Microsoft shows that it does not really care about user feedback - gHacks Tech News

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:

  1. Satisfaction with Microsoft patching (overall Windows 7 to Windows 10).
  2. Satisfaction with the quality of Windows 10 updates.
  3. Windows 10 feature updates useful to business needs.
  4. The cadence of feature releases.
  5. 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

windows update 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.

We reported on this in the past as well, e.g.here and here.

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.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/feedback-hub/9nblggh4r32n?activetab=pivot%3aoverviewtab

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.

Now You: What's your take on this?

Summary
Microsoft shows that it does not really care about user feedback
Article Name
Microsoft shows that it does not really care about user feedback
Description
Susan Bradley's open letter to Microsoft gets a non-response from Microsoft that shows that the company is not really interested in feedback.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Yuliya said on August 4, 2018 at 8:39 am
    Reply

    There goes the “but they need data collection to make a better product” argument down the drain. Beta versions of Windows 7 were ready and suitable for daily use. Windows 10 RTM is atrocious. And that’s the difference between a team of highly skilled programmers and a bunch of modern “coders” with zero understanding of Windows’ source code once they are being presented with. It is what you get when you cheap out, fire all your capable people and hire the cheapest you can find though.

    1. crambie said on August 4, 2018 at 11:45 am
      Reply

      I’ve always thought this Windows as a service thing was PR speak for it’s always going to be buggy and we’re the testers. And, yes, you do wonder why all the telemetry but you also wonder that about practically every app, extension and driver that has it.

      Seemingly it’s not only the coders that left or were fired what about the graphic and UI designers? Some of their icons looks like 10 year olds created them. I’d imagine when the decent graphic people saw how dumbed down the phone and Win 8 were becoming they left as as it’s no fun or challenge creating stuff like that. Fluent is a complete non-event after the promising mockups.

      1. I don't feel like writing my name said on August 5, 2018 at 12:11 am
        Reply

        Windows 8 was really nice. W10 is just bad, we can all agree with that.

      2. John Fenderson said on August 6, 2018 at 5:33 pm
        Reply

        I agree that Win 10 is just bad, but I also think that Win 8 is just bad.

    2. jern said on August 4, 2018 at 3:48 pm
      Reply

      Yes. I have an old copy of MS Works v.4.5 which is a masterpiece of programming and design. I used it and watched it being CAREFULLY developed over years. Then MS discovered that for many users it could replace with the more expensive Office and got rid of it.

      It really comes down to keeping people on the hook. MS has to keep people buying products or making serial payments. If a product is too good, people buy it once and use it forever – like I’m going to keep using my offline copy of Win7. MS wants to survive and make its investors happy. If screwing users is what makes that happen then that’s what they will do.

  2. Jeff said on August 4, 2018 at 8:59 am
    Reply

    And people figure this out now? They stopped caring about user feedback a long time ago and do only what they want. Starting with Windows 10, they also became a hugely evil company focused on extracting the maximum money from customers and screwing them – their software has more issues and annoyances than whatever little value it is adding.

    It’s a constant waste of time. People were stupid enough to fall for their crap again and again and again and then they complain that Microsoft don’t listen! When are they going to learn that Microsoft stopped listening a long time ago?

    Use anything but avoid Microsoft operating systems! Windows Vista? Windows 8? Windows 10? It keeps getting worse. Windows XP was good, Windows 7 was tolerable but that’s it.

    1. I don't feel like writing my name said on August 5, 2018 at 12:14 am
      Reply

      Windows 7 is the best version of Windows hands down imo

      1. Jeff said on August 5, 2018 at 4:35 pm
        Reply

        Yeah it’s the “best” after the Explorer and Start menu are fixed with Classic Shell, taskbar with 7+ Taskbar Tweaker, search with Everything Search, Alt Tab with VistaSwitcher, and a media player with MPC-HC/BE, and if you use it strictly with a fast SSD, not an HDD. Then Windows 7 is the “best” compared to Windows XP Professional.

      2. Deplorable Microsoft said on August 6, 2018 at 5:00 am
        Reply

        Nice try, Jeff, but Windows 10 with all the new “features” is slower than 7 and requires more resources AND as people are quickly learning has more bugs and management issues. Are you claiming Win 10 is ok on an HD and 7 isn’t!? And then there’s the spyware. I bet you’re going to say Microsoft isn’t spying on users aren’t you Jeff? It’s all a “conspiracy theory” right Jeff? We need to put our tin foil hats on and let Windows Update control our lives because “Microsoft AI” knows better than any of us!

      3. YerDum said on August 7, 2018 at 3:29 am
        Reply

        Reading comprehension fail on your part.
        Jeff is saying XP is better than 7. In an earlier comment he implied 7 is better than 10. He said Windows is getting worse, which means 10 is the worst of all.

  3. Anonymous said on August 4, 2018 at 9:16 am
    Reply

    In my country and at the European commission and parliament to corrupt presidents of universities, mayors deputees ministers and senators etc, it is not so “incredibly complex”.

  4. Tony said on August 4, 2018 at 9:42 am
    Reply

    So many of these massive corporations just don’t give a shit. I try my hardest to give them as little money as possible… preferably none.

  5. Anonymous said on August 4, 2018 at 10:36 am
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    I especially also enjoy the first response:

    > “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”.

    I mean, maybe that was also just a canned response to buy some time, but if it was, it was still incredibly poorly chosen.

    You’re a Customer Relationship Manager. When you receive this kind of feedback, you go to the guy that coordinates Customer Relationship and tell them about it.
    And that guy hopefully has regular meetings with the leadership team to brief them on the current opinions of customers, be it due to major feature updates, bugs, security problems or whatever.

    I mean, it’s the opinion of your customers. If there’s one thing that the leadership team should be concerned about, then the opinion of the people that pay you money.

  6. AnoreKnee Merce said on August 4, 2018 at 10:47 am
    Reply

    If M$ listen to the feedback, $atya would have to reinstate the Windows Testing Division which he had abolished in July 2014 = lose lots of $$$$.

  7. Ban me said on August 4, 2018 at 11:10 am
    Reply

    Well congrats on the great reveal Captain Obvious!

  8. ! said on August 4, 2018 at 11:30 am
    Reply

    People that use software like Windows, uTorrent and CCleaner after companies behind them spat in their faces have no self-respect.

    1. Womble said on August 4, 2018 at 10:26 pm
      Reply

      People that take very opportunity to tell other people they’re inferior in an attempt to elevate their self worth are narcissists . Odd how Linux attracts so many of this type of people.

      Narcissist or sheep? sadly we have no good choices at this point Which is exactly why so many of us just put up with the BS.

  9. common sense computing said on August 4, 2018 at 12:33 pm
    Reply

    1st the tech support was from Bangladesh, now the programmers and management are too. RIP Windows

  10. basicuser said on August 4, 2018 at 12:47 pm
    Reply

    Ms Bradley has tweaked the tiger’s tail, and the tiger is showing its stripes. :)

  11. asd said on August 4, 2018 at 1:56 pm
    Reply

    If you can get out of Microsoft’s monopolistic claws, the only way to provide feedback to them would be with your wallet.

  12. Leo said on August 4, 2018 at 2:57 pm
    Reply

    Feedback for the Dictator is supposed to be positive, not negative. Shoot that damn messenger!

    Microsoft has just shot themselves in the foot but the messenger was also wounded.

    From the outside looking in, the enterprise business relationship appears to be one of puppet and puppet master. That survey was primarily answered by IT specialists and they are really dissatisfied with WaaS, patching quality and patch scheduling. Microsoft is passing the cost of these failures onto their customers. Why are the customer CEOs shamelessly absorbing these costs?

    Being velcroed to Windows is part of the problem, but they do not have to purchase MS hardware (especially Surface laptops) and/or MS cloud services. They can go elsewhere for that. However, the puppeteer is pulling the strings and the CEOs dance. How humiliating!

  13. dark said on August 4, 2018 at 3:31 pm
    Reply

    Microsoft should ditch Windows and make a GNU/Linux distro with Windows as a fully open source Desktop Environment. And Directx and windows apps and games compatibility ported to Linux but keep it closed source.

    1. Sean said on August 4, 2018 at 4:39 pm
      Reply

      Do you think those Redmond guys are capable of doing that? We’ll be expecting too much from a bunch of xxxheads…

      1. Tom Hawack said on August 4, 2018 at 4:49 pm
        Reply

        @Sean, I still don’t know if what these Redmond guys are unable to achieve is worst or not than what they actually do.

  14. NORBERT GOSTISCHA said on August 4, 2018 at 3:48 pm
    Reply

    The larger the Corporation the harder it is to influence any of their decisions in any part of their business. Most of their rules are set in stone. The only time they listen is when you point out that one of their decisions has a direct effect on their bottom line. Anything that adversely affects profits always gets their attention.

  15. Anonymous said on August 4, 2018 at 3:51 pm
    Reply

    Her survey is unscientific and has inherent problems. Why should they listen to it?

    1. lurks about said on August 5, 2018 at 6:37 pm
      Reply

      The problem is not the ‘scientific validity’ of the survey as all surveys have sampling problems but the fact there is widespread irritation among those with significant skills who are on the front lines. These are the people you can not afford to alienate when their CEO asks whats going on when an update mangles the system they are responsible for. When they start singing MS is the problem and to ditch MS if at all possible that is a disaster for MS.

  16. Tom Hawack said on August 4, 2018 at 4:19 pm
    Reply

    Saturday Afternoon Fever : when Google mocks Windows and macOS : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xryaZF1Z4w

    Enjoy!

  17. frap said on August 4, 2018 at 4:23 pm
    Reply

    I run 5 Win7 machines. After defective patches in 2017, I stopped accepting anything from M$ last December. That’s how it will stay. I rely on other protections, including MBAM Pro. Win7 will be my last M$ OS. A jerk corporation employing arrogant jerks.

  18. Corky said on August 4, 2018 at 5:21 pm
    Reply

    It must be a bit of wishful thinking but I’m surprised that it’s taken this long for Susan Bradley, business, and system admins to finally workout that Microsoft is more than willing to throw customers under the bus, they have a history of courting certain segments of a market and then turning their back.

    Trust Microsoft at your own peril.

  19. Anonymous said on August 4, 2018 at 5:25 pm
    Reply

    “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”
    I wholly agree with this statement. Insiders are mainly Microsoft enthusiasts who don’t necessarily reflect the concerns or needs of Windows 10’s entire userbase.

    “Microsoft then asks Susan Bradley to leave feedback using the Feedback Hub (which she did three months ago but with little success)”
    Feedback Hub = placebo for the most part. It’s very difficult for your feedback to see the light of day and get noticed if a) it doesn’t get enough votes and/or b) the configuration of your computer isn’t very common. I’ve personally had more success bringing up issues I’ve experienced with Windows 10 releases on Twitter and other sites than I did with the Feedack Hub.

  20. Kevin said on August 4, 2018 at 6:18 pm
    Reply

    The practice of subjecting users to massive in-place upgrades every six months is not acceptable. This results in down-time as the OS is essentially reinstalled, and it introduces compatibility problems with user applications. Microsoft has even been known to take the liberty of uninstalling things from users’ machines when deemed not compatible with a new build of Windows. These unnecessary updates waste lots of disk space, bandwidth, and lots of p/e cycles on flash devices, which can be written to a finite number of times before they wear out. Some people who get 32GB devices don’t even have the space for updating to work correctly!

    PCs have been around for more than thirty years. Internet has been common for at least 20. The above wasn’t necessary twenty years ago, and there is no genuine reason it should be now. Most people just want a machine that they can fire up and shop online, watch videos, or read the news with. This only requires regular security updates to patch holes in applications, which by their nature, should be small and relatively uneventful compared to a new OS install every six months.

    This article (and Microsoft’s response) demonstrate precisely why I set mom up with Windows 7 instead of Windows 10, and why once Windows 7 expires, I’ll be switching her to LTS Linux.

  21. Tim said on August 4, 2018 at 6:20 pm
    Reply

    Win 7 was my last MS OS. I’ve been on Ubuntu 16.04 for a couple of years now and loving it for the most part. Considering also Centos for application reasons. There is simply no need to put up with being spied on (telemetry) and treated rudely by “customer relations”.

  22. Johnny said on August 4, 2018 at 6:28 pm
    Reply

    I’m surprised there’s no news of how microsoft miserably failed the 1 billion install mark for windows 10 on the 29th of july!… becaude they did fail that miserably.

    And that is a direct result of the true lack of listening to feedback in recent years.

  23. slumbergod said on August 4, 2018 at 6:54 pm
    Reply

    Wait until m$ start charging an annual licence fee for the privilege of breaking your system each time there is an update or resetting your preferred applications back to their choices.

    1. Kevin said on August 4, 2018 at 9:00 pm
      Reply

      Yeah, this’ll happen eventually. The problem is, how to get users to accept it? They tried to force a daily connection onto Xbox users and it failed horribly, tarnishing the brand in the process. They’ll need to convince users that it is about “protecting them”, and even that will be a hard cell, because Google/Apple don’t charge continuously to use the respective platforms.

      User: “Why should I pay you (Microsoft) to protect me, when I can just use Google/Apple/Linux?

      Microsoft would have probably been more successful launching a scheme like this fifteen years ago when Windows ruled the world, before competitors started eating away at their market share. At that point, switching away would have been MUCH more difficult for the average Joe.

      1. John Fenderson said on August 6, 2018 at 10:08 pm
        Reply

        @Kevin: “User: “Why should I pay you (Microsoft) to protect me, when I can just use Google/Apple/Linux?”

        This is precisely why Microsoft won’t ever charge a fee for using Windows 10. What they’ll do instead is charge fees for using their various services, and make Windows 10 dependent on those services. That way they’ll still have a shot at being able to charge money to people who are using other operating systems.

  24. GGmaS said on August 4, 2018 at 9:17 pm
    Reply

    Tech-challenged great-grandma here. Am running Win7 Home Premium on HP computer and have tried to do everything I can to stop M$ from automatically changing me over to Win10, including not installing any updates in 2018. However, it seems that M$ can override the instructions that I want to decide what to download and install, and somehow has installed Everything three times…it installed the beginning of the year updates, then installed everything that had come in as of April, 2018. Then again in July it did the same thing. Every update was unchecked and hidden, yet I found my hidden folder empty. Have been told that this cannot happen…well, something installed the ones that were unchecked and hidden and it was Not Me. I have now changed my instructions to Not download/install anything…period. Cross your fingers.

    So I have learned the hard way to not trust M$, especially since I have trouble getting to my desktop sometimes…get that dark blue screen ever since the last updates were installed. Do not seem to be able to uninstall these updates. Just hoping that no other damage has been done…like getting my computer ready for another mass Win10 installation without our knowledge and/or permission. M$ is Greedy and very, very sneaky.

    Thanx for reading this…helped to get it out. Now, to figure out how to switch to a Linux OS and keep all of my games and files…never seems to end. Also thanx for this article as it helps to know ir is not just me who feels like M$ has abandoned them for the almighty $$$.

  25. John C. said on August 5, 2018 at 2:40 pm
    Reply

    And why should M$ behave in any other fashion? They are (IMO) a monopoly and the end users can pretty much either take what Microcr*p gives them or stop using computers.

  26. JOhn IL said on August 5, 2018 at 3:52 pm
    Reply

    I agree with Susan that Microsoft needs to address these update issues and not give people lip service. Maybe they will and their public responses are just PR moves but this is not just something that will just go away if Microsoft does not focus more on monthly updates and less of twice yearly BS feature updates. After all most business users could care less about another game app installed or a some feature that only works with Microsoft products. I have two 3 and 4 year old desktops which come to find out that neither officially are supported by their PC maker for Spring update 1803. I find this out only after a talk with their support staff and Microsoft acknowledged that
    driver updates will be generic In nature and will not be fully functional. So I guess planned obsolescence is also something to consider with Windows 10 now too. Maybe its time for a lot of Windows users to consider alternatives to what Microsoft has forced upon all users?

  27. A different Martin said on August 5, 2018 at 4:32 pm
    Reply

    Windows still comes pre-installed as the sole OS on most computers, despite growing customer dissatisfaction with the way Microsoft has been managing it. The big questions for me are:

    (1) When are more vendors going to start offering computers with Linux pre-installed, either as the sole OS, or as the host OS with a licensed Windows virtual machine pre-installed, or as a dual-boot? (I’m all but certain that the great majority of computer users wouldn’t try doing these on their own.)

    (2) Why hasn’t that *already* begun happening? Why isn’t it even an *option* with 99+% of PCs?

    If I were European Commissioner for Competition, I’d be taking a hard look at behind-the-scenes arrangements between Microsoft and hardware manufacturers/vendors.

  28. Dave said on August 5, 2018 at 7:53 pm
    Reply

    You are still working under the illisuion that you are a “user” of M$ products.

    You are in fact an infinitesimal part of a product they sell.

  29. Salomon said on August 6, 2018 at 2:59 am
    Reply

    The moment I found out years ago that a dude from India was going to run MS I knew this was heading for a disaster for consumers. No disrespect here, but that’s exactly what has happened with all the MS products, services and business decisions; intended to benefit MS and to hell with consumers, we are only here to test their products.
    I have not installed any updates or patches for either Win7 or Win10 machines I have for more than a year, so far, no issues at all. I’ve always suspected that this corporation is in direct complicity with the US military, so, draw your own conclusions and choose wisely next time you want to buy or use any of their products.

    1. John Fenderson said on August 6, 2018 at 5:37 pm
      Reply

      “No disrespect here”

      You mean aside from disparaging all people from India?

  30. ha said on August 6, 2018 at 4:06 am
    Reply

    Arrogant, idiot. We see your true face, m$.

  31. PanamaVet said on August 6, 2018 at 2:52 pm
    Reply

    I have not had trouble with updates for years. I read these articles and recall how difficult it is to get feedback from happy customers.

    I am using Win 10 and I am very pleased with it. It took all of 5 minutes to make the transition from Win 7 to 8.

    It is much faster than our Apple hardware but then we were able to customize our Windows hardware.

    Last night I played Total Annihilation, an 80’s real-time strategy game that runs flawlessly. I love being able to run my old favorites alongside current products.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 6, 2018 at 2:59 pm
      Reply

      @PanamaVet, are you using Win8 or did it take you 5 minutes to make the transition from Win 7 to 10? The latter I guess but with that only sentence I’d presume the former ;=)

  32. John Fenderson said on August 6, 2018 at 5:32 pm
    Reply

    “What’s your take on this?”

    My take is that this is Microsoft clearly and unambiguously telling Susan to f*** off.

  33. chesscanoe said on August 6, 2018 at 6:49 pm
    Reply

    FWIW, on three or so occasions I have responded to the bottom comment section of a KB. No personal reply was received, but the problem was fairly quickly resolved with a documentation change or other action to resolve my concern. So the news is not all bad….

  34. Jozsef said on August 7, 2018 at 10:50 pm
    Reply

    Well, I’m shocked by this revelation. And in other news, water is wet and it’s generally darker at midnight than it is at noon. ;-)

    While anyone with some expertise in software knows that user feedback can’t be an effective form of testing, one has to wonder about the kind of people who still have any enthusiasm left for Microsoft so that they even participate in the Insider Program. I turn on and update a laptop on it every few months and then spend less than a minute looking at the new version before putting it away and forgetting about it again. I think of myself as an optimist but in this case I really see no future at all for a usable OS from this company.

  35. Peter said on August 8, 2018 at 7:59 pm
    Reply

    what problems?

    i have win10 running on half a dozend systems and i never had update issues.

    it runs just as fine as win7 did on my systems.
    maybe you noobs disable too much stuff and have no clue what you are doing?

    using third party tools to “TWEAK” windows….

  36. Miskkie said on August 8, 2018 at 11:29 pm
    Reply

    Microsoft is very slow developing the OS any further and the patching is less than stellar but I still don’t quite get the amount of hate that W10 gets. It’s the best windows to date. W7 is good too I get why some people are fine staying on it though.

    People bring up linux but in reality for desktop use nearly nobody uses linux day to day. Android and ios spy on you too, just “cooler” to hate on MS than it is on Gulag or Aappel.

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