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Windows As-A-Service Fails: Microsoft keeps the customers in the dark



"Windows as a Service" sounded like a good idea in 2015 when Microsoft launched Windows 10. But after a terrible October, Microsoft's Windows 10 issues continued in November. Yesterday lost an unknown number of devices running Windows 10, suddenly its activation status; The owners of these devices were told that they no longer had a valid digital license and ran a "real copy of Windows."

These activation issues are now apparently resolved, but Microsoft has not offered an explanation or apology. A spokesman for the company refused to provide further details beyond a threshold line with one line: "We are working to restore product activations for the limited number of affected Windows 1

0 Pro customers," I was told.

In the Windows-as-a-service era, it's perfectly understandable that problems will occasionally wrap up. However, customers are entitled to expect prompt and accurate notification when these issues occur and Microsoft fails to accept that responsibility.

Also: New Windows 10 19H1 test building adds new security, high DPI settings [19659003] For long time, Microsoft realized the need for timely and accurate status updates. If your organization is experiencing a problem with Office 365, there is a Service Status control panel where you can find out what's wrong. Microsoft Azure customers have a similar Azure status dashboard and can even check the resolution of previous issues on the Azure status history page.

Windows 10 customers do not have similar resources.

The closest equivalent of Windows 10 is Windows 10 Update History Page, which provides documentation about functionalization updates and cumulative reliability and security updates. That page shows that the update for Windows October 10, 2018 (version 1809) was released October 2, 2018. Over the next four days, an unknown number of Microsoft customers downloaded and installed that update.

Several days later, Microsoft dropped it from update servers and took the outstanding step of removing the installation files from the download servers. At that time, the company revised the text on the Update History page to include this note: "We have suspended the roll-out of Windows 10 October 2018 update (version 1809) * for all users when we investigate isolated reports from users who lack any files after update."

Also: Windows 10 1809 Delay: New Arm PCs To Be Sent With Untried Windows 1803

This note contained a link to an associated blog post that attempted to explain the cause of the bug. That post concluded with this note: "We are committed to learning from this experience and improving our processes and notification systems to ensure that our customers have a positive experience with our update process."

Well, points for good intentions, but the company's behavior since then has revealed more errors in the way it communicates with its Windows customers.

Firstly, since the page has not been updated since October 9th, just one month ago. Anyone who checks the official resource, logically assumes that Microsoft is still investigating these reports.

In fact, Windows engineers have identified more errors in the October 2018 update. There is a second problem that involves extracting files from a ZIP file in File Explorer, which could lead to data loss. Important performance information on the Processes tab is reported incorrectly. There are several compatibility issues with device drivers and third party antivirus and virtualization products.

Also: It is time for Microsoft to bring Windows 10 Mobile back from the dead

None of these issues are recognized on the Windows 10 Update History page or on John Cable's Blog posts referred to there, which have not been updated since October 9th.

Instead, these errors were documented in a few updates to an September 18 blog post, and announced the release of Windows Insider Preview build 17763, which was eventually updated in October 2018.

Microsoft states that all of these issues were resolved in cumulative updates issued October 16 and October 20, respectively. But if you were one of the enthusiastic souls that downloaded and installed version 1809 in the first week that it was available, you have not received these updates . To get the fixes for what are undoubtedly serious errors in a version of Windows 10 that was released through public channels, you must add your device to the Windows Insider application and select Slow or Release Preview Ring.

That's not right. Customers who run an officially released version of Windows do not have to register as beta testers for critical solutions.

Also: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work as you like (free PDF) TechRepublic

And let's talk for a moment about the terrible communication about yesterday's activation issues. In hours after this issue began to occur, the only sources of information were a Reddit thread and a third report from a volunteer moderator on the Microsoft Response Forum, referring to a report from "Microsoft Chat Support."

It does not matter either. And do not get me started at the forum for Microsoft Answers, where overwhelmed volunteer moderators routinely paste responses from chains to customers who report real issues. Good luck finding actual help there.

Main customers who run a released version of Windows should not spend hours hunting information about issues and updates. But in the absence of an official status dashboard for Windows 10, it seems to be the only option.

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