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  • Patch Lady – August 9th updates

    Posted on August 10th, 2018 at 15:00 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Abbodii reminded us on the Patchmanagement.org list that the KBs that some are seeing released on August 9th are merely the infamous two year old update meant to pave the way for future feature upgrades.  As Abbodii reminded us, it’s had over 25 releases/re-releases so far.

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4023057/update-to-windows-10-versions-1507-1511-1607-1703-and-1709-for-update

    The next update – only out on Microsoft update – not on WSUS, nor on the catalog site will be offered up to some, but not all machines for various unknown issues:

    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4295110/updates-to-windows-10-version-1709-update-components-august-9-2018

    Using the principles of the monthly Windows Servicing guidance of being Simple, Predictable, Agile and Transparent, I rate this not being transparent as it could be.

     

     

  • Patch Lady – Skype gets a reprieve

    Posted on August 7th, 2018 at 14:56 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    You may have already seen this in the Askwoody lounge but for once Microsoft listened to customer feedback.

    I have seen many many many longtime users of Skype say that they are looking for alternatives due to all of the changes.  Just like the Windows 10 upgrades on 7, you’ve had to watch carefully in the Skype dialog boxes to not get upgraded.  So if you are a classic Skype user, watch those update/upgrade dialog boxes in the Skype interface as it just might try to trip you up.

    I can’t believe I’m pointing to this…but there is guidance on ways to block the upgrade prompts in this forum post.

  • Patch Lady – my response

    Posted on August 4th, 2018 at 11:55 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    To keep everyone in the loop:

    https://www.computerworld.com/article/3294984/microsoft-windows/windows-updaters-express-frustrations-microsoft-responds.html

    As I said in my response… I know this has to be better and I honestly trust in that process.

    And this is what I sent back to the customer support response I got as well as once again ccing and emailing Mr. Nadella, Mr. Picoto and Mr. Guthrie below:

    Thank you ____ for reaching out to me. Just so that you are aware I actually have bugged into the feedback venue on this same issue a few months ago – see here: https://aka.ms/AA1aitt In fact it’s because of this earlier feedback posting that I went to the broader patching community to get their viewpoints and then reached out to Microsoft in the form of emailing Mr. Nadella, Mr. Picoto, and Mr. Guthrie as I saw things getting worse, not better after I entered my feedback into the Windows feedback process.

    My apologies if I didn’t make all of you aware of this before but I am fully aware of how Windows 10 updating model works. I have in fact given courses on Windows 10 updating at several technology conferences, I write on the topic and give guidance to IT professionals, consultants and consumers as to patching processes and side effects.

    https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Windows-IT-Pro-Blog/Windows-10-update-servicing-cadence/ba-p/222376 A recent blog post points out what I think is the disconnect between what the goals of Microsoft are and the reality of Windows servicing today.

    It indicates that Microsoft uses the principles of being simple and predictable, agile and transparent. But that’s the thing, it hasn’t been in the past few months. It’s been chaotic, we’ve had a lack of clear communication, nor has it been as agile as it could have been with updates not being released to all platforms (we’ve had to import updates into WSUS, or the C and D patches aren’t offered on the WU channel for example).

    We in the patching community would love it if you followed those principles. Please do so.

    We in the patching community would request one agility change: that in the cadence of feature releases. Twice a year is causing too much disruption in the management of technology. It’s causing firms to not be fluid in their updates. It’s causing too many firms to consider LTSB as a means to slow down the cadence.

    Since I didn’t open this service request, it is not my place to close it. I once again am emailing the individuals on my initial email to follow up that they better understand my ask: Please be simple. Please be predictable. Please be transparent. Please don’t compromise quality or compatibility. Finally please do understand the feature release cadence is too disruptive to your customer base.

    Thank you for your anticipated follow up to my letter. I know as a shareholder and customer of your software that you HAVE to be just as concerned as I am about the quality issues of Windows patches. I urge you to go back to my letter where I have several recommendations and consider ways to improve. This has to get better and I anticipate that you are just as concerned as I am about this issue.

    Thanking you again, Susan Bradley

    Moderator at Patchmanagement.org

    Writer on the topic of patches for Askwoody.com
    August 3, 2018

  • Patch Lady – Office 365 eula is due to update

    Posted on August 2nd, 2018 at 15:06 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you recently got that, it’s just due to click to run update as noted in an Office KB.  Bottom line, click through the accept it should be just fine afterwards.

     

    ISSUE

    You may receive an unexpected pop-up message regarding the Office license agreement and may also be unable to access Office.

    STATUS: WORKAROUND

    We’ve identified that a recent feature update has modified the storage location of the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA) acceptance information and is causing users to receive a pop-up message prompting them to accept the user agreement. We’ve initiated the process of reverting this update to mitigate impact.

    In the meantime, if you receive a pop-up regarding the End User Licensing Agreement (EULA), clicking Accept should enable access to Office. Dismissing the pop-up may result in Office closing.

  • Patch Lady – guiding principles on patching

    Posted on August 2nd, 2018 at 14:51 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Today on the Windows IT blog there is a post about patching.  No, it’s not a response to my open letter, rather it’s an explanation of terms and guiding principles.  In it, it talks about …

    We use the following principles for the monthly Windows servicing process:

    • Be simple and predictable. IT managers should be able to plan for a simple, regular and consistent patching cadence. You shouldn’t need to stop what you’re doing to test and deploy an update. You should be able to plan a time, well in advance, to work on new updates. You also shouldn’t have to memorize multiple release schedules; the Windows release cadence should align with that of other Microsoft products.

    • Be agile. In today’s security landscape, we must be able to respond to threats quickly when required. We should also provide you with updates quickly without compromising quality or compatibility.

    • Be transparent. To simplify the deployment of Windows 10 in large enterprises or small businesses, you should have access to as much information as you need, and you should be able to understand and prepare for updates in advance. This includes guides for common servicing tools, simple release notes, and access to assistance or a feedback system to provide input.

    As I just realized that I’m behind on my master patch list for the month of July because I didn’t note the catalog only 1607 release for the .NET July side effects – I deeply question if July showcases simplicity, predictability or transparency.

    I mean no disrespect to Mr. Wilcox but July was not a stellar month in my book.

    For the record the .NET side effects appear to impact server side applications more than workstation side which is why Microsoft put an agility push to fix Server 2016 asap.  It’s also why these updates are only on the catalog site, not on Windows update nor on WSUS.  It takes less red tape to post them to the catalog site.  The rest of the .NET updates for Windows 10 will be out with the regular updating process expected (at this time anyway) to be on the 14th of August.

    For anyone wondering if I’ve been contacted by Microsoft:  I have been assigned a support number and a customer relationship manager has contacted me.  I’m still keeping the faith.  I know that these issues have to be fixed — ESPECIALLY if someday we all end up with machines in the cloud and nothing else.

  • Patch Lady – a visual representation of July’s known issues

    Posted on July 27th, 2018 at 10:44 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    .

    I need bigger monitors.  I literally cannot get a full screen shot of all of the known issues as documented on this site:  https://portal.msrc.microsoft.com/en-us/security-guidance/releasenotedetail/1c26eff2-573f-e811-a96f-000d3a33c573  I nearly get a screen shot of them all …but not quite.

    I’m sorry Microsoft but this is just flat out not acceptable.  Especially with price increases announced.

  • Patch Lady – Results of the consumer survey

    Posted on July 23rd, 2018 at 23:17 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Once again the caveat that I’m not a professional survey creator, this isn’t a scientific survey, rather I wanted to make sure you, the consumer of Windows, had a voice.

    Users of Windows that aren’t in business are getting less and less.  More and more home users use their phone or a tablet and no longer have a windows device at home.  The questions to the consumer survey were similar to the consultant survey.

    In question 1 I was asking about overall satisfaction with Windows 7 to Windows 10.  As you can see, again a majority of folks are not satisfied.  Written responses to the survey for question 1 can be read here.

    Question 2 I was asking specifically about the satisfaction with Windows 10.  Once again the majority are not satisfied with Windows 10.  Written responses can be read here.

    For question 3, the majority of you said that feature updates are not useful to you.  Only about 10% indicated that they were somewhat useful or extremely useful.  The written responses to Question 3 can be read here.

    Question 4 asked how often you wanted feature releases and the majority of you want it once every two years or once every year.  Only 12% of you said the current two times a year is fine.  The written responses for Question 4 can be read here.

    Question 5 was asking you if Windows 10 was meeting your needs.  As you can see from the results, the majority of you said that it was meeting your needs.  Written responses can be found here.

    The final question was an open ended question what you would change about Windows 10.  You can read the responses here.

    The full survey results of all of the questions are here.

    What do both of these results tell me?  The consumer apps that are put on the professional sku annoy consultants.  The consumers want it more like 7.  More control over updates.  More control over settings.  In Microsoft’s zeal to ensure that we all are kept up to date, they built an operating system that is driving consumers to ipads and androids in its lack of giving consumers control over their devices.  If you want to control patching like Windows 10 does, one HAS to control the ecosystem of applications, hardware, vendors — which is exactly what Microsoft doesn’t do.  And even when they do, in the case of Surface devices, they showcase that we’re still years away from the application ecosystem we need to have total stability in updating.

    So we have a long way to go.  And we need changes.  I often joke that I tilt at windmills.  But this isn’t an imaginary enemy.  This is a real need that we need to fix.

    Once again I thank you all for taking the time and communicating your thoughts.  You have greatly helped me to understand your views.

    My next step will be to write up a more pointed letter to be sent to various leaders and those in charge of Windows 10 to ensure you are heard at Microsoft.

     

  • Patch Lady – results of the Consultant patcher survey

    Posted on July 22nd, 2018 at 23:06 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    As the weekend comes to a close, I’m baking Lemon Zucchini bread and looking over the results of the two surveys I did earlier.

    First off – yes I know they are not scientific.  They are not random responses, I went to people that are into patching.  Who often deal with the side effects of patching.  But that was my point in this exercise.  You are the folks in the trenches. Keep in mind that most of the results were received before the fiasco of the July updates.  {For the record the .NET updates have not be officially “pulled” but they are unchecked and not being pushed via Microsoft update.  If you use WSUS to patch you may want to pull back on approval}

    Tonight I’m posting the results of the consultant patching survey.  Tomorrow I’ll post the consumer results.

    The first question had to do with your overall satisfaction of patching including Windows 7 all the way through Windows 10.  As you can see by the numbers, the majority of you are not satisfied with how patching is overall.  Survey monkey has a means to make a “word cloud” from the results of the written words and you can see that many of you used the phrases of issues, quality and problems.

    The detailed responses to question one can be found here:

    Question two had to do with your overall satisfaction with Windows 10 updates specifically.

    Again, the majority of those who answered are not satisfied with Windows 10 updates.  The written responses for Question 2 can be read here.  It may take time to read through these but I think each written section is insightful.

    Question 3 had to do with usefulness of feature updates.

    Again, the majority are indicating that feature updates are not useful to their business.  The written responses for Question 3 can be read here.

    Question 4 had to do with how often you wanted feature releases.

    Only 11% of the respondents thought the current cadence of twice a year was fine.  The majority wanted a slower cadence.

    The written responses for question 4 are here.

    Question 5 was an overall question as to whether or not Windows 10 is meeting your business needs.

    As you can see the majority of consultants indicated that Windows 10 is meeting their business needs.

    The detailed responses are listed here.  Also these are insightful.

    Finally the last question was an open ended question – “What could be changed in Windows 10 to make it better for your business?”

    The results for that final question are here {With a kind warning.  I’m not editing any of the responses and in this final one I spotted a few swear words, so be aware that this is the raw results}.

    I’ll be summarizing this even more and providing my findings as feedback.  Can I promise that changes will be made?  No, I honestly can’t.  But I have to try.  We have to try.

    Because what we have now…. as July’s updates showcased… it’s not working.  Something has to change.