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Windows 10 users beg Microsoft for more info on updates

Gregg Keizer | Sept. 15, 2015
Patch expert kicks off petition on Microsoft's own feature request forum.

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Windows 10 customers have petitioned Microsoft to provide more information about the new OS's updates using the company's own online feature request forum.

The late-August posting has collected almost 1,800 votes as of Monday. Although that was enough to make the petition among the hottest on the "Windows User Voice" site, it was a relatively small number compared to other longer-standing demands, including a request to add tabs to File Explorer that has accumulated over 35,000 votes.

"To many a sys admin, the current communication levels in the knowledge base articles that document the contents of the cumulative Windows 10 updates are not complete enough and we cannot determine if a released update has fixed a bug that we noted," wrote Susan Bradley, who kicked off the petition Aug. 25.

Bradley, a computer network and security consultant, is well known in Windows circles for her expertise on Microsoft's patching processes. She writes for the Windows Secrets newsletter and is active on the mailing list, which targets business IT administrators.

Bradley argued that without details of what an update contains, customers are forced to rely on the patch grapevine, which in turn delays deployment. "Having timely and actionable information from the vendor is key to getting patches installed quickly," she wrote. "Can we get coherent KB articles for Windows 10 updates and not rambling lists of files that were changed?"

KB, for "knowledge base," is the library of supporting documents that describes bug fixes and code changes for Microsoft's updates.

Bradley's User Voice request followed weeks of complaints about the information wasteland of Windows 10's update documentation. Both before and after the July 29 launch of the operating system, many of 10's updates contained only the terse boilerplate, "This update includes improvements to enhance the functionality of Windows 10."

Compared to the documentation for Windows 8.1, Windows 7 and Vista updates, 10's KB commentary has resembled a politician's "No comment." Last month, for example, Microsoft issued KB3078667 for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2, in which it described a bug's symptoms with the 38 words of, "This issue occurs if an application displays various status windows for a long time. DWM leaks memory that is associated with these status windows. Eventually, the application cannot update warning or error status messages in the status windows."

While that was no novel, it was Moby Dick compared to KB3081454, a September update for Windows 10, which used 12 words to say, "This update makes improvements to ease the upgrade experience to Windows 10."


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