Microsoft Update Alert

alertRecent patches contained a few surprises and some significant bugs, but they were largely fixed around the end of June. The big problem is that, despite Microsoft’s assurances, Windows 10 1803 does not appear to be ready for use.

Microsoft’s patches in June had some surprising outcomes. Windows 7 PCs with older, 2002-era Pentium III machines got their patching privileges revoked without warning or explanation (and a documentation cover-up to boot), but there’s little sympathy out there for elderly PCs.

Windows 10 1803 had a Microsoft unadulterated seal of approval when it was released, only to be followed shortly after by fixes for acknowledged bugs and an eerie tumbleweed silence for other well-known issues. The frequency of two big updates a month continues for all supported versions of Windows 10 and the second update fixes bugs created by the first – some would say a slightly unusual strategy that appears to be becoming the norm, and certainly doesn’t fill end users which much confidence or happiness.

Microsoft’s view that Windows 10 (1803) is ready for global rollout appears to be a view only held by them but, to be fair, with the varying types of devices and specifications being far more diverse than they ever have been, is it any wonder that releasing patches these days is a job not for the faint hearted. So, is it the case that, however much time and money you spend on user acceptance testing prior to release, there will never be a perfect, trouble-free release? May be, but one thing is for certain, these issues are not going to go away quickly and we can expect more issues to arise over the forthcoming years.

On June 26th, Microsoft finally released a fix for two big bugs that have plagued Win10 1803 since its birth. In theory, patch KB 4284848 fixes these acknowledged bugs. Old issues still remain unacknowledged however and apparently unassigned to any remedial action plan. We assume that Microsoft are fire-fighting and can only deal with the larger, potentially more dangerous fires first. Acknowledgement of bugs takes time and money and of course Microsoft would want to be sure that these bugs are actually there before admitting it and applying fixes, but here are some of the unacknowledged, apparent bugs:

There are many reports of munged Intel NICs and VLAN problems after installing 1803, there are reports that you’re forced to set up a PIN during fresh installs, the ancient problem with restore partitions getting assigned drive letters on install remains, Chrome continues its indigestion with 1803, although Microsoft claims the latest patch cures all ills.

One new problem that has been acknowledged recently is that installing 1803 can clobber your peer-to-peer network. With earlier versions of Win10, you had the Homegroup Troubleshooter and that usually solved the problems. Unfortunately, Microsoft discontinued Homegroups in version 1803.

Rest assured, Microsoft are doing their very best, and we should all remain positive but vigilant.