Are all non-Enterprise Windows 10 users beta testers?

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 14, 2016
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

While most Windows 10 machines probably run fine after updates have been installed, there is a growing number of reports of update related issues.

This ranges from non-critical issues to issues that send the device in a never ending install and reboot cycle, or worse.

Some systems are still plagued by freezes and disappearing drives for instance. This started as early as August, and while some of it has been fixed by now -- the freezing SSD issue appears to be fixed -- it is still not corrected completely.

It is also fairly common that updates hang, and may take hours or even longer to complete. Last but not least, updates may not complete and Windows 10 may restore a previous system state when that happens.

This happened to users just recently who tried to install the cumulative update KB3194496. The issue was caused by the Xbox Live Game Save scheduled task, even on systems where Xbox Live or gaming is not used at all.

windows 10 beta testers

Even if you put Windows 10 Insider Builds aside -- you should as those are clearly preview builds that should not be used in production environments -- you will still notice numerous bug reports for each update that gets released for stable versions of the operating system.

Microsoft ships updates as cumulative updates. This means that a single large patch is provided that includes all the updates for components of the operating system.

While cumulative updates may speed things up, they make troubleshooting that much harder as you can only remove the whole update when something breaks after installing it. Previously, you could simply remove the offending update after finding out which one it is. This seems to have worked so well for Microsoft that the company pushed the system to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as well recently.

If that would not be enough bad news, Microsoft made it a lot harder to block updates from being installed automatically. In fact, if you run Home or Pro, you get little options to control if and when updates get installed on the system.

While Pro users may defer updates, deferring only applies to updates that Microsoft does not consider critical. This means that all security updates will be installed right away even if the defer updates option is enabled. Home users don't even get that option.

Also, Pro users may defer quality updates for up to 30 days only, and feature updates for 180 days.

windows 10 updates

The Group Policy Editor, not available on Home editions, provides a couple of other update related policies that Pro users can configure. They may switch from updates being downloaded and installed automatically to the saner notify only option for instance. There it is also possible to disable automatic updates completely

Beta Testers

There are several tiers of beta testers for Windows products. There are internal beta testers over at Microsoft for instance, and all Windows 10 Insider Build users are also beta testers of the operating system (in several different groups based on the "Ring").

While Enterprise users may block updates entirely, updates are being rolled out to the majority of Home and Pro users. This means that you could see Home and Pro users as Windows beta testers for Enterprise customers as well.

Considering that issues are reported regularly whenever new updates get released, it appears that these updates are not tested thoroughly enough. There is no indication that Microsoft is pushing out updates that it knows may cause issues for a small subset of users.

You could therefore consider Home and Pro users of Windows 10 beta testers as well to a degree. All those systems report back to Microsoft, and the company may use the information to make sure to fix them before they hit the bulk of the company's valuable Enterprise customers.

Enterprise systems won't have automatic updates enabled usually as patches need to be tested before they are pushed on to machines in production.

Now You: What's your take on the whole Windows Update and quality of updates situation?

Are all non-Enterprise Windows 10 users beta testers?
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Are all non-Enterprise Windows 10 users beta testers?
While most Windows 10 machines probably run fine after updates have been installed, there is a growing number of reports of update related issues.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

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