Microsoft shows that it does not really care about user feedback
Susan Bradley, a well known Windows administrator and contributor on various forums and sites including Patch Management, wrote an open letter recently to Microsoft in which she summarized results of a Windows survey on update quality and releases in general.
Users had to answer five simple questions using a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 meaning "very much not satisfied" and 5 meaning "very satisfied".
The questions were:
- Satisfaction with Microsoft patching (overall Windows 7 to Windows 10).
- Satisfaction with the quality of Windows 10 updates.
- Windows 10 feature updates useful to business needs.
- The cadence of feature releases.
- Is Microsoft meeting business needs with Windows 10.
Susan asked an open-ended question as well in which participants could provide their opinion on what needed to change to make Windows 10 better for business.
Survey results indicate that many users who filled out the survey are not satisfied with the current quality of updates, patch releases and general update behavior. Almost 70% of respondents stated that they were not satisfied with the quality of update releases.
Susan mentioned that 47 of the updates that Microsoft released in July 2018 had known issues associated with them, some of them very serious such as "stop issues".
Windows patching issues
She identified several underlying issues; first, that relying solely on Insiders to test releases before release to the stable population is not sufficient in regards to quality control as July 2018 and previous months have shown.
When your own products break with these releases, it is clear that current testing processes are not good enough.
Second, that the two feature releases per year cause "patch fatigue".
The operating system needs to do a better job of communicating to the end user and especially to the patching administrator when a machine will receive an update. The addition of the Windows Update for Business settings that often conflict with other group policy settings cause confusion, not clarity.
See, too many Windows 10 feature updates for our take on this.
Third, that patch communication needed a lot of work.
Starting in January of this year with the release of Spectre/Meltdown patches, there have been numerous instances where patching communication has been wrong, registry entries detailed in Knowledge Base articles regarding registry key application was initially incorrect and later updated, or vendor updates had to be stopped and in general patching communication has been lacking.
We mentioned a lack of communication as well previously, for instance, when Microsoft published support pages after releasing updates.
Microsoft responded to Susan Bradley's open letter twice. The first response was just an acknowledgement that the letter has been received by the company. A Customer Relationship Manager stated in it that Microsoft was "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".
The second letter, again sent by the same Customer Relationship Manager, is a non-saying letter that shows that Microsoft has no intention to follow-up on the described problems.
Microsoft does not address any of the concerns brought forward. The paragraphs look like a copy and paste job that talk about Windows 10 updates in general and how it is different from previous versions.
Microsoft then asks Susan Bradley to leave feedback using the Feedback Hub (which she did three months ago but with little success).
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.
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.
Again, thank you for all the feedback. Is there anything else I can do to help? Did you have any other questions or concerns you wanted to discuss? If there are none I will go ahead and close out of your service request.
The response is corporate-speak for "thanks, but no thanks". It is almost insulting and in my opinion worse than having not responded at all to the open letter.
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