• Wanted: Your views on Windows/Office patching

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    ON SECURITY By Susan Bradley Recently, it occurred to me that it’s been two years since I posted my survey on consumer- and business-systems updating.
    [See the full post at: Wanted: Your views on Windows/Office patching]

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    • #2274178

      Hello Susan, and thanks for the various articles I have read over the past couple of months (since re-joining AskWoody).

      Because I have dug in my heels and, to date, flatly refuse to move to Win10 (from Win7HP) my feedback can be considered worthless (because I have not experienced Win10/patches) or extremely valuable (because I represent as-yet untapped revenue).

      All systems or applications need patching and upgrading because we are not super-intelligent, and at ground level, as soon as the first version rolls of the line the client asks “Please can you paint it blue and put an extra wheel on the left-hand side?”.

      I believe that Microsoft would not find itself in patching swamps had it made a top-level decision back in the late 1980s to use a consistent standard of version names.

      Using a year would be good (Windows1990, Windows1991, Windows1992) or a serial number (Windows3, Windows4, Windows5) because then MSoft could have instituted a second decision – that patches/updates would be issued at fixed intervals.

      An interval of a quarter-year would be workable (Windows1990.25, Windows1990.50, Windows1990.75), but whatever the interval, EVERY member of the team would have a deadline for their code to pass the stringent testing, and failure to pass would mean that the implementation was delayed a quarter-year.

      Such a delay would also delay any dependent code, and so the delayed performance bonuses would accumulate on the heads of the critical team.

      I believe that after a few missed updates, coding teams would be quite focused on their fortnightly progress reports, learn to resist on-the-fly enhancements, and generally start behaving as we were taught back in the 1970s. Back then when punched-card jobs were at the mercy of the white-coated operators and turnaround was unpredictable (seriously: five minutes to two weeks was not an unusual range), we learned to test our code with peers, and read our assembly-language coding forms very carefully before sending them off to be keypunched (one day to one week).

      Waiting two weeks for a failed test sharpened the mind, as would missing a quarterly deadline today. Just think of the pressure in the cafeteria as you looked for a place to sit and eat your lunch and realized that at every table there sat someone whose performance bonus was delayed a quarter year!


      Unless you're in a hurry, just wait.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2274189

      They wont listen to customers anyway. Marketing and PR are in charge now, so…

      To be fair, I have to say, that if I go to Microsoft feedback and see, what people are reporting, its just useless. Non-techy people want to move some button more to the left, or they blame microsoft for their unability to set-up their router right.

      In these myriands of non-sense good ideas drown.

      Also, insider program is just fraction of other real systems that exists in real world, it will never be 100% accurate.

      In short, I dont like Windows/Office patching cadence.

      Dell Latitude 3420, Intel Core i7 @ 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, W10 22H2 Enterprise

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

      PRUSA i3 MK3S+

    • #2274439

      I have no issues managing or supporting Windows & Office patches because I use deferrals. (120 days for feature updates, 14 days for quality updates.) I’ve been running this way as long as it has been possible, and I’ve had no issues with any Win10 patches. In the Win7 and Win8 days, I held off patching for 2 weeks. I haven’t installed a patch on patch day since the XP days.

      At work we delay SCCM/WSUS patch rollout in a tiered schedule; non-prod gets patched after 4 weeks and prod is patched after 6 weeks. Again, no issues.

    • #2277483


      As someone who has followed you for years as the SBSDiva, then Small Business Susan, I’d like to thank you for these surveys, and the opportunity to bring much-needed feedback to Microsoft. While we can’t guarantee they’re always listening, you really unite us in a way that lets the people in the trenches bring combined feedback in a way that may really count.

      I’ve always had a great amount of respect for you, and your work has greatly benefited me. If you’re ever in the Mitten State, first, second, and third round is on me.

      @DougTerborg (aka LoneWolf)

      Senior Automation Engineer (IT since `95)

      We are SysAdmins.
      We walk in the wiring closets no others will enter.
      We stand on the bridge, and no malware may pass.
      We engage in support, we do not retreat.
      We live for the LAN.
      We die for the LAN.

    • #2277502

      From Win XP forward I’ve gotten to be a bit nervous with monthly updates, patches, service packs, etc.  I got an early warning from Woody in one of his Windows XP books, and found the AskWoody site extremely helpful. But I’ve never been able to get rid of that nervousness that comes with updating these days.

      Having said that, I must also say that I’ve never had a problem with updates, mainly because I take Woody’s and advice and wait until he gives the go ahead.

      Being 20 something in the 70's was much more fun than being 70 something in the 20's.
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