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. Hank said on October 19, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    I don’t think so.

    Way I look at it is, if Microsoft can come in and mess with your system, anyone else can. So you need to bulk up on your system config.

    I back up my system daily with a snapshot tool (RollBack Rx) and weekly with a disk imager (Drive Cloner) so Microsoft can try pushing out updates, but it won’t stick…unless I let it ;)

  2. buck said on October 17, 2016 at 4:54 am

    I’m not really interested in a flame war here as you obviously don’t like Linux. Your choice, but to make the statement…

    > Compared to ANY version of Windows, Linux is light years worse.

    … is just factually incorrect. The future of software is FOSS, Microsoft’s bloated closed source security and privacy nightmare OSes are the real dinosaurs.

    Like I said, my chosen Linux distro runs significantly better on my system than W8.1, has access to all the software I wish to run, is very stable, looks beautiful (KDE), is open source and free. It is also community driven with talented devs and a super friendly and helpful community.

    I no longer have to worry about virus protection, malware protection, Microsoft spyware, or constantly trying to thwart Microsoft’s latest effort to poison my system with more telemetry (or try to coerce/force me to update to W10).

    Since I moved I couldn’t be happier. Peace of mind, free software, and a better user experience. I win.

    > Anyway, this does not matter, stability is not that dependent on distro, all of them more or less equally stable when used with the same software.

    Um, no. Stability is generally related to the release model of a distro. Versioned distros are far more reliable by design than rolling distros, which are constantly updated to the latest version of all its software.

    I use Debian for my servers. It is very, very reliable and stable.

    Whist I am not a big fan of Ubuntu either, Mint is a very well run and very stable OS. Personally I prefer openSUSE Leaf, which is IMO the best version based distro. Again, very reliable and very stable.

    My personal preference is for a rolling release distro so I can get my hands on the latest updates in a timely manner. This is why I use Manjaro, and whilst not as stable as distros like openSUSE Leaf or Mint, I love the access to the latest version of all software. Most people don’t. Fair enough, each to their own. Freedom and choice. Everybody wins.

    > He wants to do on Windows the same thing that had been done on Linux several years ago. I call it “Linuxizatiuon of Windows”.

    More like Modernization of Windows. Support for all the old apps and old associated technologies (ie ActiveX) is what makes Windows such a security nightmare and easily exploited by virues/malware/randsomeware. Legacy apps means legacy code, a lot of which contains vulnerabilities.

    Use WinXP or Win2000. The both will be much more usable than any Linux distro for observable future.

    LOL, really? Your answer to Microsoft assuming complete control of W7, W8.1 and W10 systems is to use XP and W2000? More usable than Linux? Your extreme, subjective, emotive prejudice towards Linux is pretty blatant when you make that sort of statement.

    You cannot turn off telemetry and spyware in W10. It is built into the OS. Soon it will be the same for W7 and W8.1. Simple fact is Microsoft cannot be trusted because they do not care one bit about their customers. They are in the Big Data business now, not the software business.

    You may not update W7 and W8.1 till the end of time, but eventually Microsoft will remove support for newer hardware on these platforms unless you update. You may last a few years but eventually your machine will fail, or you will buy a new machine. By that time W10 will be the only option Microsoft will be offering.

    Will you be going back to XP and W2000 then? Good luck with that.

    > On Linux your system becomes obsolete in a year without updates. You cannot install new software on it any more.

    Why would you avoid updating on Linux? Linux updates comprose solely of software updates, there is no dangerous software or nefarious spyware being installed. Updates on Linux are a good thing.

    If you choose not to update in Linux the worst thing that will happen is you stay on the same software versions, as major security patches are very rare. Some people like this fact as they become attached to their software and don’t want to change. Freedom and choice. Everybody wins. Again.

  3. Anixx said on October 16, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    > Given each Linux distro is basically a separate OS, why would you expect compatibility between them?

    Linux distros are not compatible even with themselves half a year ago. Especially the deb-based ones, but others as well (at lesser degree).

    > The large number of Linux distro choices reflect the large number of options available

    No. All distros have more or less the same software and do more or less the same work. If some software becomes outdated it usually becomes outdated everywhere.

    > maybe try Linux Mint or Debian.

    Are you joking? Ubuntu-based Mint and stability? Anyway, this does not matter, stability is not that dependent on distro, all of them more or less equally stable when used with the same software.

    > You complain like this level of choice and flexibility is a bad thing.

    Is it good if all apps you use look differently? If they use different libraries that occupy space in the memory? That they cannot interoperate? Well, of course I know, it is now nearly the same under Win10.

    > If it is not then assume it is not supported, or bug the maintainers to patch and include it.

    A lot of software just gets scrapped on Linux just because the devs have no time or energy to port their software to new (totally incompatible) libraries. This way, about 60% Qt3-based software was scrapped. In any big repo, with each new GCC release, a half of software needs fixing. And news releases of GCC and other tools/libs happen about once a year each.

    By the way, I think Nadella wants to make the same disaster on Windows as did those who introduced Qt4 on Linux. He wants all old (“legacy”) programs scrapped, and all devs to port their software to the new toolkit, “Metro” (which is analog of Qt4). He wants to do on Windows the same thing that had been done on Linux several years ago. I call it “Linuxizatiuon of Windows”.

    > The whole “Linux has no software” argument is often voiced by those who haven’t used Linux.

    I voice it and I have been using it exclusively for more than 6 years. To be precise, Linux has only that software which is actively maintained both upstream and in the distro. If either upstream is inactive or local maintainers get lazy, software gets dropped from the distro in several months, after which, good luck compiling it yourself.

    > It is now introducing similar telemetry in W7 and W8.1. So now all Windows versions are privacy nightmares!

    From Win8.1 all telemetry can be removed in just 5 min. I do not know how it is under Win10 but I suspect, nothing very difficult as well.

    > Microsoft will soon have complete control of Windows Updates, and hence complete control of all Windows systems.

    Use WinXP or Win2000. The both will be much more usable than any Linux distro for observable future.

    > and you have absolute control over what you install and what you update.

    You can use Windows without updating. You can even run modern Chrome or Firefox on Win 2000 (with some tweaking). On Linux your system becomes obsolete in a year without updates. You cannot install new software on it any more.

    1. California Bob said on October 17, 2016 at 4:26 am


      “From Win8.1 all telemetry can be removed in just 5 min. I do not know how it is under Win10 but I suspect, nothing very difficult as well.”

      This tells me you haven’t grasped the point of this article and the comments made about it.

  4. buck said on October 16, 2016 at 7:56 am

    I’m convinced many Microsoft users are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.

    Microsoft continually and relentlessly abuses them for their own financial gain, overtly not covertly, and very few seem prepared to leave them.

    I really don’t understand this mentality, especially when alternatives like modern day Linux are so good right now.

    Maybe we need to setup some Microsoft Abuse Shelters to teach people that life exists without Microsoft, and in most cases is substantially better.

    1. Anixx said on October 16, 2016 at 10:30 am

      Compared to ANY version of Windows, Linux is light years worse. It is simply an outdated architecture, from 1958! Compared to flexible object-oriented architecture of Windows.

      There is virtually no compatibility even between releases of the same distro, neither in terms of binaries nor in terms of source. You want a new version of browser? Reinstall the system even if your distro is from 6 months ago.

      There is a lot of separate toolkits, not compatible with each other, such as Qt and GTK, and when the developers issue a new version, the most software gets scrapped or rewritten from scratch. This happened with all Qt3 software, for instance.

      If you need to install new software for which the Linux kernel does not have support, you have to install a new Linux release with a new kernel – you cannot just install drivers.

      There is much more bugs in Linux than Windows, constantly either keyboard layout switching does not work or VPN, or sound, or Plasma crashes or anything else.

      The Linux developers are mad with the same madness as Windows devs, with Plasma and Gnome3 being analogs of Metro. But more buggy, actually. What Nadella is doing now, is trying to make Linux out of Windows, make it similarly bugged and bloated.

      I tried to make myself using Linux only for 6 years and I am totally fed up with it.

      Compared to Linux, I would rather use Windows 2000, even this old version still has more software available than any modern Linux distribution.

      1. buck said on October 16, 2016 at 1:37 pm

        Wow, feel better now, Anixx?

        If you are going to shoot from the hip at least to try and hide your ignorance somewhat and get your facts partially straight.

        Firstly, you do understand that Linux is not a singular OS, right? Each Linux distro is a basically a separate OS, based on a kernel whose continual development is still being managed by its initial creator, Linus Torvald.

        Given each Linux distro is basically a separate OS, why would you expect compatibility between them? That makes no sense at all.

        Linux is all about freedom, choice and transparency. The large number of Linux distro choices reflect the large number of options available, created by communities who want different things out of their OS.

        Are you a conservative users who craves ultra stability… maybe try Linux Mint or Debian. Are you more interested in a bleeding edge Linux distro that requires more hands on management… maybe try Arch Linux. There is a distro to suit nearly everyone.

        There a number of Desktop Environments available for users to choose. You complain like this level of choice and flexibility is a bad thing. Qt is actually a cross platform application development framework, completely separate from Linux. It also forms the foundation for KDE desktop and associated apps. GTK forms the basis of GNOME desktop, MATE desktop, XFCE desktop, and Cinnamon desktop and their associated apps.

        You don’t need to know the framework for an application that you wish to use. If an application is in your chosen distro’s repository it should work. If it is not then assume it is not supported, or bug the maintainers to patch and include it.

        The examples you give are pure gibberish. Reinstall your system in order to upgrade your browser? Really? Did Donald Trump tell you that?

        Linux devs are mad and Linux is bloated? Really? Linux is a lot of things, it is definitely not bloated. Look up “Bloated OS” in the dictionary and you’ll see a Windows icon. My Linux distro run considerably faster on my system that my old Win8.1 OS, and on my 6 year old secondary laptop the comparison is not remotely close. Linux performs significantly better, by a large margin.

        As hardware evolves, the Linux kernel must evolve with it, so it makes sense that SOME driver updates for new hardware would require a minimum Linux kernel version. Chances are a driver written for a new NVidia graphics card probably won’t work on a 5 year old kernel. Go figure.

        I have found suitable replacements for all the software I used to use in W8.1. The whole “Linux has no software” argument is often voiced by those who haven’t used Linux.

        Gaming on Linux is coming on in Leaps and bounds, just go to Steam and see how many games are available for Linux. Of course, there are not as many as for Windows, but the gaming ecosystem is changing at a rapid rate. Most gamers I know dual boot into Windows purely to play specific games, but the rest of their time in spent in their Linux distro.

        Now lets talk about Privacy, the primary reason why Windows has become untenable as a modern day OS. W10 is pure malware, designed from the ground up to data mine its users and grow its Big Data business. It is now introducing similar telemetry in W7 and W8.1. So now all Windows versions are privacy nightmares!

        Users attempt to avoid the W7 and W8.1 systems becoming infected with spyware and telemetry updates by selectively applying updates. Microsoft now shoots that down. Microsoft will soon have complete control of Windows Updates, and hence complete control of all Windows systems. Even user changed privacy options are being reverted during updates. WTF?

        Microsoft’s official Privacy statement basically gives Microsoft permission to extract any and all personal information from your system IF THEY DEEM CIRCUMSTANCES NECESSARY. So inbuilt into Windows is the ability to extract every scrap of user data on your system, and Microsoft arbitrarily decide when it is “necessary”. Wow.

        Why would anyone want that? Why would anyone put up with that? PRISM / NSA /CIA /FBI anyone?

        All this and I haven’t even touched upon virus/malware/randsomeware, which is absolutely rampant throughout all Windows versions. Whilst not impossible in Linux to get a virus, it is extremely rare.

        Linux is open source, transparent and you have absolute control over what you install and what you update. Freedom and peace of mind… did I mention its also free?

        As for Linux bugs, there are a few, but all of them have been minor for me. My Manjaro KDE system has been rock solid since I installed it, and is considerably more enjoyable to use than any Windows system I’ve ever had.

        Linux is not perfect, nobody is claiming it to be so, but it is nearly becoming the only choice in a market dominated by closed source OS’s developed by immorally greed, insidious multinational conglomerates.

  5. ShintoPlasm said on October 16, 2016 at 12:34 am

    I honestly don’t like the direction Microsoft is going, especially since Nadella took over. Although the lessened focus on operating systems is understandable considering the allure of the mobile market, MS hasn’t learnt how to keep their eyes on the ball(s) properly. Whilst it may be ‘annoying’ to keep developing operating systems for those pesky non-mobile desktops and laptops, nothing justifies the current crop of low-quality software pushed out by MS. MS’s operating systems have rarely stood for quality and robustness (with some minor exceptions), but Windows 10 truly is appallingly programmed and designed from an end-user’s perspective. It is highly intrusive, not particularly stable, and has lots of questionable privacy problems. I am counting the days until Apple release their new batch of MacBook Pros and then I’m jumping ship.

    Yeah yeah, I know, “Linux”… Have tried many distros over many years, never really warmed to it.

  6. Coder from mars said on October 15, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    We are developing software for many years and have contact with other developer groups , we have reported 2 serious Windows 10 BUG and as I know the others reported c.a 20 BUGS , and maybe you will not believe me but non of them fixed (since windows 10 beta) , My theory is : Microsoft does not code windows 10 itself (probabyl use a chinese subcontractor) to say “Windows 10 is BETA” is a big Kompliment , I use Winddows 7

    1. Anixx said on October 16, 2016 at 4:47 am

      Not Chinese, but Indian. I remember Nadella said Windows will bring economic prosperity to some regions of India.

    2. Mikhoul said on October 15, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      Same here a good example is this bug filled on Dec 22 2015:

      Never fixed and M$ did not bother to reply at all.

  7. Jim said on October 15, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    In my experience at home, Windows 10 works most of the time. Updates are a pain point, I did have a problem a month ago with the large monthly update refusing to install. I found instructions on a non-Microsoft web site on how to download the update and install it manually. In my opinion, Microsoft is not adequately supporting Windows 10 Home or Pro. When you have problems, you need to search non-Microsoft web sites for instructions on how to fix it. Since I won’t run a personal computer on the internet if it isn’t up to date with security patches, I would not be surprised to find myself running a different operating system at home after a “Bad Patch Tuesday” that I could not work through.

  8. gmathol said on October 15, 2016 at 11:08 am

    I made a mistake and installed/updated friends and businesses machines to W10 – because it was without extra costs, but since then we had a few major disasters and all were happy to have image backups from a well known third party provider.
    Sorry Microsoft – but your stuff really causes problems. I recommend from now on the use of virtual machines if one has to run a W10 installation.

    1. jasray said on October 15, 2016 at 9:21 pm

      “I made a mistake and installed/updated friends and businesses machines to W10.” The mistake made is the “updated” which I assume means upgraded. This would be a MS mistake and a user error, a user who didn’t go through the same process with Windows 7–all of the same complaints being hears. As techs, we all performed clean installs per MS advice and haven’t had any problems with Windows 10; in fact, it may be the best Windows yet.

      As far as Beta–Beta means “evolving.” Yes, Windows 10 is evolving; a relationship in which you may find yourself includes two “Beta” testers; the Cosmos Itself in in a perpetual Beta state; to expect some Grand Final Design that is flawless defies the Natural Order of Darwinian-Hawking Theory.

      The absurd notion that moving to a Linux distro will eliminate all computing problems is as naive as thinking Syria would make a great tourist destination per recent propaganda. I work with a variety of users; 99% claim that Linux usage makes things worse; requires more work; corrupts more files; and results in more reinstalls than Windows XP ever did.

      Praise the All-Beneficent Tao when It finally bestows upon you the Wisdom of Non-Being. And it may be helpful to thank Buddha when he blows out your Candle. Peace at last.

      1. A or B, not C. said on October 16, 2016 at 6:57 am

        @ jasray ……. Are u saying that Win 10 users should also do a fresh-install whenever M$ come out with a new version of Win 10, eg Version 1511, Version 1607, the coming Version 1703 n so on.?

  9. buck said on October 15, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Microsoft is evil, we all know this, but what is one to do? Oh, I know…

    For beginners… maybe try
    Linux Mint?
    Zorin Linux?
    Ubuntu or Debian Linux?

    For those slightly more adventurous… maybe try
    Manjaro Linux?
    openSuse Linux?
    Fedora Linux?
    Antergos Linux?
    CentOS Linux?

    For those a bit more adventurous and keen to learn… maybe try
    Arch Linux?
    Slackware Linux?
    Gentoo Linux?

    If you are unsure download and install VirtualBox and try these out in a virtual environment first. Trust me, you won’t look back.

    I didn’t.

    1. Bobo said on October 16, 2016 at 9:58 am

      If you want the Windows 10 look, wait for Zorin 12. Otherwise scrap your whole list and install SOLUS. Good for beginners and geeks.

  10. Psidium said on October 15, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I don’t suppose there are many people left who remember MSDos for the Tandy/RadioShack computers.
    I used that original DOS for a while, it was VERY poor, then on the horizon came a company called Apparat,
    they produced NewDos for the Tandy/RadioShack computers. What difference did that make?
    Total control over the system, it worked well from the beginning. Not only that, but when they solved a bug,
    they explained exactly what the problem was and how to solve it.
    I just wish there was a saviour somewhere with a similar mindset. I have used Linux in the past, but that means
    learning a new system etc., also it is a pity that the other software companies who produce good software for
    windows haven’t produced similar for Linux. I run 4 PCs and 3 laptops, 2 PCs still on XPSP3, 2 PCs on Win 7
    and 2 laptops Win 7, the remaining laptop runs Win 10 pro, as this was a gift, I don’t know how or when it was
    downdated to Win 10, but so far I’ve had no problems.

  11. ilev said on October 15, 2016 at 7:10 am

    (KB3194798 is crashing on Windows 10 Pro Version 1607 x64 with error 0x80246002 for 5 days now. I leave it at that.

  12. UNIX TORVOLTS said on October 15, 2016 at 3:30 am

    Gates did billions out of the very same users that now are suckered out on a last, rapid Big Data gathering.

    Just go with Linux/Unix and end this drama.

  13. Lurking About said on October 15, 2016 at 1:58 am

    A commercial product intended for end users should never be beta or lower quality! The fact that MS thinks some end users should be alpha/beta testers speaks volumes. End users generally do not have the skills to troubleshoot the problems they are facing so expecting them to give accurate reports is idiotic at best.

    1. Aor B, not C. said on October 15, 2016 at 5:56 am

      @ Lurking A ……. Seems the US FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection are condoning M$’s exploitation of their Win 10 Home n Pro consumers. Maybe, it’s bc M$ hv been actively cooperating with the NSA/FBI to spy on Windows users, eg forced Telemetry may be an NSA spyware.

  14. mikef90000 said on October 15, 2016 at 1:48 am

    Not sure where people get the idea that M$ spends much to ‘support’ end users, unless you’ve never called one of their published phone numbers; they all route to south Asian call centers staffed with clueless ‘script readers’.

    No, we’re not even alpha testers, just their Prison Wives if you follow my drift.

  15. Alex said on October 15, 2016 at 1:18 am

    Beta testing – been there done that with win95, didn’t buy the T shirt!!!

    Most of what I have found about win10 can be summed up in four words:-

    Can’t Report Anything Positive!

    On the same hardware that was running win7 at ~1300 x ~800 and booted Debian 8.4 Live straight into screen resolution ~1600 x ~1100, win10 now runs at 1024 x 768. As a programmer working on multiple windows at once, that is a disaster!!

    M$ have gone from max screen resolution 1024 x 768 on win3.11 in 1994 to, ten versions later and twenty two years later, win10 running at max screen resolution 1024 x 768 in 2016.

    And they want to charge for this?!?!?!

    I am SO VERY HAPPY that I made the switch to Debian Linux KDE a decade ago (Vista was the straw) and have had very few (if any) issues, apart from major version changes which, in any OS, can often be ‘issuesome’.

    If I have to run some version of windoze, I have XP and win7 installed in Virtualbox with the network interface disabled in Virtualbox at time of installation – IMHO the only safe way to run ANY windoze installation.

    I have been a firm believer for the last decade in a simple formula to run computer systems with minimal problems:-

    Windows + Internet = (VirMalRansomware + lost time + lost data + lost of frustration + anger + lost income)

    I don’t really care what operating system it is running, as long is m$ never wrote one line of the code, it is all great hadware.

    There is a reason why so many imbedded systems, servers and high-end computers run other OS’s and reliability is high up on the list of reasons.

    Makes you thinks, doesn’t it?

    Here is some more food for thought:-

    Article “How Munich switched 15,000 PCs from Windows to Linux” at dated May 9, 2014

    1. DVDRambo said on October 15, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      I liked what you posted, until you used the childish term Windoze. That makes the post unprofessional and childish. Try sticking with real words to keep peoples attention.

      1. Gary D said on October 16, 2016 at 5:05 pm

        @ DVDRambo

        “until you used the childish term Windoze. That makes the post unprofessional and childish. Try sticking with real words to keep peoples attention”

        That’s funny. As soon as I saw your post name (DVDRambo) I wondered what kind of prat uses such a dumb, childish, made up name.

  16. Percola said on October 14, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Microsoft Corporation of America is run by creeps. What did you expect Windows 10 to be?

  17. California Bob said on October 14, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    MS and Google have basically broken everything that worked in the PC business in an attempt to create Apple-style “walled gardens” (or roach motels, depending on your point of view.) Some really nice and cheap hardware is available now but it’s hamstrung.

    Here’s how I am currently getting around their tactics:

    I’ve got a Win 8.1 tablet and a Win 10 tablet. Both can be reset to factory settings whenever the setup goes bonkers. Since I keep my portable apps and personal data on USB/SD cards, nothing is lost and I can start back to where I was before the MS cruft inevitably messes things up. I NEVER use MS updates or built-in software. I NEVER use the Windows 10 tablet online because you can’t prevent updates that wreck your system. I use a chromebook for “safe” browsing or in guest mode for “private” web browsing. You can’t prevent updates on a chromebook either, but Google knows you can’t sell ads if you break the PC.

    I use Puppy Linux live-usb with Palemoon and addons for anything I want to be really secure on PCs with BIOS boot available. I can’t run Puppy on the Win tablets because MS replaced BIOS booting with 32-bit EFI. I can only run Puppy on Chromebooks in dev-mode with the SeaBIOS payload of Coreboot.

    Eventually Linux devs will figure out ways around all of this, and it most likely will be by erasing every trace of MS software from your PC and replacing it with something that “just works.”

  18. Mike said on October 14, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    I personally think that Microsoft needs to remove features instead of adding them. The OS over the last 20 or so years has been adding and adding stuff and taking very little away from what i can see. i would love for Microsoft for windows 11 or whatever the next real major update is go into the OS and gut the stuff that 90% of people/business’s. Thin out the OS, focus on tightening up the security a bit (the thinning should help a bit), and have a uniform look across all menu’s in the OS and id be very happy

    The OS is just so bloated with useless crap from previous windows versions. And while i know some businesses who use an archaic piece of hardware/software will cry they need to suck it up and either upgrade the hardware/software or pay Microsoft extra money to support the piece of hardware in question. This is one of the reasons why Windows is such junk.

  19. slumbergod said on October 14, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    Definitely don’t like where m$ is going. I’m a linux user so it doesn’t affect me directly but since Windows 10 came out I’ve stopped helping clients who have chosen to stay with Windows 10.

  20. LD said on October 14, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Windows for crash test dummies.

    ‘How many people does it take to change a light bulb’, comes to mind. For Microsoft, it appears that 200 million is the magic number right now. When they get to 1 billion in 2019 (or whenever), that will be when there will be light. Maybe.

    There is no doubt that Windows Home and Pro users are being used as cannon fodder. They got W10 for free (chosen, tricked or forced) and now they are realizing the real cost. If they ever buy a retail copy, they will still be treated no better than steerage because they do not also purchase high cost fee based services for years on end.

    The consumer is beta testing Windows 10 for Microsoft and their partners. The Enterprise benefits from this front line carnage, however, the Enterprise is a client, not a partner. The relationship has some advantages but as Microsoft has a 90% plus monopoly in desktop computing, the client has limited leverage. Microsoft uses them to test Windows 10 as shamelessly as they can get away with. Deserting Microsoft for the foreseeable future is not an option for big business.

  21. R. said on October 14, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Pro users can also set updates to manual with Group Policy.

  22. Bah Humbug said on October 14, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    I was so unhappy with the number of ‘issues’ I encountered in Win10 Pro that I went back to Win8.1 Pro on my desktop, and just kept Win10 on my laptop, it seems to me that Win10 has fewer issues on a clean build with a simpler software/hardware environment? I dream of a computer where the OS is hardly noticed and works flawlessly, while it’s the programs that provide all the services and utilities that you might want to use and no apps or services come bundled into the OS. MS seem intent on adding more and more to the OS without fixing the little imperfections and niggles that have persistent since Win7!

  23. Ias said on October 14, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Great Article.

    I have 2 PCs both of which have problems after i ‘updated’ them, such as “Windows can’t see my HDDs” and the “Ethernet cable isn’t working problems”. I dont really see how simple hardware like hdds / ethernet is inaccessible, it really does feel like windows 10 is amateurish/experimental software, next thing you know is your mouse won’t be working and you’ll have to use ‘tab’ to navigate.

    These Problems were never a problem in Windows ’95 and as with many people i know, we’re considering of reverting to Windows 7, 8.1.

  24. Jeff said on October 14, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Personally I upgraded to Windows 8.1 after seeing how horrible 10 was and will stay with it till they fire all of their management team and produce a decent OS again sold as a product. I can give up using computers but will not accept Windows 10. It’s a matter of principle for me.

  25. wonton said on October 14, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    So over windows 10 went out to buy windows 7 pro keys to upgrade months ago. after upgrading to windows 7 99% of issue disappeared.

  26. Mikhoul said on October 14, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    NO NOT AT ALL !!!! They are ALPHA testers.

    1. Anonymous said on October 17, 2016 at 7:00 am

      Correct. What the author (Martin) of this article refers to as ‘beta’ are in fact ‘alpha’ testers, and indicates the author clearly doesn’t understand the historical use of the terminology… this is the curse of Agile and SCRUM. ‘Insider Releases’ are ALPHA. The end-user (i.e. consumer) has been a defacto beta tester since Windows 8.

  27. hirobo said on October 14, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I actually like Windows 10 with WiFi disabled (my Android + Win 10 dual boot tablet). It’s never done anything bad in the month or so I’ve had. Win 10 seems to be a completely stable OS when it doesn’t get the chance to dial home nor download a single forced update.

  28. andy said on October 14, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I like Windows 10 in general. However I find problems with many, if not most, of the updates, normally taking hours to download and then failing to install or just hanging at various levels of download. Because I’ve got a fairly slow internet connection and windows upgrade seems to decide for itself when to download (thus slowing everything down) I’ve taken to disabling windows upgrade in services.msc and then only running it when I am ready to try the download. Troubleshooting from control panel doesn’t ever seem to make a difference. I really wish MS would sort this out, going back to the system for Win7 or 8 would be far better.

    1. Wayne Ruppersburg said on October 16, 2016 at 5:52 pm

      I am one of the vast majority of “Windows 10 machines that probably runs fine after updates”…..thank you very much. I would probably be very disturbed though, if I were having problems updating, expressed by the minority of users. One wonders why one machine updates fine and another doesn’t. Oh well, thanking my lucky stars….and imagine this, my computer is five years old!

  29. Kartoffelsalat said on October 14, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    In my opinion Microsofts main emphasis has changed. They no longer sell software. Instead they seem to provide and push faulty software on the user to collect and sell their data. IMHO they do not care one bit if your or my computer breaks because of their updates. I guess MS believes they can make much more money with their data mining than with good software and clean updates.

    Again, in simple words: they don’t give a shit. So many people have changed to Win10 despite the data problem, the deceiptiveness, the uglyness of how they tried to fool and force people to downdate to Win10.

    If I have a product with a lot of flaws and no intention to fix it or listen to my customers needs, and then the same customers still “buy” my product, why the heck am I supposed to worry ?? I don’t think MS is to be called the idiot in this game.

  30. Gerold Manders said on October 14, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    The Enterprise edition of Windows 10 is not for sale in a box on a shop shelf. So a ‘pro-sumer’ is forced to use Windows 10 Pro or worse.

    I even have resorted to getting a simple PC and outfitted it with extra network cards, so I could use the ‘pfSense’ router software (based on FreeBSD) to actively block all traffic to and from MS using lists and packet inspection. Once a month (at my, the paying customer’s convenience) I unblock for a while to get updates. It is a shame to have to resort to such drastic methods, just to be able to use Windows in a relatively safe manner without being interrupted by MS for every ‘burp’ and ‘fart’ they mean to subject us to.

    This ‘one size fits all’-approach from MS is starting to give me the idea that MS only wants to make/maintain/sell Windows Server versions only. All their other stuff will be available through cloud and subscriptions only. After all, it costs MS a lot of money and headache to make/maintain/sell consumer versions of their operating system. The profits are not nearly enough to compensate for this. Actually, you might even get the idea that MS is giving that ‘grief’ they have endured for so long, now back to consumers.

    Entered the world of computing in the era of MS-DOS 3/Windows 3.11, I liked the direction MS was taking Windows. But now they just apply a similar business model as Apple does…without their stability. The only main OS that is left with a similar direction as Windows used to have is Linux. So, years after dipping my toes into Linux, I have made a new attempt and, honestly, it starts to grow on me.

    1. John said on October 16, 2016 at 6:01 am

      I remember clearly that with XP sales, of the price it costed, M$ made 85% profit of it…

    2. Dan82 said on October 15, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Heh. “pro-sumer”, I like that. Sadly, as funny as it sounds to me, it is more or less the truth. Every time I see someone ask how to buy a single Enterprise license intended to be used by an end user, I have to chuckle. Microsoft has made it quite impossible for people to get one or a small handful of those licenses without jumping through their hoops. Buying it in an online shop and then downloading the setup/image or receiving the physical medium, which would be a minimum amount of work and expenditure for the company, isn’t something they’re willing to offer. Any third-party shops proclaiming to sell these keys are highly dubious and probably illegal too. The simple fact of the matter is, you can get a Windows 10 Enterprise Edition so much easier illegally.

      By the way, that’s my reason why I’ve gone back to Windows 7 on any computer I can (where I have the drivers to do so). Win 10 does have some advantages, no doubt, but a reduced registry/group policy functionality even with the Pro license is beyond the acceptable limit for me. I’m quite sure they’re doing that to get more business customers on their volume licensing deals as there are so many companies out there that have been using Pro Editions. In the short term that will mean more money for them, but long-term it’s going to be a PR nightmare, if they keep going down that road. Will they stop with the changes last introduced in the Anniversary Update or are they going to add more distinguishing features between Pro and Enterprise? I bet we haven’t seen the last news on that.

  31. Yuliya said on October 14, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Everyone using Win10 Home/Pro/Ent is a beta tester. LTSB looks more like an RC rather than a final product. It’s a bug riddled pos with metro part removed in a Shift+Delete manner – leftovers all over the place and broken functionality, with each iteration getting worse and worse. LTSB 2016 is worse than 2015 in every aspect. There are bugs even in the very first screen you interact with, the logon screen. Standard Enterprise is a joke, and a really bad one, with ads in start menu and mobile applications instead of the proper desktop ones.

    Last time I tried LTSB 2016 on a real PC it kept asking me if Firefox was a game..? Idk why, it didn’t stay installed on that system for more than a few hours. I had to reinstall 7 and hey, why not, let’s give 10 a try. This is why not. It was a easte of my time.

    Not necessarily talking about the way the users of particular SKU are treated, rather about the state of the said SKU.

  32. Velocity.Wave said on October 14, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Unfortunately, Microsoft is quickly becoming the Samsung of operating systems.

    In other words: with each new version they seem to make their product WORSE, not better (in terms of the end users’ overall experience).

    Things seem to be sliding rapidly in reverse, with Microsoft’s Windows operating system reputation.

    At this point I don’t see how they can justify charging for Windows 10, especially if home users are being treated like 3rd class scum beta testers. If anything, at this point Microsoft should be PAYING us to run the home version of Windows 10!

    1. Anonymous said on October 15, 2016 at 11:56 pm

      I also find it painful to see what MS is up to but you may want to read this article to know their vision. Knowing this has eased my pain. For now going back to Windows 8.1 is the best solution.

      I also request, ghacks to not create phobia. Please think of something greater, MS is well aware of what it is doing and it’s a deliberate decision to use everyone as beta tester. (there is already defer upgrade option + Windows insider’s already helping MS to point any issues and create stable “beta” Windows).

      It is very easy to hate something, hard to find reason to enjoy.

      1. Velocity.Wave said on October 16, 2016 at 2:04 pm

        Well Anonymous, your response is more reasoned and restrained than my own! But… Microsoft has been promising a lot of better/great things with the OS (including a supposed great new browser, Edge) etc… and this article seems to be promising yet more great things coming soon, or in the near future…

        But thus far, it seems like most of what they deliver is WORSE in user experience, for me at least, than what was there before.

        There are some great recent improvements to the Windows OS under the hood. But overall, my experience with each new OS they deliver seems to be getting worse and worse. And I don’t think it’s just “phobia”.

        Coincidentally, this is the exact same feeling I’ve been having with successive generations of Samsung’s Galaxy series phones. Yes the phones processors get noticeably faster, so that’s great, but the overall user experience seems to be getting worse and worse.

        I’m actually a Microsoft OS fan (and really liked the older Galaxy Note phone I have)… so I’m worried that these 2 companies (that I’ve loved so much over the years) are taking a nose dive downward on the graph of customer satisfaction with some of their key flagship products.

        It’s not a good sign for now… But I’m certainly hoping you turn out to be correct!

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