Are There Problems with Windows 10 Updates?

By Woody Leonhard

Microsoft made a lot of mistakes in Windows 10’s first year of existence. Chief among them was the widely despised “Get Windows 10” campaign, the first of the Windows 10 problems. Combining the worst of intrusive malware, forced updates, bad interface design, presumptive implementation, and a simple lack of respect for Windows 7 and 8.1 customers, Get Windows 10 (GWX) represents the lowest point in the history of Windows. Microsoft just didn’t give a hairy rat’s patoutie who they stomped on, as they pushed and pushed and pushed to get everybody on Windows 10.

Which is a shame, really, because despite the problems with Windows 10, it really is a great operating system.

Many people who used to trust Microsoft, more or less, lost all trust in the wake of GWX, and it’s hard to blame them. Windows 10 seems to be the most customer-antagonistic effort Microsoft has ever undertaken.

Trust in Microsoft is at the core of what you need to understand about Windows 10.

Here’s what every Windows 10 customer should know:

  • Forced updates: Most Windows 10 customers don’t have any choice about updates; when Microsoft releases a patch, it gets applied, unless you go to near-Herculean lengths to block Windows updates. Many users have railed against automatic updating for more than a decade — bad patches have driven many machines and their owners to the brink. The GWX debacle has shown that Microsoft has little respect for what you want to do with your computer. With Windows 10, you don’t have much choice.
  • Privacy concerns: Microsoft’s following the same privacy path blazed by Google and Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Apple and many other tech companies. They’re all scraping information about you, snooping on what you’re doing, in an attempt to sell you things. Microsoft doesn’t seem to be any worse than the others, but it’s not any better either. You can reduce the amount of data that Microsoft collects about you, but the simple fact is that nobody knows exactly what data is being collected, or how it’s being used.

It’s likely that data snooping will be the focus of extensive legislation over the next decade and one of the major battles of our time. The problem, of course, is that the people who control the laws also control the organizations that circumvent the laws.

  • Massive dearth of apps: Five years ago, apps were a nice part of using an iPhone or iPad. Now, many people rely on them to get their work done and to keep their lives sunny side up. Microsoft missed the ball with UWP apps — they never caught on, and with the demise of a viable Microsoft phone ecosystem, developers have little incentive to make UWP apps. That means we’re all going to be using Win32 apps — the kind that were revolutionary 20 years ago — on our Windows machines for the foreseeable future.

You can block Microsoft’s forced updating — details are in the Computerworld Woody on Windows blog. Although, many have come to terms with the fact that Windows 10 might be snooping on them.You may have good reason to want to switch to another computing platform. Certainly, Windows will give you more headaches and heartaches than the alternatives. But it gives you more opportunities, too.