Windows Update quality issues: Microsoft’s answer

[German]Microsoft has responded to an open letter from MVP colleague Susan Bradley about problems and quality issues with Microsoft’s Windows update cycles.


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The background – an open letter to Microsoft

Satisfaction with Windows, especially Windows 10 and Microsoft’s approach to Windows as a service and the updates provided is disastrous for both consumers and IT professionals. A survey conducted by Susan Bradley, a long-standing expert in patch management for Windows, explicitly confirmed this. As a result, Susan Bradley wrote an open letter to Microsoft management (including CEO Satya Nadella) to highlight the problems in practice.

Woody Leonhard had published this on his website askwoody.com and at ComputerWorld articles. Since I am in contact with him, I have addressed both the surveys and the open letter within my blog post Windows (10) Update Survey and an open letter to Microsoft.

Microsoft’s answers

Microsoft replied surprisingly, Woody Leonhard has published Microsoft’s answer at ComputerWorld within the Windows updaters express frustrations. Microsoft responds. Here are some excerpts and the quintessence.

Service Request # 143…….

Hello Susan,

My name is (redacted), and I’m a Customer Relationship Manager here at the Microsoft corporate offices in Redmond, Washington. Thank you for reaching out.

I would like to let you know that we got your concerns about the Windows 10 patch quality issues that you have brought to our attention.  I wanted to give you an update and let you know that at this time I working on finding the best venue to bring your concerns to our leadership team who would be better equipped in making any decisions that need to be made.

As a reminder: The open letter was addressed to Microsoft’s Board of Directors, Mr. Satya Nadella, and two Vice Presidents. The open letter expressed the general dissatisfaction with the update quality and the frequency of Windows as a service function updates at the base. Tenor: Something has to change, think about it.

In the text above, a Customer Relationship Manager answered, and issued a support number. He/she confirms the open letter has been noticed and assures that ‘ways are being sought to bring the matter to Microsoft’s leadership team, which is better able to make all necessary decisions’. It that the way at Microsoft to process an open letter to the CEO? But Microsoft stays tuned – Susan Bradley received another message from the Customer Relationship Manager.  Forwarding the open letter to the responsible team is confirmed.


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Hello Susan,

This is (redacted) again with Microsoft customer services and support team. I would like to thank you for all the great feedback that you submitted in your previous letter that you sent to Microsoft.  I would like to tell you that I have forward[ed] your letter to a team that is better equipped to handle the concerns and feedback that you have stated in your letter.

Your letter clearly states the concerns that you have due to the quality and timing of Microsoft updates.  I would like to add that with Windows 10 Microsoft decided to be more proactive. This has always been the way we keep commercial versions of Windows on the market current.  There are also bug fixes. These updates can be vital. The Windows software environment and its associated hardware is incredibly complex. When these bugs are fixed, updates have to be issued to move them out to users. You want these updates to make sure everything works as expected.  Windows 10 is very different from earlier versions of Windows. Earlier versions of Windows consisted of a single product which was updated over time. Windows 10 consists entirely of a base install and then fluid updates. The updates aren’t add-ons from which to pick and choose but are part of the operating system.

After much Microsoft talk, which promises understanding for the expressed concerns, the text above says in my reading: “That’s just so decided by Microsoft, that’s what we do with Windows 10.”

Just to note, there were two key points that Susan Bradley addressed in her open letter. Point #1 was the clear statement that the vast majority of users and IT professionals consider the semi-annual feature updates to be a weak point, and IT professionals want something like feature updates every two years. The above answer (at least I didn’t notice anything) didn’t deal with this issue. It’s like in politics, where a question is bypassed with a rush of words on a side issue.

Point #2 was the poor quality of the latest Windows updates, which makes the job of IT professionals difficult or impossible. Microsoft told Susan Bradley in an answer, that everything is terribly complex and explains the difference between Windows 10 and other operating systems. First I thought, they just kidding, but it seems they are serious about that. Just to note: Things seems to be complex is Microsoft’s view, so the increase their pace and are releasing semi-annual features updates, to keep things (from an updater’s view) even more complex. Not a word about the update quality. But then the absolute hammer comes with the following paragraph:

I have provided a link below to our Feedback Hub.  In the future you could use the link to provide feedback and share your suggestions or comments on issues with Windows products.

My first thought ‘it was a bot, that answered’, but it seems it was a Microsoft employee, that wrote the text. Woody Leonhard wonders in his ComputerWorld article about Microsoft’s answer and notes: This is a strange answer that [they] send to someone who has been struggling with bad Windows patches for almost two decades – and writing loudly about it.

Then Wood Leonhard points out that Susan Bradly posted exactly three months before the open letter has been published a text in Feedback Hub about quality and loss of trust (link https:// aka.ms/AA1aitt). I haven’t linked the article here, because the contents of the feedback hub can only see who is using Windows 10 and the relevant infrastructure. Such posts can be rated as important by other users (called upvote). That only works if you are an active Windows 10 Insider Preview participant and are logged in under a Microsoft account with Windows 10. Strange thing, and I always have Microsoft’s ‘we are listening to our customers’ in my had – but they obviously kidding. Or what’s your thoughts?

Addendum: Susan Bradley answered the reply from Microsoft – details may be read here at askwoody.com.


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