that universal? At the time, MS-DOS was the expectation, so anything in Windows was the exception that needed its own modifier, not the norm.  “Word” would mean Word for DOS.

          I called Program Manager “Progman” too, and so on, after the name of the executable.  I guess I kept right on doing that, as I called “Registry Editor” ‘regedit’ when I pronounced it aloud.

          I did one of my college papers in WinWord 1.1b on Windows 3.0, and I was tweaking it almost until the last minute before the class in which I was to turn it in.  Then came the printing on my Panasonic KX-P1124 dot-matrix printer…. which took about 45 minutes for a 10 page document.  It would print one line in slow (high resolution) mode, taking maybe 5 seconds to get from the left to the right side of the page, then a long wait (15 seconds?), then another line.  Agonizing!

          I went to Word for DOS after that.  It simply sent the characters to the printer, and took a small fraction of the time.  I didn’t have a choice of fonts or point sizes, but that to me was more of a gimmick than a necessary feature at the time.  WinWord (with vector scalable fonts added on) had to render the high resolution bitmap using the CPU before sending it to the printer.  Rendering was slow, and printing in high-DPI was slow.  The 386-33 I had at the time (first PC I built or owned!) was not slow for the era either!

          Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.19.2).

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2273568 Reply
        Interstate90
        AskWoody Lounger

        This is a great for the next feature update.  Let’s also add Beta, Preview and Stable channels for each of the supported feature releases to properly test the monthly updates.

        • #2273571 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          Testing the monthly security patches is a whole different can of worms.

          I don’t have a good solution to that, but it obviously won’t involve 18 million self-appointed Insiders.

          And I would venture to say that bringing back a formal testing group — Microsoft employees — would go a long way to improving the quality of security patches.

          To my mind, testing the monthly non-security patches is just another Preview activity – part of the Preview Channel that I describe.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2273613 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        I also think these bugs affect a very small portion of windows 10 users.

        But Ed Bott disagrees. according to him ALL Windows 10 Billion users suffer from bugs :
        “Microsoft, stop feeding bugs to a billion Windows 10 users.”

        • #2273615 Reply
          joep517
          AskWoody MVP

          I do not believe that Ed Bott is saying that all Windows 10 users observe or are affected by problems. If you have Windows 10 you have the problems/bugs. You just may not see them because of your particular hardware/software version.

          --Joe

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      • #2273621 Reply
        joep517
        AskWoody MVP

        @Woody,

        I just re-read the blog post from Amanda Langowski and I’m a little confused by your post.

        I read somewhere that I can’t find right now that they do have a Canary channel. It is the builds released internally to Microsoft personnel. So, it is not public. I guess we could debate whether or not that is really a Canary channel.

        Other than not naming the general release as the stable channel what Microsoft has stated is what you stated. We’ll have to see if their “pivot” to quality based releases is reality or just marketing speak. I hope that quality is the determining factor rather than some pre-set date.

        --Joe

        • #2273644 Reply
          woody
          Da Boss

          You’re right. MS has an internal release cycle called the Canary Ring – but it’s entirely internal, and obviously not very savvy.

          MS can test internally all they like. They need some decent input from the outside before setting features in concrete. That’s the Canary’s goal.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2273642 Reply
        Rick Corbett
        AskWoody_MVP

        Perhaps we’re all thinking this wrong… given that Microsoft’s President is now a lawyer, not a techie, and is now showing all the signs of an adversarial attack.

        Oh what fun… I’m sure that you and I will all benefit… as well as the legions of lawyers that will no doubt be thrown at the onslaught. Think ‘Gladiator’… but without any of the altruistic intentions… (or ‘Jaws’… same intent.). 🙂

        Time for us to all sit back and watch the venal ‘dogs of war’…

      • #2273667 Reply
        Barry
        AskWoody Plus

        I also think these bugs affect a very small portion of windows 10 users.

        But Ed Bott disagrees. according to him ALL Windows 10 Billion users suffer from bugs :
        “Microsoft, stop feeding bugs to a billion Windows 10 users.”

        Alex i get what ed is trying to say. does windows 10 have bugs yes. All operating systems including Microsoft,apple,linux and android all have bugs. i think the object is to have those bugs affect as few people as possible. In that respect considering the hundreds of millions of people that run win10 i think microsoft does a good job.

        Barry
        Windows 10 Home V 2004

      • #2273730 Reply
        Fred
        AskWoody Plus

        ZDNet: Microsoft, stop feeding bugs to a billion Windows 10 users. Here’s how. He wraps a cogent argument aro [See the full post at: Re-thinking the Windows development cycle]

        Perhaps Rodin thought all of this, and then he created Dante’s Hell,
        and we are living it, isn’t it.

        How many systemdisk images does one have?

        Black Lives Matter
      • #2273834 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        To clarify a previous comment on never having a problem with updates/upgrades of macOS when installing them on my Mac: I have always followed the same practice as with Windows 7 (and I never had a problem with patches, etc. with this OS either.)  This practice of mine has been to wait a few weeks and keep an eye and both ears open on what happens in the aftermath for those who installed early. When any subsequent clamor of pain and grief has subsided, then I go ahead and install. Maybe also after asking a question or two about how the patch is doing to Nathan or PK, or reading their comments on the patch or major upgrade. Now, to be fair to Apple, I should make it clear that I can recall only two or three instances when others had some problems after installing early patches, etc. in their Macs, over the last three years.

        In any case, I am not entirely happy with Apple’s three-year cadence, when installing a recent major upgrade becomes obligatory. I much rather had five or even ten years (as with Windows until 8.1) between major updates (plus a very few minor ones — service packs in the case of Windows.) Also I am not keen on the trend towards “cool” and super-thin hardware design with few ports to plug things in, in the case of laptops. The main problem with Apple’s computers is not with software, it is with hardware design, in my opinion.

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

      • #2273846 Reply
        Elly
        AskWoody MVP

        Personally, I would be relieved if they choose a naming system and stick with it. I can’t help but think that they have purposefully smudged naming and functions, in order to wrest control of their operating system from end users. It is confusing… and a chronic lack of a stable OS is an accessibility issue (as well as a nightmare for small business users).

        Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to state how clearly the various rings or channels are identified and how useful the distinctions are for those wanting to experiment, or test, various fixes and features… and how they lead to thorough bug testing before being released to Home or other non-enterprise users, rather than leaving the least techy, that have the most difficulty recovering, as the ones who do the testing?

        Hmm… a stable end product… now that would be awesome!

        Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2273886 Reply
        Noel Carboni
        AskWoody_MVP

        Windows 8.1 … remains the most stable Windows version at this point

        Absolutely true! I run Win 7, 8.1, and 10 systems 24/7 in multiple locations and the older ones never need reboots. Unfortunately, stuff goes wrong in Windows 10 over time that just doesn’t go wrong in the older systems. And precious few new things work better.

        For some activities, an older OS is still perfectly fine for use. People who are on the Windows 10 bandwagon are being fed a constant line of BS that it’s not possible to continue to get fine service out of an older OS, and (gasp) even do new work stably and reliably, WITHOUT all the bloatware that makes Windows 10 a practically uncontrollable hydra. Just forty something processes to support an empty desktop, no spurious online communications, stability in all the multiple meanings of the word “stability”…

        Win8.1Uptime

        Microsoft wants us to believe we have to have everything up to date all the time or OMG we’ll be out of date and exposed and have no new goodness. It’s simply not the case. With good hardware, an OS doesn’t actually have to change for the capabilities of one’s system to suit one’s needs. But not buying something – or better, subscribing to something – constantly isn’t good for Microsoft’s business. So now nothing’s micro by any stretch of the imagination, it’s growing less and less soft all the time, and without public outcry we’d even lose the ability to have actual Windows. All in the name of making undue profit.

        MS does have LTSB/LTSC versions, they take great pains to make sure that ordinary people can’t get them

        Why? Presumably because Microsoft’s business plan has them making more money off each of us by keeping us continually off balance.

        It seems to me to be the one big problem with this “brave new world” of constant updates and constant change – the inability to find and use a supported platform for a few years that doesn’t require constant expenditure of money, effort, and time by US.

        Don’t look now but computers aren’t really getting better by leaps and bounds any more. Why, in this time, does software have to change more than it changed when the hardware was constantly obsoleting itself?

        Perhaps Microsoft should re-examine its strategy to make more and more money off us by any means possible, legitimate or otherwise, and get back to the basic economics of trading value for value.

        -Noel

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      • #2273931 Reply
        joep517
        AskWoody MVP

        Microsoft used to get roasted regularly for including everything as part of the OS release and not being able to react quickly enough to new industry trends. For a long time now Microsoft has been changing the Windows architecture to eliminate the various version they had for different types of hardware. That is the fabled “one core”. The long term goal is to have one core OS and supply different UIs for distinct hardware. All the while maintaining compatibility for the 1.5 billion Windows users.

        Now, they get roasted for moving too quickly. The update/upgrade situation with Windows 10 has changed and will continue to change and evolve. The hodgepodge grab bag that used to be Windows Update caused no end of support problems. Having been in software development and support for a long, long time I can attest that our Customer Support makes sure that the client is completely updated and the problem still exists after that. Then the fun starts. Now, we are considerably smaller than the Windows install base but have some very large clients. Having clients be able to pick and choose updates is a recipe for support disaster.

        If indeed the development/release program has pivoted to a quality basis rather than speed that will be a tremendously important positive change. That should mean the quality will improve over time. I disagree that a separate quality control department is required. If the proper q/a is done on the development side that should expose bugs earlier in the process. Any time a problem is exposed earlier in a process the less expensive it is to repair. This will lead to fewer bugs making it to the general release and thus have less impact on the end-user.

        --Joe

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2274250 Reply
          AlexEiffel
          AskWoody_MVP

          Joe, while I get your point about Microsoft being roasted for not getting out new features fast enough in the past, instead of shoving updates down the throat of people who couldn’t care less about their new features and just want to continue using the same machine for many years, they could do things much better to address the needs of both audiences.

          The reality is that if you had bought a powerful Windows 7 PC when it was just out, you could run it for about 10 years without much bugs after the initial normal period where there is more bugs after the new software is just out. Windows 10 stole this great ability to not not worry about unnecessary changes and the bugs or privacy/security risks that they imply from home and SMB users.

          Remember Microsoft said originally that combining patches and having everyone on a common set of code was necessary to reduce issues that were due to inconsistent patching? Well, the cure that Windows 10 is hasn’t been successful at all at attaining the implied goal of system stability and third party software developers often don’t keep up so you have a good combination for failure in this respect.

          The solution is simple:

          You sell those PCs with whatever version is out at the moment. You have periodic feature releases that are sometimes LTS like what is available now for Enterprise and once it gets on your computer, you can let people run those LTS versions and not upgrade to any other version if they choose so. You could even have that sales guy tell home users, let me flip the switch in advance for you so you have less risk of issues with your computer. You set your computer the way you like it and then you stop worrying about this and you use it, just like it has been before Windows 10.

          You still patch for security and you can even continue with the idea that patches are cumulative and combined if they are security because it will be less complex to just issue security patches and thus maybe we could reach that milestone where people don’t risk having much issues by patching. You also imperatively need to fix the patch quality internally for those security patches targeted to an audience that primarily care about stability. Seriously, I still can’t believe how Microsoft was able to let out that Storage Space disastrous issue for those who got affected.

          If Microsoft did adopt such an approach, they couldn’t be blamed for not moving fast enough. You get new hardware, you want to benefit from some novelty, well you can try the latest versions. You keep the same machine and couldn’t care less for anything else than running your computer the same way for ten years, hop on the LTS bandwagon and be done with it.What’s so hard about that? Well I guess they either need cannon fodder for their new features or they want to be able to push their monetization schemes whether you are interested or not.

          Reducing the coupling between Microsoft Apps and Core OS should also help in that respect. I like the idea of a Core OS. They need to improve security to turn this great OS in terms of capabilities into a great OS for the much less secure world we now live in. One big flaw with Windows is the not simple way to insulate apps from each other and the OS. It was once a strength when Windows was much less secure and stable because it was enabling quick innovation (hear doing about whatever you wanted to do with the OS in the XP and before era where running as a limited user was difficult) and ended up with all kind of ridiculous bad ideas in terms of security like ActiveX that responded to a need of the moment for some. But now, modern OSes like IOS have shown how much safer you can run out of the box, in part by preventing Apps from messing around everywhere. As home users, we should easily be able to run mildly trusted code like video games without giving it access to our documents. We should not wonder what Spotify is doing on our computer besides playing music when installing it. We should not worry that this small neat software that is not so well known has every power a standard user has on our computer instead of having only the permission to do what it is supposed to do.

          Windows X seems a step toward this and it might prove difficult to maintain balance between the ability to enable what interaction you need between codes and offer security without too much hassle, but I believe this is where we need to go for most people, as long as the Apps are good enough. I think this might take a long time, though. The idea to run containerized apps along legacy Win32 seems like a good way to bridge the gap.

          I always deployed very customized stripped up, tightly locked down Windows stations that ran for years without any issue because nobody in the target audience needed more power and it was just an unnecessary risk. They needed the equivalent of a great Iphone to do business tasks using Office, email and web browsers and a few apps. The key was stability, auto updates on all apps and I almost never got bothered by our users. After Windows 10, we started having calls for many annoyances. For our use case, it was a failure. Previously, we didn’t need anything fancy to manage our computers with an extremely low overhead cost. Now, I have lost this ability.

          I would love to have a LTS version that I could carefully study, tune to my needs and then deploy for a few years without worrying about what the next update will bring that I will have to review and adjust. My business is not maintaining computers and I don’t believe that computers should be so difficult to keep secure that you need professionals to constantly do it in many standard use case for a small fleet, as has been shown in the mobile space. Yes, you can manage those devices, but they can be pretty safe without management if you are setting them up manually in a SMB of for home use.

          In that respect, Windows is a dinosaur. What I wish for is documented settings that you could save and push to any station, without relying on imaging. GPOs don’t cover the whole experience at all. I would like to take a fresh OS install, import my settings file and have exactly the same desktop as the one I prepared. I would like to be able to send those files to people so they can import them and prepare different settings files for different type of users. I would like things to not change too much and have changes well documented so I can easily review every new feature and setting and decide what value I want to use for it.

          While waiting for something significantly better to come out and mature, so I actually wish to upgrade, I would be very happy to run the LTS version of Windows.

          4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2274544 Reply
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          The long term goal is to have one core OS and supply different UIs for distinct hardware.

          This is good goal, but to me, MSFT is going the other direction. I mean: the core may be the same for all (I bet its nearly untouched since Windows 95), but all these versions and licensing.. Its just too complicated. Home users want to buy PC and us it, right? They wanna be the Overlord! They dont want to be their PC’s slave. Constant chase for “better security and up-to-date system” is uphill battle. iOS is waaaaay closer to achiving “one system fits all”.
          The Windows remains the same since 95, just more shiny things and bloatware. By the way, Windows directory does not look very elegant too, some folders are uppercase, some not, .. System32 directory looks like someones sandbox. Nevermind..

          I disagree that a separate quality control department is required.

          Why to pay for testing department, if you can test it on guinea pigs amongst the people, right? 🙂 Posted with all respect!

          By my opinion, MSFT is payed by all of US for (ermmm) lousy work. I mean: it mostly works, but they feed us with PR proclamations of stability and safety.. when reality it otherwise. I have notebook older than 10 years. I installed Linux on it ONCE and today – it still works! I mostly play older simple games on it. The same with old iMacs, they just work.

          If the proper q/a is done on the development side that should expose bugs earlier in the process.

          These bugs cant be predicted. I like definition of

            Noel Carboni

          , Windows is hydra and proper testing should be done before they “fire” updates to its customers. Not on VM.

          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

      • #2274284 Reply
        alQamar
        AskWoody_MVP

        I also think these bugs affect a very small portion of windows 10 users.

        But Ed Bott disagrees. according to him ALL Windows 10 Billion users suffer from bugs :
        “Microsoft, stop feeding bugs to a billion Windows 10 users.”

        I can weight this. Having migrated 60+ from family to 2004. Around 30 are missing and on 1909. Same as the said “with iOS has bugs but I do not notice them” I only have very few issues reported by “users” from the family group with Windows 10. Ofc they have perfectly setup computers, software and drivers thanks me yet.

        SUMO and DUMO are now helping me to get a quick overview and use adware free computerbase.de to get my downloads without hiccups, since the software and drivers are quite all multilanguage aware. So i can even help out related living outside my country.

        It is a matter organization. I can upgrade 6 “manually” a day by having a great schedule. This is not just running setup from commandline but also updating ALL software and drivers prior the upgrade, even ffs firmware of Logitech USB receivers that had sec issues.

        I don’t get most of the issues. There are issues.

        I keep reporting them and it is pretty clear that all “non standard” behaviours are more affected like (MBR – only 5 systems), Users with USB printers lately. Users with Storage Spaces on Win 10 Pro etc.

        They may be a minority, not saying this makes anything better. Issues exist but it is how they get addressed.

         

        My main concern is: MS Support does not handle issues seriously. They don’t escalate. Period. I have many examples of failing. I don’t call them for easy activation issues. I can handle them myself most of the time.

        I was told by insider team to report issues that are REPRODUCIBLE
        The plan was to get them on the official “known issues list”. That’s a high bar I’ve been told.

        So I reported a single issue easy to repro in few minutes.
        MS Support want to charge me.

        No thanks.

         

        • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by alQamar.
        • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by alQamar.
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