back to article Microsoft: You liked Windows 10 so much, you'll get 2 more in 2017

Microsoft is planning two releases of Windows 10 in 2017. The giant has said there will be no new features coming for the rest of 2016, so the plan is for “two additional feature updates” in 2017. Microsoft folded the news inside the overall headline grabber on Windows 10 Anniversary Update on August 2. There were no more …

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  1. Alan Sharkey

    Only if it works.....

    It probably won't help most people if my upgrade experience is anything to go by. One system crashed out with an error (ends in 07) When I looked it up, MS were "still investigating". The other one did the upgrade, rebooted twice and reverted to my old Windows 10 with no explanation.

    Both systems are reasonably standard - both were new installs from MSDN media about 9 months ago.

    1. Tom Chiverton 1

      Re: Only if it works.....

      Had the 'no explanation' reboot here. You have to go though some hoops to launch the installer in just the right way so it shows you that acutal error (for me, it meant the anti virus needed uninstalling).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Only if it works.....

        it meant the anti virus needed uninstalling

        A very good anti virus program that because it was doing its job.

    2. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: Only if it works.....

      I have just come back from visiting my sister: her W10 box suddenly started doing an upgrade this morning "it did not even ask me if it was convenient", she can't do anything, the screen had been telling her that the upgrade was 91% complete for many hours.

      "Will Microsoft tell me what to do, how do I ask them ?" I doubt that she will even get the time of day from them. The best that I could suggest was to leave it overnight and force a power cycle if it still at it tomorrow.

      I told her that I had run an update on my laptop earlier, it runs Linux Mint, I continued working while the upgrade took a few minutes to happen in another workspace. She has now agreed that I can install Mint on her old MS-XP laptop - to make it run fast again.

      1. druck

        Re: Only if it works.....

        After you get board of looking at 91% for a few days, you'll power cycle the machine, it will then boot back up and say its restoring the previous OS. After another reboot, which will look fine right up until after you log in, you'll find a completely empty black screen with nothing running, not even the task bar. You can ctrl+alt+delete and bring up task manager, and use that to run other things, but that's it. No amount of trying to use Windows 10 boot repair will fix it.

        If you then are contemplating a OS reinstall, make it Linux Mint this time, you wont look back.

  2. Captain Badmouth
    Happy

    Fair play

    It gives you some time to sort out the anniversary bugs before the next lot arrive....

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3104389/microsoft-windows/the-case-against-windows-10-anniversary-update-grows.html

    1. Kurt Meyer

      Re: Fair play

      @ Captain Badmouth

      Sorted.

  3. Novex
    Meh

    I don't suppose...

    ...either of those updates would include a consumer / small business version without the telemetry and forced updates?

    No, I thought not.

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: I don't suppose...

      Even if they did put out an update like that, given their recent behaviour would you trust them not to revert in a future update? I wouldn't.

  4. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New Feature List

    Feature update 1

    1) More Telemtery to improve the user experience

    2) Full screen adverts for tat we are wanting to get rid of. Adverts appear if you stop doing something for more than 10mSecs

    Feature Update 2

    1) Even more Telemetry

    2) More Adverts floating all over your screen

    3) Subscriptions invoked $9.99 or £9.99+ VAT a month. To improve the user experience naturally

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: New Feature List

      A.C, you missed a few.

      4) Remove the already-insufficient controls over telemetry, to improve the user experience.

      5) Force installs of alpha- and beta-quality drivers and updates onto home users, to improve the user experience (of Enterprise customers).

      6) Convert your local account to an M$ account whenever you launch an Office application or log into any M$ web site or service. Every. Single. Time. To enhance the...well, you know.

      7) Install a desktop image of the classic "Ned Beatty vs. the hillbillies" scene from Deliverance, because you have no choice but to accept these updates...and you shore do have a purty smile...

      FTFY

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: New Feature List

        Squee! Squee!

    2. Wade Burchette

      Re: New Feature List

      8) Block any program from installing that was not downloaded through the Microsoft app store, for your protection of course.

  6. Packet

    Intriguing... hopefully, they sort out most/all the issues by then - else it's hello macOS time

    1. nkuk

      It seems you are not alone, I read an article today that said 64% of Windows users would consider switching to a Mac due to Windows 10 privacy concerns : http://www.scmagazineuk.com/67-of-windows-users-in-the-uk-lean-toward-a-swap-to-mac/article/514058/

    2. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      else it's hello macOS time

      I like MacOS, but I hate that Apple forces you to replace your perfectly good PC with their essentially identical hardware, at 50% higher cost.

      1. Packet

        No denying the hardware is annoyingly (and irritatingly) expensive, but there is a certain higher level of quality (and resale value afterwards) that do help make the pill somewhat less of a bother to swallow.

        Provided one is wiling to live with a lack of freedom in configuration of things like video cards and what not.

        Windows 10 is just making the switch to a mac more compelling (which is unfortunate really, since Windows 7 and prior to that, XP and 2000 and even NT4 have been quite good)

        All this entire extra telemetry, forced updates, removal of features like group policy editing, ugly UI, lack of flow, etc - Microsoft has nobody to blame but themselves.

        1. Johan Bastiaansen

          Windows 7 and prior to that, XP and 2000 and even NT4 have been quite good

          ah yes, we were younger then, weren't we.

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: Windows 7 and prior to that, XP and 2000 and even NT4 have been quite good

            Sadly yes, I also remember NT4/2000 fondly.

            But the rot started with XP and "product activation" for me, the first sign that MS believed they controlled your PC and you now needed permission to repair/change hardware.

      2. TVU Silver badge

        "I like MacOS, but I hate that Apple forces you to replace your perfectly good PC with their essentially identical hardware, at 50% higher cost."

        ...but that's what PC and laptop Hackintoshes are for (and by all accounts they work rather well).

        1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Hackintosh

          Eh, they work OK. Colour is usually a bit off, and wifi can be iffy.

          Getting a hackintosh to work is about as hard as getting linux to work in the early 2000s. Usually pretty fine, and you get 95% of the stuff working OK. Still got a bootable OSX for this box that I haven't used in.... 3 years I think?

          It's quite a lot easier (and far less fussy about hardware) to install some flavor of linux and make it look Mac like.

          Most of the time the extra hardware cost is easy to recoup in either less support costs, or being able to get decent money in a couple of years time selling on old kit.

      3. Frank N. Stein

        Not if you go to macofoalltrades.com and buy a reconditioned Mac. Saved hundreds on mine. Only use Windows computer for Racing SIMS. Everything else is done on my Mac.

      4. Mandoscottie

        @fidodogbreath

        Thats because your buying into lifestyle, not an operating system.......;) you only get what you pay for /S

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Well I have a dual boot PC, a few yours old now as it was built pre win 7, so of course original boot is XP, new boot is a latest version of Linux.

      When XP is unusable (still fine in the real world courtesy of firewall, Windows embedded registry change, and a good AV) I will just go Linux. No point going newer Windows as they keep killing older software.

      I really overspecced the PC (quad core, TB HDDs) and Linux runs as well as XP.

      Everything about 10 puts me off, as long as I can surf web, connect to work, store photos and edit video I will be fine.

      Games, abandoned PC games, not worth keep updating, it runs HL2 very well that is good enough for me.

      Consoles play games well, on the telly, in their own environment. No messing with drivers, no having to use Microsoft and their constant redesigns.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Both my machines failed at the update. Eventually I found a fix online - I had to unplug the ethernet cable just after the updater verified the download. Then it worked, otherwise it failed with the incredibly useful 'Something went wrong' and a hex code. Go figure. The other on virtual box refused to update due to lack of space even though there was enough. I had to burn a dvd and run the update from there then it worked. On my asus skylake system it decided to disable the usb3 driver as incompatible although I have no idea if it is or not.

    One good thing - because I had cortana disabled the update appears to have switched it off ! Long may that continue... They still refuse to make the OS GUI look reasonable to the eye. The file manager is very poor and still is a mass of bright white with no options to change it.

    I only use windows 10 for gaming, and it does appear a bit smoother after the update. Everything else is on linux mint.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Meh

      They still refuse to make the OS GUI look reasonable to the eye.

      Just to be awkward for a moment* - I actually like the Windows 10 UI. Well, the Desktop part of it at least, not the how-can-so-much-space-contain-so-few-controls TIFKAM parts.

      Any new PCs I set up now get Mint with a Windows 10 theme. Best of both worlds.

      (*) Funny old world, takes all sorts, wouldn't life be dull if we were all the same, etc etc

      1. Luna Tick

        Yea I don't have a problem with the desktop theme either. I actually do like it quite a bit, it's nice and fresh. If only it was uniform everywhere. Pipe-dream. The TIFKAM shit however is like a giant nasty pimple both visually and functionally.

      2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        do you enjoy

        Flogging youself with a dead horse?

        Mint with a Windows 10 skin. Shudder. The word I'm looking for is Masocist. Yep that is it.

        Oh well, at least it is not 'Genuine Windows' underneath.

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: do you enjoy

          Meh, I've been called worse.

          Sometimes even by people who know how to spell complicated polysyllabic words like "masochist".

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: do you enjoy

            "Sometimes even by people who know how to spell complicated polysyllabic words like "masochist"."

            Maybe he was accusing you of being both a masochist and Masonic.

          2. dajames Silver badge

            Re: do you enjoy

            Sometimes even by people who know how to spell complicated polysyllabic words like "masochist".

            Methinks a better spelling might be "masocyst" -- in reference to the "TIFKAM shit" being "like a giant nasty pimple both visually and functionally", as Luna Tick said, upthread.

        2. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: do you enjoy

          "Flogging youself with a dead horse?

          Mint with a Windows 10 skin. Shudder. The word I'm looking for is Masocist. Yep that is it."

          - Never came across Blue Pup linux then? - Puppy Linux with a Windows 8 tiles look.

        3. Ian Emery Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: do you enjoy

          It could be worse, he could be a Mac-oist.

          (A little Apple humour)

    2. K.o.R
      Big Brother

      I'm guessing it's trying to phone home for something and you have all the telemetry domains blocked in the firewall.

    3. Zakhar

      "'Something went wrong' and a hex code. Go figure."

      Indeed, that remembers me when I tried to re-install XP. It said "Error 61034"...

      I had to search the web to discover that means "I/O error on the disk drive" (a floppy disk actually)

      As if they couldn't say it right away! But that is M$ policy, they probably think the end-user is too stupid to understand what "I/O error on the disk drive" means, or has no IT-educated friend that can help him with that. And spitting to the end-user a meaningful message would only make him even more scared.

      They might be actually be right seen the Linux forums where people ask:

      "I typed java, and it does not work, the system says:

      $ java

      The program 'java' can be found in the following packages:

      * default-jre

      * gcj-5-jre-headless

      * openjdk-8-jre-headless

      * gcj-4.8-jre-headless

      * gcj-4.9-jre-headless

      * openjdk-9-jre-headless

      Try: sudo apt install <selected package>

      What should I do????????"

      (Notice the 8 ?)

      Obviously you want to answer: RTFS (RTF Screen)

      So I do understand why M$ is using that error obfuscation policy, but for myself I prefer the Linux self explaining error message, and that was another reason to definitely switch and extinguish W$ on my PCs back then (8 years ago).

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        "So I do understand why M$ is using that error obfuscation policy"

        Sorry mate, NAVE (Not A Valid Excuse). They still could have started with an error number THEN the wall'o'text, so those that prefer to quote a number over the phone to the tech support guy would be just as happy as those preferring to see instructions to fix the issue themselves.

  8. Bruce Ordway

    Windows 10

    If I were in charge I would certainly hold off on rolling out any more OS "features" for a while.

    I'm so sick of all the direction changes in the Windows OS since version 7.

    After testing 10 I've opted for a new Win 7 system & will worry about 2020 when/if that time comes.

    What can MS do in the short term that will sway any more users like me to its side now?

    For now I think they're stuck it a sort of stalemate with users who have embraced Windows 10 and those who have not.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10

      For the life of me, I cannot understand why M$ thinks it's OK to remove control over the configuration of production machines. I guess they just assume that only Enterprise Edition customers use their computers for "real work," and the rest of us just play Candy Crush Soda Saga.

      The GWX clusterf-ck may have subsided for the moment, but it still looms large in memory. Many of us fought a year-long battle to keep Win7 boxes from being overrun by the Windows 10 invaders, and by "enhancements" that tried to bring some of the disturbing aspects of 10 into 7.

      After an entire year of fake security updates, deceptive dialog boxes, stealth installs, and the dozens of "re-releases" of crapware like KB3035583, my trust level is at zero.

      Windows 10 users can't block or hide individual updates. When M$ decides to ram something down their throats, there's no battle to fight. The only options are to choke it down, or switch to a different OS. Why would I subject myself to that?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Windows 10

        'For the life of me, I cannot understand why M$ thinks it's OK to remove control over the configuration of production machines. I guess they just assume that only Enterprise Edition customers use their computers for "real work," and the rest of us just play Candy Crush Soda Saga.'

        Haven't you worked that out? Even if you only use one computer for real work you're supposed to go out and entangle yourself in enterprise-scale licensing and costs. There may be an option coming a little later for a remote desktop terminal install which just signs you in to do all your work on Azure.

      2. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Windows 10

        "I guess they just assume that only Enterprise Edition customers use their computers for "real work," and the rest of us just play Candy Crush Soda Saga."

        I don't think it's about assuming that only enterprise customers do real work with Windows. I think it's more that MS doesn't really care what the rest of us want or do.

        Throughout this entire Windows 10 debacle, I (and many others) have often wondered what MS could possibly be thinking. Are they trying to kill Windows? Is Satya Nadella secretly a Google or Apple plant sent in to eliminate the competition?

        All the while, we've been trying to figure out how Microsoft can so misread the mood of the computing public and do something so incredibly cynical and tone-deaf that it alienates most of their customers to some degree, or at least those who were subject to GWX, forced upgrades, adware, and all of that bad stuff (non-enterprise and non-educational customers).

        A comment over on Infoworld, though, really got me thinking. What if MS really IS trying to kill off Windows (at least in the consumer market)? The other poster remarked that while nearly all PCs run Windows, Windows itself is only responsible for ten percent of Microsoft's profit. It could be starting to look like a huge drain on development resources to develop a product for a market they're no longer interested in servicing, using a business model they no longer wish to pursue (that is, the classical "software in a box" vendor). It's clear the direction they're going... they've even told us: "Cloud first, mobile first."

        Microsoft is moving toward being exclusively a cloud services company, and the more that happens, the less traditional operating systems matter. We've seen MS embracing platforms they've previously shunned; while non-Windows devices used to be a sign that they had more work to do in crushing the competition, now they're potential customers for their cloud services. That's why we've been hearing about the "kinder, gentler" Microsoft; now they embrace their former enemies and try to sell them stuff rather than destroy them.

        Of course, "kindler, gentler" is a matter of perspective. MS has never been more rough or unkind with its non-enterprise Windows-using customers. It's treating us the way it used to treat its competition. What could be a clearer signal as to where we stand with Microsoft than that? When they start treating us like they treated all of their former "enemies," at what point do we stop and realize that we ARE the new enemy?

        As such, this thing they call "Windows 10," aka "the last Windows ever," could be a combination of an exit strategy from Windows (at least in consumer space) and an effort to milk it for all it's worth until then.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10

      "If I were in charge I would certainly hold off on rolling out any more OS "features" for a while."

      That's because you don't understand frog-boiling. There's a strategy at work here.

  9. ma1010 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Just can't fathom what Microsoft is trying to do

    Does anyone really *like* what MS is doing these days? We have beta-like functionality, the frequently ugly, clunky interface, the data slurping, the ad slinging, the "you have no choices about updating" and the "we'll make whatever changes to your OS and options whenever *WE* feel like it" "features" that have been baked into Win X.

    I'm not an old-time MS hater. I was an MS evangelist for many years. I just can't fathom MS's current strategy, unless they secretly WANT everyone to abandon their operating system. They turned me from a Windows booster (for Win 7, at least - I figured 8 was just another "Vista" and hopefully would be fixed with Win 9) a bit over a year ago into someone who can't stand MS at all. I stand in amazement at their strategy - it strikes me as insane. They seem to be doing everything in their power to alienate their users short of having the start-up screen for Windows say "Fuck YOU, Windows Luser! Switch to Mac or Linux, you Moron!" I'm just wondering what new anti-customer strategy they will adopt next.

    I think the only hope for MS to survive for very long is if the board fires Satya and gets a CEO with a different approach. I think many people would be willing to pay an annual fee (which seems to be a lot of what is behind what MS is doing) if it was reasonable AND they gave people back control of updates and no data slurping or ads. Take us back to the strategy of Windows 7 and add an annual fee if you must, but for God's sake, give us back control of our PCs. Or watch more and more of your customer base go to Linux or Mac.

    1. fung0

      Re: Just can't fathom what Microsoft is trying to do

      I agree with your diagnosis, but I'm not sure firing Satya is a cure. Most of what he's doing was started by Ballmer.

      The real problem is that without a strong Gates in charge, whoever runs Microsoft is at the mercy of the quarterly stock report. Everything MS does these days is meant to look brilliant in the short term, because the long term simply doesn't matter to a CEO who'll be gone and spending his bonuses before it starts to matter.

      A secondary problem is that Microsoft has fired (or otherwise lost) a lot of its best, long-time people over the past decade or so. (I used to visit the Redmond 'campus' regularly. Up till the early 2000s, even their marketing dweebs spoke fluent C code. The current crop can't speak coherently about product features, let alone the underlying technologies.) The corporate culture has become fragmented, and there's longer any ability to execute the increasingly complex strategies that managers like Satya dream up.

      In short, Microsoft has become just another soul-less, amoral corporation - but, luckily, also an incompetent one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just can't fathom what Microsoft is trying to do

        Aye, too many MBAs and Lawyers, not enough grunts, a common fate of both public and private institutions these days.

    2. Asok Asus

      Re: Just can't fathom what Microsoft is trying to do

      "I just can't fathom MS's current strategy, unless they secretly WANT everyone to abandon their operating system. I stand in amazement at their strategy - it strikes me as insane. They seem to be doing everything in their power to alienate their users short of having the start-up screen for Windows say "Fuck YOU, Windows Luser! Switch to Mac or Linux, you Moron!" I'm just wondering what new anti-customer strategy they will adopt next."

      That's exactly how I've thought about it. It really does make no sense to me what they are doing, unless they are deliberately trying to drive away their customers.

      Windows 10 is such a not mess, with so many ridiculous and new problems that keep accumulating version after major version, it's not worth my effort to keep up on how to fix all of them. I just tell people to either buy a W7 x64 Pro PC or go elsewhere to fix their problems.

      At least W8.x hasn't made the full transition to a cell phone operating system under the hood, and with Classic Shell and a few other tweaks, can mostly be made to behave like W7. I'm old enough and financially secure enough, that by the time the last W8.x systems have been retired, I'll be pretty much retired from the PC support biz myself.

    3. Zakhar

      Re: Just can't fathom what Microsoft is trying to do

      "I think many people would be willing to pay an annual fee if it was reasonable"

      You did fathom: subscription.

      But saying "many people would be willing to pay" is a personal opinion. On the contrary, I think it will make a lot of people go elsewhere (Linux/Mac).

      I think their method of transitioning to the new business model is broken:

      - they continue with the old business model: extortion, aka forcing you to PAY for an O.S. you don't necessary intend to use with each new PC. So it is "double penatly": initial payment plus monthly fee. That works for enterprises (they can afford it) not for home users.

      - their mode of transition seems to be: let's make it unacceptable (ads everywhere, remove control from the user) so that the home user would prefer to pay a monthly fee to revert to an acceptable system.

      I have seen some compare the spying-and-lack-of-control to what exists on ChromeOS or the likes, but it is miles away. Did you ever pay a cent to use a Google product? (apart from I.T. professionals renting servers or developers selling APIs, but that is another matter)

      So yes:

      -1) free with the counterpart: spying-and-lack-of-control can make sense

      -2) paid with control and privacy can make sense

      ... but at the moment M$ wants 1) + 2)

      ... that is why I prefer Linux requires none, offering both free and privacy + control

      And I do selfishly hope M$ will succeed in its transition to 1), that will mean they finally got rid of their extortion business model, and that I can be able to buy my next laptop without having to pay for an O.S. I have not used for years! Should that happen, I'll stop calling them M$

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just can't fathom what Microsoft is trying to do

      MS's strategy is working. They have enough of a monopoly, not just OS but functional software, that they have been able to make Windows OS terrible and still retain their huge base of users. At some point, they will start to make a more functional OS again and dribble back some control to the user. There will, of course, be a subscription fee whether monthly or annually and MS will have stabilized and increased their income and done a huge favour to the end user because they listen. I'd guess they'll make the slurp less obvious and retain the ability to change document formats at their whim and without notice to keep OSS from being easily compatible.

      1. psychonaut

        Re: Just can't fathom what Microsoft is trying to do

        if they charge an annual fee, imagine the debacle at pc world or whatever other bucket shop most people buy their crap from

        £300 purchase. oh, and you'll have to pay MS £50 a year too.

        its just not going to fly.

        although, it seems to work with office for a lot of people, so maybe im wrong. im still on 2010.

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Just can't fathom what Microsoft is trying to do

      "Does anyone really *like* what MS is doing these days?"

      MS love it. They're giving themselves as much access as they want to your PC.

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