Are two Windows 10 updates a year doing more to hurt users than help them?

Windows Update Insider
Windows Update Insider (Image credit: Windows Central)

Windows as a Service allows Microsoft to update Windows 10 on a regular basis with patches, security updates, and indeed new features. These new features arrive in the form of "major updates" that Microsoft has committed to releasing twice a year. While two major updates a year allows Microsoft to innovate and get new features out faster, it also causes a lot of headaches for the end-user.

Microsoft's latest feature update for Windows 10, known as the April 2018 update, has proven exceptionally problematic for a lot of users. Users across the web have been struggling with issues around dedicated GPUs, Bluetooth connectivity, notifications that wrongly alert the user of low storage, and a whole lot more. Of course, no update is perfect, but the April 2018 update seems much more buggy than previous feature updates to Windows 10 have been.

I've never suffered from any major issues with previous features updates, but with the April update I've hit numerous problems that have made using my PCs difficult or impossible. For example, my Surface Book 2 is suffering from constant lag when switching tabs or closing windows. It makes using the device almost impossible. I was originally also suffering from Bluetooth connection issues on my Surface Studio, but those issues have now been resolved.

it feels like Microsoft is struggling to ensure quality when building and testing new feature updates every six months.

Could releasing only one major update a year improve the quality of Windows 10 feature updates? With the April update, it feels like Microsoft is struggling to ensure quality when building and testing new feature updates, as it only has a limited time to do so. With one update a year, Microsoft would have double the time to build out and test a new feature update, which would help in ensuring a higher quality release when it comes to shipping.

Let's be honest, most users don't like updates. Users especially don't like updates on Windows, which are rather intrusive and require the user to restart way too often. Not only that, but restarting to install an update takes time, which users don't want to have to sit through and deal with. That, bundled with the fact that feature updates are becoming known for causing more problems than solving them, means users just don't want to deal with Windows as a Service.

One update or two?

Cutting back to one major update a year would make updates feel a little more significant and less of a hassle, which is good for users. It's not like Windows 10 users would be any less secure either, because with Patch Tuesday Microsoft keeps Windows 10 up to date anyway. The only downside to cutting back to one release a year would be that it means Microsoft and users have to wait longer for a new feature to show up.

Moving to one major update a year would make updates more significant and less of a hassle.

That becomes problematic if Microsoft is unable to ship a feature in time for release. Right now, if a feature misses its deadline, it's only another six months before that feature is shipping for users to enjoy. Cutting back to one update a year would mean it's a whole 12 months before that feature is rolling out to users. But, would that be so bad in the grand scheme of things? Most users really don't care. The only users that do care are Insiders, who can get new builds early anyway.

I really think that Microsoft needs to focus on improving the reputation of Windows as a Service rather than forcing users to get used to it via frequent updates. Ensure these updates are stable, more so than the current releases, and make people excited about new feature updates again. I really think one major update to Windows 10 a year is enough. It's common enough so that new features show up in a timely manner, but not too common in that it becomes a nuisance.

It also gives Microsoft more time to make sure a feature update is stable, with as little bugs as possible. And that's the most important part.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • As much as I as a Microsoft nerd love to get new stuff as often as possible without being higher risk like Insider builds... I think you're completely right. There's not so much great new stuff in each feature release to really justify the stability risks of rushing such a fast cycle.
  • I've said this since the onset. What is the need to get more than one update per year? What is the need to get any updates during the year? Unless if something is broken. If not broken, then set an annual schedule work on the updates make sure they work, then release them to the public on an annual basis. What is the big rush? It's because people have no patience today. It's seems like some are more interested in quantity over quality.
  • I'd like to see them follow the Intel method - alternating updates (tick-tock). One update gives new features, the other bug fixes and performance improvements. At the moment, I feel that I'm beeing bombarded with trivial changes that don't really add anything.
  • Introducing new APIs?
    I suppose, Win10 (IOT, S-mode, ARM, Xbox, AR, MR) is still an ongoing OS. xFalk is not wrong imo.
  • This article makes the assumption that each new feature is incubated in only 6 months. Rubbish! While some features may be interconnected and need to be sidelined for other features to catch up, each feature is on its own schedule, be it 6 months, 9 months, 12 months or whatever. When the feature is ready it is released within one of the 6 month update intervals. With once a year updates, if a feature was ready a month after the last yearly update then the feature would have to sit for another 11 months before being issued to the public. A six month update schedule allows for more features to be pushed out on a routine basis.
  • You could say the same thing if Microsoft decided to release 4 updates per year, saying "otherwise the user would have to wait half a year to get a new feature". From the very first release of Windows 10, I can't name a feature that was significant enough to change the way I use my laptop. It has, however, been a case of introducing hassle into my workflow after each update. The last one being sluggish typing experience and lag in Visual Studio, plus the system tray pop up appearing under the taskbar instead of above of it, not letting me see the apps in there.
    And what do I get now? Timeline. Maybe I glanced at it twice, to see there is nothing really interesting in there, and let it be. So yes, either 6 months is too short or Microsoft can't keep Windows stable either way. They have to realize Windows is a real work OS, and messing with the way I'm used to do my work - especially with drivers and underlying systems that affect performance - is not appreciated.
  • If it can be confirmed, your point blows the entire "stability will improve if they have a year instead of six months to work on feature updates" assumption out of the water.
  • It's take so long to install updates and besides some builds have been buggy. Microsoft has had to delay some features because they weren't ready. So, I think major updates once a year would be better.
  • MacOS is just beautifully crafted (with the exception of Dashboard with it legacy icons, but not Windows-kinda legacy). Windows is utter sh*t
  • Hear Hear... After 7 major upgrades to my ancient mid-2010 MacBook Pro, that has only been refresh twice in its entire life, still runs like a champ. Own umpteen PCs and they ALL have varying degrees of issues seemingly getting worse with every update... when an update decides it'll successfully install that is which ain't too often.
  • Why are you even here? Don't they have some Mac forum you can go post how great Apple is on?
  • @SDKevind-I'm here because I have like 12 PCs now running like SH*T because of MSFT's incompetence w/W10 and its updates. Truth hurts so go find someone else to troll will ya!!!
  • What kind of PCs do you have ? I have 5, all on Windows 10 and I have issues only with one which is a cheap 17" laptop from 8 years ago with AMD APU and graphics and that's why it works bad, can't get win 10 updates past the first one (blame it on the APU/GPU side). All 4 other PCs never had any issues with all the windows updates and I've never had to do a clean install.
  • I have +13 PC's / laptops, AIO, workstations at home,2 of them purchased in 2005. They all run W10 flawlessly all A- brand (MS, Dell). Fyi the 2005 workstation and laptop workstation flawlessly ran Ms Vista Ultimate....and now similar on W10.
  • Windows is still better than MacOS. Has been since XP.
  • Both have advantages and disadvantages, don't be such a fanboy.
  • I’m finding that I’m having to do a clean install on a lot of PCs as the ‘in place’ update breaks too many things. If a user isn’t technically minded, they are going to get very frustrated trying to fix problems.
  • And that's why I'm pretty much done with/Windows & Microsoft (can't dump completely as too invested over the years). W10 has turned out to be my worst experience with a PC since 1987 bar none. The constant diagnosis, clean installs, etc needed to rectify issues instilled by MS incompetence is becoming way too much.
  • The Win32 part of Windows is a complete mess. Always has been. Always will be. I've been doing clean installs on a regular since I first installed Windows. The part of Windows that is based on UWP wouldn't require any of this, but of course that's the part that sits around unused on all of our PC's right now :-(
  • UWP was the reason that I started hating Windows 10 on phones. Even in PC, apps with UWP fail very easy, those apps have no future, or, why Microsoft is promoting PWA so hard? Any way, as I told it before, I use Windows only when it is virtualized, I won't waste my laptop with Windows, and I don't need it with the activities that I do (information security and pentests).
  • Not sure what you are talking about. I have 2 "old" units (workstation and laptop) bought in 2005 and I have upgraded XP --> Vista --> W7 -->W10. never performed a clean install and they are still running fluently never any major issue encountered (fyi Dell WS690 and Dell XPS Gen-II)
  • Same here just seem to need a clean install to get back to a fast loading pc again, and it's getting tireing now every 6 months
    With not much new of any use is it worth updating, came out of the insiders as nothing of any interest being developed, who gives a ***** about the settings menu
  • A yearly update is fine
  • I'm not even sure new features are worth it, I'm still using Windows the same way I did before, not using the new features. And it annoys me with those feature updates it's like a new Windows installation, overwriting some custom settings I made like changing in the registry a value so when creating a shortcut it doesn't add the " - Shortcut" suffix, but with each feature update this is reset. Other things too like Task Manager goes back to the simple view and the copy boxes too, very easily fixed but Windows could remember small preferences like that that I set.
  • My pet peeve are the folders above the devices and drives in explorer. Add to that are "copy to & move to" in the right click menu. Both get changed with every update. Grr!
  • Two updates per year isn't just about shipping new features to users, but rather to more quickly evolve UWP into a robust platform for app development, allowing it to catch up feature-wise not just to iOS and Android but Win32 as well, and Windows 10's code base into the more flexible/modern Core OS/CShell one. Maybe in a year or two, when UWP is a robust replacement to Win32 and they've successfully pivoted Windows towards the new code base they'll slow down the update frequency, but right know I highly doubt they feel they can allow themselves the luxury to do so.
  • They've been working on UWP stuff for 6 years now. UWP is dead in the water if you ask me.
  • Good thing nobody is asking you...
  • That is like saying Office is dead in the water x)
  • UWP has been ignored by developers ever since its launch. And MS did very little to prove it's worth bothering with.
  • Stop calling doing a full reinstall, program/driver migration (Hope they decide your app is worthy and makes the cut), and cramming the old stuff into Windows.Old an "Update"
  • Zac, I don't think it has to be either twice a year and crappy or once a year and good. I like twice a year. But I do think quality needs improved. I bet there are many things Microsoft could do to improve the quality and keep the timing with two a year. It's a great topic and great article. Thanks
  • Like using proper QA teams and not guinea pig insiders. But noooo, those would cost too much for that imbecile running the company.
  • What I want is the next 2 updates NO NEW FEATURES. Just refine the stuff that is already there. Just focus on visuals, UI, UX, consistency, dark mode enhancements, putting Edge in the store and bringing setting over to the settings app. I just want my OS as pretty and fluent as MacOS.
  • Very well said. That's what I would like as well.
  • I agree... That would be great... Like Google's Project Butter years ago to make android smother and robust.
  • Windows 8.0 and W8.1 were the "make Windows as smooth, fast and battery efficient as possible". They succeeded in these tenants with flying colors.
  • Isn't that what they are doing already? The last 2 updates hardly had any new features.
  • Not a lot of improvement in stability either though. If anything more things got broken.
  • uhh... yes please.
  • As nice as it would be for Windows to be as visually consistent as MacOS, I'd rather have inconsistencies and, yanno, actually being useful to get stuff done....
  • I want both things :)
  • "Just focus on visuals, UI, UX, consistency, dark mode enhancements, putting Edge in the store and bringing setting over to the settings app." Everything you just mentioned is considered a new feature from a development perspective.
  • This has hardly to do with the update rhythm but with the importance of the term "quality" within Microsoft. They could easily be delivering daily updates without breaking Windows every time. They just need to ensure they deliver features that are tested. And if a feature doesn't meet the required quality standards, it is not delivered. You can see the poor quality of the new software everywhere MS delivers software. Their Azure SDKs are a MESS! They deprecate stuff without documenting it. Sometimes they deprecate stuff without offering an alternative, or offering an alternative that's "experimental".
  • I don't care if it is one update every 2 years as long as they are meaningful, efficient, and less problematic. Much like other users have stated, maybe spend more man hours fixing and refining what is already there instead of rushing to market with half hearted features. The Surface team only releases a device when they have something of merit to release. The OS should do the same.
  • Twice a year is fine with me. That the current release is buggier than average doesn't have anything to do with frequency. It has to do with workmanship and happened when feature updates were every three years. Its about quality control, not quantity control.
  • Twice a year is fine. Based on history, I doubt a year will eliminate bugs anyways. This is Microsoft after all (release first, fix later). What I would like is for my settings to stay intact after every update, and for Microsoft to stop reinstalling apps I have already deleted.
  • Are you not excited for the new fonts in regedit coming in next release? Or what about the ability to access Edge from the title bar? I thought we all loved "features".
  • Where is it carved in stone that updates HAVE to be pushed out exactly twice a year, and with six month increments? They could aim for two updates a year, but be OK with an uneven 5 month - 10 month - 3 month - 6 month etc. cadence... Why this obsession with fixed dates?
  • Microsoft bragged about the Windows as a Service strategy in the beginning...claiming they would release updates as soon as they were ready. That never happened haha.
  • The Windows upgrade cadence wasn't always 6-monthly. The November Update (1511) came out 4 months after Windows 10 was released, and there was an 8-month gap between Anniversary Update (1607) and Creators Update (1703). Presumably Microsoft decided these upgrades were ready to go when they were published.
  • Microsoft announced that Windows 10 is on a twice a year update cadence here
  • Forget scheduled updates entirely and release new features independently as soon as they are ready. Same goes for bug fixes and other updates.
  • That multiplies the complexity of reproducing any issues exponentially.
  • So one Edge update a year? I'm thinking that won't do well for their already lackluster market penetration.
  • They need to decouple it from Windows. Even 2 update is way too little when their competition is updating non-stop.
  • Edge needs to be able to adapt quickly. I think MS can allow for that without decoupling It. It seems tat Edge is so integrated that MS won't/can't decouple it; fine, MS, find a way to allow quick Edge improvements..
  • It's not the frequency that Microsoft should be looking at, They need to look at hiring the quality control team back...the….I mean Insiders program is the problem with all of this. They need PAID quality control to test the features. Nadella shitcanned them all for this….I mean insiders program. Free labour. crappy quality control.
  • I think the Insiders Program is a great concept, but being a tester doesn't mean that person is actively trying to break things so they can report it. There's the group that just wanted to get their hands on something new and shiny before everyone else. The problem I see with paid testers is the same problem I would see for myself being paid to "test" something at work vs. at home. At work, I would be looking at something specific because it was assigned, which users may never encounter, and I wouldn't necessarily be focused on "how would a normal user do this?" On the other hand, if I catch something at home I'll sure as h*ll report it because I want things at home to work properly and I'm the one that has to make that happen. If I find it, the testers didn't - paid or not is irrelevant at that point.
  • Paid testers, meaning Microsoft employed people hired to do just that (break things) is essential to have a successful product. Hence the couple of shitstorms we have had already with Microsoft since Nadella took the helm. Bean counting and OS development do not go together
  • I totally disagree on that.
    Release once a year and you won't have only twice the time to test, you'll have twice the risk of having issues, and twice the numbers of changes to test.
    Releasing small updates is much safer, and allows to fix faster if there's an issue (less changes to go through). The only downside is that it can be bad for communication, it's always more impressive to show a long list of new features every year than a shorter list every 6 months. Given how fast the April update was delivered, i'm not sure it was THAT unreliable... they probably should just slow the delivery the first weeks before boosting it after the following patch tuesday
  • That's why I'd suggest a tick-tock update cycle. One major feature update followed by a major polishing update to work out any quirks, tidy up UI and UX details, and continue to improve the Windows backend...which is in constant need of work.
  • That might be what we have this year, the coming update brings so much more features than the last...
  • Doesn't really bother me? Either way?
    it's a nice enough gap between the 2 for me
  • I'm torn on this. I really like the fact that MS is updating Windows 10 twice a year, but I just wish they would get it right! It does tend to reek (as opposed to "wreak") havoc. I really like the whole Insider movement on their part. But it seems like they're relying too much on it for testing. They need to hire MORE not less **professional** testers to drive testing, and should be using the Insider program as **supplemental** testing.
  • The Insiders should be more focused on the features and suggestions, rather than rooting out all of the bugs. If we help Microsoft prioritize bugs, that's great, but I don't want to feel like they spend more time organizing our feedback than they do acting on it.
  • I've never had an issue on any of my computers with a Windows 10 feature update or patch. I have original Surface Pro, new Surface Pro, HP Envy, 2 custom built desktops. I am fine with two updates or more. Whatever it takes to compete in the marketplace and bring Windows 10 to the lead. There's lots of work to do so keep up the good work!
  • I agree with this assessment. Microsoft would love to be able to push out two feature updates a year, but it clearly isn't able to with any consistent quality. I think a tick-tock strategy would work out well for Microsoft. Spend a full six months building a feature update and ensuring it is as polished as possible, then spend the next six months optimizing that feature update and working out any bugs that found their way past. People still get two updates a year, but instead of getting feature updates that get buggier every build, they get new features then a good old polishing after that. In addition, Microsoft could really do with streamlining the update process. It is glacially slow on Windows 10, and it's easy to see why it's so frustrating for the average consumer when they get two or three updates a month that require a restart and 15-45 minutes of their time. Something similar to Project Treble on Android would be brilliant, and the roll-out of that feature would also be much faster than Android (which is pathetically slow at getting it out there because of OEM intervention). Updates should be faster, more seamless, and more stable. I should click update, wait two minutes for my computer to restart, then I should be good to go with a better, smoother version of Windows.
    And to be honest, WaaS is strangely fixated on being on schedule.
  • I agree with this assessment. Microsoft would love to be able to push out two feature updates a year, but it clearly isn't able to with any consistent quality. 250 million users on the April 2018 update already? Microsoft could spend 3 years on an update and employ thousands more QA folks, it would never be considered "consistent quality" by some folks. Hell even Apple can't do "consistent quality" yearly updates on the most closed consumer PC platform there is.
  • I actually like the idea of 2 updates a year, so long as they are smart about them. Days of having to make whiz-bang updates to foster the desire of people to buy new hardware and spend more money to take advantage of it are gone. Instead, they have an update process that pushes updates on people which gives a reasonably consistent platform to work off of for the next update. Instead they should make the April update be the one to introduce new features and applications, while the Fall update focuses on just making things better (improve performance, improve security, more stability, etc.). The timing of the Fall update will mean people will be more confident buying a new system for back-to-school or the holidays because the update is focused on improvements, not introducing new things. Plus the Fall update will have the chance to address issues from the April update before people buy new things and complain when they are buggy. This also means if they have a significant update to come in April, they could use the Fall, and possibly previous April, update(s) to start applying the framework changes so that it is in place, has he chance to work the bugs out, and be ready for the bigger change in April (making it a not-so-big change on the back-end). Just my thoughts.
  • If updates were annually there is less chance of a new feature having to wait.
  • I think that it could mean a longer wait for a feature update. Say that updates were done in the fall and something is in the works during the summer that Microsoft wants to roll out in the fall update. If that something has some bugs that need attention it could mean it won't be ready and we'll be waiting more than a year before it could again be released.
  • I totally agree that 2 updates per year don't make sense and are indeed doing more bad than good for the users, as well as Microsoft's reputation.
  • Regular users don't know and don't care about new features. They want to use their pc without hassle, and that is the reason why Apple pc's are doing relatively well. Its the most boring and least innovative OS, but its stable as hell. Something that can't be said for windows, every update breaks something or causes new issues. And 99% of the new features are useless. I understand why lots of people prefer Apple.
  • Because I hadn't read through every single comment before adding my own, I have to say "fair point" adbolleman. :) I don't believe every Windows update causes issues (or many, whatever), but as I said in my own comment I have apparently been lucky.
  • MacOS only appears "more stable" because the typical Mac user doesn't do as much as a typical PC user. Once you push Macs into heavy usage, they crash just as often as PCs, and for the same reasons (driver errors, etc)
  • And don't forget that Apple needs only to support a fixed number of hardware configurations, Windows needs to be compatible with soooo many configurations (CPU, GPU, chipsets, LAN/WLAN etc..). That's the price to pay to be able to choose the hardware you need and one that's pretty and that is imposed to you :)
  • Yeah about 6-8 % the other 90% are on Windows
  • Well, why have only two? Why not just update as new features are ready? Most feature updates don't case compatibility issues with drivers and installed programs. Why wait two months if a feature is ready?
  • Every additional release means an additional configuration you have to maintain for testing. If you have 2 releases per year and a 5 year support schedule, then you have 10 configurations to support. Now imagine you had 100 releases per year. Then you have to test 1000 configurations for every app release, etc.
  • With proper management it should not matter. Current reliability of the system is poor. It does not matter if it becomes useless in one year or two years.
  • I think MS need to make updates happen faster. I know Windows is much more robust then ChromeOS, but damn does it update fast.
  • the elephant in the room is quality control. Nothing wrong with 1,2,52 updates per year if they are bug free. Nadella needs to address this before he goes off on another tangent.
  • He already addressed this by laying off QA teams and not giving a damn F about quality. Computer world had a public quote from MS, saying "Don't worry about Windows 10, the users are the testers". And we can all see the result now...
  • This will continue to be an issue as long as updates are forced on everyone. Bring back the option to "Notify me of updates but allow me to download and install them". I am not interested in "Windows as a Service" anymore than I want my car to be a service. I want both to work on MY terms, not someone else's terms. This is the #1 reason why I am moving away from Windows at home. My remaining machines are on 8.1 and will stay there. I have Windows 10 on a separate partition on my desktop, but I have disabled Windows Update. I boot into it less than once a month, so don't give me "security issues". It does not have the April update, and may never get it. I did not install last fall's update until January. Meanwhile, I am typing this on a Mac, where I have the option to install/ignore updates. At work, some folks have Win 7 and some have Win 10. I currently have a Win 10 work laptop. It is still running Version 1607, Build 14393.2068 with a copyright date of 2016. We get monthly security updates only. We have competent IT, so we are NOT going thru this nonsense of installing a new version of Windows every 6 months.
  • We also have only 1703 at work and WON'T install any new builds for users until those builds are of a decent quality. Companies are not GUINEA PIGS for testing MS's junk updates.
  • Biannual Windows upgrades do keep developers busy. Depending on the nature of your app, by the time you've upgraded it (where necessary) and tested for compatibility with the new version of Windows, it can often be time to start the process over again for the next version of Windows. However, an annual Windows upgrade will have more features in it, so a bigger upgrade can mean bigger problems if it goes wrong. Also, Microsoft sometimes ties particular features or an upgrade itself to new hardware products. Only one Windows upgrade a year may mess up hardware release schedules. Imagine, if you will, that Windows upgrades only came out in Q2, but Microsoft wanted to release some new Surface hardware in Q4 in time for the holiday season that needed specific capabilities or features to be added to Windows (say, support for dual-screened hinged devices). Would they then have to hold the hardware back to the following year and be beaten to market by their competitors?
  • I rather them have only one major update a year that is super tested not to break anything. For example, one update completely broke my gpu drivers for some reason. Had to reinstall nvidia program and drivers because they just werent working. In fact, i think this is one area a lot of users are sick and tired of when it comes to Windows. They compare it with their mobile devices and Windows isnt looking so hot.
  • Did windows break it or nvidia/amd ? I have both nvidia GPUs in some machine and Intel graphics on my main computer, and I've never had any drivers issues with the integrated one. GPU drivers can be sketchy, and they update them very frequently (for new games and bugs)
  • Two updates a year is about right in order to get feature updates to mainstream everyday users. My take on the Insider Preview Program is that it is to provide a way for Microsoft to work out the bugs before general release with the help of insiders. I have three PCs with Windows 10. One has Windows 10 Pro, one has Windows 10 Home and one has Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview. Neither of the first two have yet updated to Version 1803. One says the update was installed in the update history but OS build info shows version 1709 as the installed OS. I've had issues with Windows Update on the Insider PC not updating to the latest preview build, it's stuck at 17686.1003. I am actually in the process of updating and reinstalling after a PC reset and will see how that finishes.
  • for general users.. you're right it will hurt everybody.... microsoft should at do it once a year major updgrade at another six month are for fix a bug just like service pack....
  • and I really don't care about new feature.. afterall its a windows.. you can do whatever the hell that you want.. I want stability.. and it really hurt consider my windows will automatically upgrade without my knowledge
  • CICD - I say keep rolling out new features and new improvements once every six months. I think this pace is good for their image in terms of not being stale. I agree that there needs to be refinement in the process so that it is less onerous and more reliable.
  • Having read all the comments, I agree that two updates per year is the right strategy. But they do need to address the whole testing process. It's said that in just AI alone they have some 8000 employees! 8000! Why? It's absolutely ridiculous, given how many AI related products I can actually name which is 1... Cortana... and that seems to be deprecated more and more with every release. If I were king for a day I'd fire about 2000 of those 8000 AI knuckleheads (yeah I think AI would be just fine with a mere 6000 employees!) and hire 2000 professional testers to test the shorts off every Windows update. 4 months of development time... no more... no less... then complete code lockdown... and 2 FULL MONTHS of quality testing time... no more... no less.
  • 8000??? For something that MS is predicted to FAIL in front of the competition? What are those imbeciles doing anyway? Playing poker all day long, because there is no result coming out other than a junk assistant so far? Oh, or we have to wait for the next big thing :)))? Nice then, having 8000 guys with their sole purpose of waiting for the next big thing...
  • I know! Its absolutely ridiculous. Meanwhile we have no Surface Phone, No Surface-Not-A-Phone-But-Really-A-Phone-Folding-Device, we have biannual updates that are often very flawed, UWP is left withering on the vine by MS themselves - no 1st party UWP coming out of redmond, Cortana has become a deprecated mess, the internet is riddled with complaints about the lack of 1st party xBox games, Edge has the ability to do PWA but so far only Twitter has taken the plunge, there is limited Bing, MS Rewards, and Cortana support outside the US. And why? I think primarily because of the 8000 AI knuckleheads producing nothing the common guy can actually name! I take back my comment about firing 2000 of them if I were king for a day. I think I'd fire all but 1000 of them. And repurpose those 7000 positions on all the aforementioned 1/2 baked products and services. 1000 fte's dedicated to dreaming up the sci-fi fantasy of sentient computing is MORE than enough.
  • If you think that Cortana is the only result of the AI division, you are the "knucklehead"
  • yeah sounds good because of 2 feature update per year Microsoft is not able to refine their update we are facing many bugs and issue like this new update 1803. 1 major update per year is good due to this Microsoft can freely develop their update without any hesitation:)
  • 1 update or 10? Who cares? As long as Microsoft has a robust testing program, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that Windows works reliably and let's us get on with getting things done. Windows needs to be the workhorse OS, it doesn't have to be the flashiest, prettiest nor the most innovative. What it does need to do is to keep its gems: * Backwards compatibility
    * Open stable environment that allows a multiplicity of hardware developers and software developers to support it When you think about it, MS' foray into the smartphone business failed because they didn't keep these gems in the forefront of their minds. WP8 wasn't backwards compatible with WP7 and WP7 wasn't compatible with WM6.x. They needed to accommodate that because that was what Windows type people want.
  • I feel like I see a lot of "the last update broke my OS" comments, but I have yet to have an update break anything on my system (Asus G73SX). Admittedly my home laptop is primarily for games with a side of "office" work (meaning things I do on the side, not actual work related work), but everything I use continues to run including software that isn't supposed to work with Windows 10. My work laptop (Dell M4800) is also up-to-date and again, hasn't caused me any issues. I have things that work on the current build that did NOT work on the previous two Windows 10 major releases. I use Visual Studio as one of my main development and testing tools and it hasn't broken on Windows 10 for me yet. So the smart@$$ in me wants to ask what all of you are doing wrong when you apply the update (sarcastically :)), but realistically we know there's more going on behind the scenes and I doubt it's really anything you did. Did anyone use the Feedback Hub to report issues yet? I know MS doesn't have a great track record in people's minds still, but they're listening whether you believe it or not. There's just more going on behind the scenes in terms of what gets prioritized. Things really do get higher priority if one person reports an issue and the rest of us vote on that issue to say "me too". If you report it, and you report it, and you report it, it might be overlooked because it's seen as three issues, not one issue that three people experience. At least, until a human looks through the list. The reason I ask is that while I say I haven't had major issues, I did have one and I reported it. If I cared enough I would find the email about it, but really I don't even remember what the problem was... it must not be major to me. To answer your question (Zac): I don't think 2 updates per year hurts, but that again is coming from someone who is apparently lucky and hasn't had major issues. BTW Mac users - we know your OS is all high and mighty, perfect in every way. Thanks for stopping by to point that out every chance you get. It would be nice if you could join this conversation though and comment on the question directly, instead of the leaving another generic "This not-Mac thing sucks" comment.
  • FWIW, I got curious and found how to check the feedback item I left. Post-upgrade on my work laptop, I kept getting this weird, random, generic message "The operating system is not presently configured to run this application". Using Process Explorer, I tracked this down to dllhost.exe, Process ID 3BFADDE5-09ED-42AE-8190-2E68B650CFE6, which tracks back to CortanaMapiHelper in the end. This happened while Outlook was running, O365 version 1805. I never followed up on it until now and the funny thing is that I didn't realize two things:
    1) The bug was closed
    2) Someone must have fixed it I'm not seeing the issue on my work laptop anymore, that's a plus. But someone replied and said "hey, wrong spot, go post it here instead". That didn't make sense to me because the program hadn't updated, Windows had. But whatever, like I said, it was fixed. :)
  • It sounds like you have 2 PCs. Some of us manage dozens, if not hundreds. I’ve now seen too many botched updates to put it down to coincidence. Basic stuff like all Metro apps stopping working is down to Microsoft!
  • Sorry, but not everyone is so eager to be a guinea pig for MS and do a part time job of posting feedback for their OS issues.
  • 100 % mmgn. The mean insiders program is a person being a free beta tester for Microsoft disguised with getting shiny stuff before everyone else. I only work to get paid, not for free.
  • Exactly. I'm fed up with the half baked updates. The quality of updates is trash.
  • Seriously they need think about stability. Windows 10 is becoming headache these days. Booting time is back like Vista or 7 days. It takes so much time to boot. Switch user at first boot is more miserable. It took 10 minutes for pc to settle after boot with other than regular account. I think auto login for updates is to blame. Plus after windows is settled .. some things still take lot of time to stabilize. Explorer hangs, edge tabs freezes. Just think of some one who has something important to do is greeted with this.
    But my office pc still behaves well though has auto update is on , it updates like my home pc yet is quite stable. Although this is just not my complaint. Miss windows 8.1.
  • The main purposes of these updates seem to be; 1. Remove software MS doesn't like that you bought from someone else. 2. Introduce piles of new bugs. 3. Confuse users by changing how things work and where to find them. 4. Change for the sake of change. 5. a few new features MOST of which no one knew they needed. 5. Kill a couple days per computer average trying to deal with the broken upgrader. 6. Etc. I've done one of five PC's. Some software disappeared, Explorer got even more flaky, my ability to use explorer to see directories on other PC';s still only work on some PC's. During the upgrade the pc shut down instead of rebooting. No idea why. Powering up resumed the downgrade (yes, I consider it a downgrade). So ONE a year at most. And fix WU and networking! Oh - forgot to mention; my employer is still on Win 7. Super scared of the many problems with little improvement in return.
  • Consider the concept of windows as a service. This implies a fee per activity and so MS needs to show some level of change to demonstrate value for that charge. Wait for it, there will be a charge coming.
  • Totally agree, Chromebooks and chromium are great, and Chromebooks have what windows lacks, all the APPS, so why would you pay for Windows.
    If they do charge windows will end up for business pc only
  • Of course not! Two updates a year is ideal. Keep it up, Microsoft!
  • It won't fix anything, there's no longer any sense of urgency in fixing software things, whether its once a day or once a year, it's all a non ending beta, so just ask for 4 updates a year instead, that way you got 4 chances a year to get your pc fixed without a reformat
  • I don't really see why we need even one so-called "Feature Update" a year.
    They've already gone late from theses updates already anyway's.
    Windows 10 was released to everyone on July 20 0r 21, 2015.
    Therefore the every 6 month's would be the 3rd week of January and July.
    What Microsoft needs to really do is scrap this every 6 month **** and just release each feature on "Patch Tuesday" as soon as all known bug's are fixed and not until then.
    Make them bug free from 2015 hardware and newer period.
  • 6 months or 1 year, what's the matter? Each and every build must be close to full stability (I said close to, not perfect) if they can't ensure that in 6 months cycle release, then there're absolutely no chance that they can ensure that for a 1 year cycle release.
    Look at Firefox Nightly, it delivers a twice a day release and each one are surprisingly very stable: crashes are really rare, and the remaining bugs are cosmetic ones but fixed quickly.
    Back to Windows, Microsoft has to rework their continuous integration build system to deliver more stable versions. Last hint: they should work harder with laptop manufacturers, the majority of the bugs / incompatibility are coming from laptop users, not from PC.
  • I liked the old way where we got Service Packs randomly throughout the life of each version. Now, something always brutally screws up. And then the phone starts ringing...I used to like new versions of Windows. I even did beta testing. Now I dread it. I never had trouble with Service Packs before. I still say that they aren't tested as well as they used to be.
  • I could care less how many updates they release within a year as long as those updates are ok, but they are NOT! MS imbeciles cannot deliver a good quality update. What can you expect from a junk OS tested by insiders other than sub mediocre quality?
  • Microsoft has proved that Windows 10 updates can't be trusted - just like previous versions and Windows 10 is a BIG PRODUCTIVITY KILLER - we simply need the ability to CHOOSE when and if updates to the PC is necessary. We need ability DISABLE the AUTOMATIC updates completely just like Windows 10. Let the user CHOOSE when and if updates are applied ... like Windows 7. Constantly adding crappy and buggy features are NOT helping users to be productive
    and we really DON'T want ADVERTS, NEWS and GAMES in our Operating system. There may be systems like Apple OSX and Linux but let's face it Windows 10 is a MONOPOLY and not really a choice for most of us. Maybe someone should do a Poll
  • Polls have been done. Windows is no longer a "monopoly", and it never was a "monopoly". It is now at 72% share and dropping in the U.S. MacOS is 20% and Chrome is 5%. 10 years ago Windows was 94% and MacOS was about 4%. Times change.
  • Wrong! The global stats are still on 90% windows, you know there is +/- 6 billion people outside the US so a 20% US market share (if true) still does not get the MacOS stats globally above 8%, virtually the same as 20 years ago.
  • Two updates aren't the issue, the issue is the total lack of foresight. As you will always have problems after problems if you lay off your programmatic testers and the QoS department. Solely relying on insiders and developers to test is the most moronic way to test anything. Especially when insider feedback is left languished for aeons on end and the developers don't have the time to design, develop, test, reiterate, test etc. There is not enough hours in the day to do that. Plus Satya Nadella needs to stop constantly re-organising everything. How is anyone supposed to get work done if the threat of a re-org constantly looms over their heads?
    It severely hampers moral, team work and communication. So instead of doing that, he needs ensure that they re-hire the QoS and programmatic testers.
  • How about releasing three big updates per year, AND make sure they run smoothly??
  • I run multiple PCs at home and none have had the update issues that I read about above. Maybe I'm just lucky but I doubt it. Other family members have not had these issues above either. The MacOS and Windows comparison is not valid either. I work in IT in an environment that supports both Mac and Windows, I seen a similar number of upgrade issues on MACs when comparing percent of failures of total machines in the environment. Basically if we have 15% of Windows machines that have issues after a feature update our Macs may have 13-14% with issues after an update. Actually if you look at the numbers Macs tend to be worse for the simple reason Apple only has it's configurations to worry about and we still have 13-14% with major issues, Windows has to make an OS that works with A LOT of different combinations, a much more complicated endeavor. Could they do better, probably. To the original question Zac asked. I do agree the average customer probably doesn't need 2 updates a year and most businesses delay feature updates as long as possible so 1 full feature update a year would probably be better. Maybe one the transition to cshell is complete the could dial back the full feature updates and just slipstream the individual features in as they are truly ready.
  • I think its required tbh, MS may not be any obvious big new features releases but its all the background changes required for the next gen of windows.
    You really wouldn't want to put those out in one huge release, especially with the number of hardware variations its being released to.
    So two releases followed by updates and fixes for issues highlighted post release is ok (of course the least number of issues the better). The last update has been a bit rough (probably due to increased speed of rolling it out) but its nowhere near the issues caused by the anniversary update and the two updates prior were really smooth.
  • Don't Pro users generally have the means to essentially only get a male update once a year while others may opt for current or bleeding edge updates and features? People act like they're hostages, when I know for a fact that the last 2 years have made the experience VASTLY superior than the entirety of Windows updates had EVER been 🙄
  • This bi-annual update treadmill is not working, on a variety of levels. Unfortunately, Microsoft is so blinded by the decline of the PC and the need to stay relevant that they can't see the forest for the trees. Windows cannot be updated as our phones are. Sadly, for many of us in business, the simple truth is we're stuck with Microsoft since there's always that "one thing" that needs a piece of Windows.
  • Twice a year is fine with me but I would use the spring update exclusively for bug fixes and UI/UX refinements and roll out new features in the fall update.
    That way usability, stability and quality don't have to take a back seat to features and innovation.
  • I'd like to see one big update that replaces the entire system with fresh modern code and gets rid of all the cruft lying around since the 1990s. If MS did that monthly updates would probably work fine.
  • That's what they've been doing for years now. But a lot of cruft has to remain to ensure today's Windows can run applications that were originally built for Windows 95/98/NT/2K/XP/Vista/7. Microsoft would love to ditch all of that and move on, but we've seen how the masses have rewarded those efforts.
  • Yep, the same geniuses that scream here for all the issue they claim to encounter but still imposing back-ward compatibility going back to the previous century. Still wondering how many of these issues are on "compiled PC's and how many on a-brand pc's...
  • I'm game for four. One every quarter.
  • If we have to be all trendy with WaaS, then let's do WaaS. Nuke the two major updates per year, and spread their contents out into the regular monthly updates. Less jarring, smaller, and thus less of a pain.
  • How about they make normal patches for security etc installable without relying on feature updates.
    Say someone is happy with the system and doesn't want new features so they can click ignore on it and continue to get all other updates.
  • I know I've definitely felt this way for Office 365. It's kind of a joke. You have to wait to download major versions of the software. So at work we're all on Office 365 but guess what? We're also all on stinking Office 2013 too! Because my lame brain Help Desk is too scared to upgrade to 2016. So why exactly did we sign up for Office 365? And in what way is that SaaS?
  • Time to find a new employer I would say
  • If the updates would have made Windows better two a year would have been fine. Sadly Nadellasoft don't seem to care about fixing the broken stuff. Only throwing out new "features" on top of a broken OS.
  • This is not sound reasoning Zac, unless you also say that we will have half of the annual changes. I don't think that would be in the interest of progress. With the same number of annual changes, I rather take them in these 2 steps and not have double the issues or half of the progress in 1 step.
  • I Feel that the 2 updates a year rollout like it is now is not too bad, I have had a few issues but most of those issues was related to 3rd party antivirus, but I always uinstall if I do upgrade install via Windows Update first, or Choose to do Clean install on some systems. Normally I do a clean install on each feature update so the machines are nice and fresh, some I have updated via WIndows update though without issues, Laptop and Another Desktop While I do have to redo settings on the clean installed machines, overall I don't mind
  • Well its not like MS doesn't know how to push quality updates. I hv 2 laptops, 1 with win10 home n other with Win 10 enterprise. Enterprise gets updates bit late but never screwed up, maybe home n professional users are just regression testers for MS before releasing enterprise updates.
  • I'm somewhat biased because 1803 has been one the smoothest, most stable updates ever for me. It only took 15-20 minutes to install, plus it's so simple to control when updates happen. Also, I love getting feature updates more frequently. I'm definitely not on the "updates take too long, run at inconvenient times, and contain nothing interesting" bandwagon. I feel Windows 10 is not quite feature-complete enough yet to slow to an annual update cadence. It's true that some new features are kind of meh, but for me, at least a few features/enhancements are always much anticipated and appreciated. More importantly, Windows is under pressure to modernize and innovate from competition and evolution of the computing paradigm. Nevertheless, I agree 100% that stability is more important. But on what basis can we predict that delaying updates for six additional months is the magic fix? As xFalk points out in another comment, some features released in an update may well have been in development for much longer than six months. And why assume that an annual update cycle is the best or only solution? How about shaking up management and lifecycle methodologies to reprioritize stability over features (as should always be the case anyway) and providing more QA resources?
  • Yeah, my Surface Laptop is also fine after 1803, haven't ran into any problems, but sometimes Timeline animations can be pretty annoying. 🤷
  • Most people that work on software and do it successfully knows that the answer is counterintuitive to most, MS needs up their update rate, to maybe once a month. The more you release the better the process of releasing gets (and needs to be). You have to think about it from day one, instead of afterthoughts. I see MS moving to a faster cadence as time passes, they're into DevOps, they know this works for their clouds loads, there is no reason it can't be made working for client loads, they just have to design for it and I think they are getting their bit by bit with every release. One major issue is all the corporate AD setups out there that don't get tested. Very few insiders run on/in the corporate AD setup, if more would, I think we would see less issues. All our own upgrade issues have come from AD incompatibilities stemming all the way from user profiles from Windows Server 2003. Clearing the user profile works, but that't not a very nice way of doing things, unfortunately that is what most IT departments revert too as the tools and logs to understand an upgrade failure is just really bad. I mean things like search stop working, Edge crashing on start, due to issues with the user profile The same goes for home users on insider builds, it is really hard to help feedback the update experience because when something goes wrong it is almost impossible to understand or even find the correct logs. So MS, do the right thing, increase the update rate, making each update smaller, thus smaller risk, less branching and higher integration of features. And make the update process more transparent
  • One feature update a year is enough. I've never really had any issues upgrading/updating my PC to the latest Win 10 version. But two updates a year is just asking for it. I think Microsoft should focus on fixing the way they rollout out these "feature updates", squashing bugs, testing, etc.
  • Bug fixes alone would be appreciated annually. My April 2018 Windows 10 "update" has ruined my work network LAN device/peer-to-peer computer recognition. One 3 hour professional consult, followed by Eset Security 1 1/2 hour consult, have yielded no solution. Computers can recognize each other only occasionally. Meanwhile, no data synching possible on my network. The usual "fixes", as well as deeper ones, that any tech person would think of have already been looked at, no help. God help us from Microsoft "updates."
  • In my opinion not per se. I think the exercise of thought is imposing the suggestion that two updates a year is the problem at hand. Two updates is a means to an end, not the goal itself. The argument should not lie with time per se, but rather mismanagement at the level of quality assurance. Microsoft could also look into other solutions such as seperating feature updtes from manintenace, performance and security updates; expanding reources to quality control earlier in the finalizing of the final update. Often microsoft is still adding features close to the end of final release. Why not invest more resources for more quality assurance in the planning.? Why aren't there more bug bashing plannings in insiders? and why isn't feature choice a thing/ a norm with windows settings, instead of imposing new major features to windows 10? Maybe that way issues can be contain(ered)ed better while the second update will likely then be adressed without affection the pc now and end users having to do jarring revertions to previous builds at the cost of the end user? Maybe time is a factor, but these update qualities have also been issues in the past with oldder windows versions where an update a year later still had perfomance and stability issues. I don't think time is the only factor at play here.