back to article Press F to pay respects to the Windows 10 April Update casualties

The Windows 10 April Update has begun seeping out from beneath the Redmond bathroom door. As an antidote to the excitement of the new, let us take a moment to mourn the passing of the old. First on Microsoft's roll of honour was Groove Music Pass. The music service, which was loved by a niche of users, got a Spotify-shaped …

  1. Alan Bourke

    "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

    LOL, cold.

    I'll miss CHM files. Yeah, it's all online, but not every device is online always. Plus the search facility on the online equivalents tends to suck.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

      Oh yeah, had a job doing technical writing and compiling CHM files. Previously it was HLP files.

      Sometimes we just want to view help documentation offline, and not get online (and launch a browser) to do that.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        When your network is out...

        "Sometimes we just want to view help documentation offline, and not get online (and launch a browser) to do that."

        Nothing more infuriating than a help system trying to go online when your network config or DNS or ISP has gone AWOL.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

        "Sometimes we just want"

        And Micro-shaft makes sure you ONLY GET what *THEY* WANT you to have!

        1. Elmer Phud Silver badge

          Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

          Well done., love.

          I knew one would be along eventually, bless.

      3. Paul 129
        Gimp

        Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

        html is not just for online browsing. Write it once for both on and offline.

        You can even, if your feeling masochistic, write it for printing

    2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

      Unless the problem you need help with is the fact that you can't get online. I wonder how MS intends to deliver help files when your network connection has been rendered FUBAR due to the latest MS update?

      I'll get my coat, it's the one with the recursive Catch 22 trap in the pocket containing the recursive Catch 22 trap in th

      1. Jon 37

        Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

        > Unless the problem you need help with is the fact that you can't get online

        Most people have mobile Internet on their phone for when the PC is broken, and wired Internet on their PC for when their phone is broken.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "have mobile Internet on their phone for when the PC is broken"

          There are still some situations you can't get online whatever technology you can use, and you would still like to have help available.

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: "have mobile Internet on their phone for when the PC is broken"

            "There are still some situations" [snip] " and you would still like to have help available"

            I've already tried these kinds of "cloud based only help" things before [read: DevStudio after 2010] and NEVAR want this kind of ABOMINATION *EVAR* *AGAIN*!!!

            I don't need internet bandwidth choke points (or service outages) to get in the way of me doing work. wasting spending time commenting on El Reg takes up too much of my time already...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

          > Most people have mobile Internet on their phone for when the PC is broken

          Unless, of course, you (a) live somewhere with zero cellular signal, or (b) work somewhere where mobile devices are forbidden. Neither of which is as uncommon as you might think.

        3. BlartVersenwaldIII
          Go

          Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

          > Most people have mobile Internet on their phone for when the PC is broken

          "Siri, I can't get online so the help key on my windows machine doesn't show me the help page I need. What would it have shown me if it did have an internet connection?"

          Clearly a superior solution to wasting dozens, I say DOZENS of megabytes of offline documentation!

        4. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

          "Most people have mobile Internet on their phone for when the PC is broken, and wired Internet on their PC for when their phone is broken."

          With a data plan that's all used up, or about to be once you've navigated through a maze of help options, none of which quite address the problem you are having.

          1. ThomH Silver badge

            Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

            The other advantage of CHM files is binding the lifetime of the documentation to the lifetime of the application. Windows is supposed to be the platform that cares about backward compatibility; the push to server-based everything — including help files — strongly undercuts that.

          2. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

            "once you've navigated through a maze circle jerk of help options, none of which quite address the problem you are having."

            fixed it. you're welcome. sometimes a local 'grep' gets you the answer faster than being jerked about by link-hell.

            (ok it means installing Cygwin on a winders box, but I generally do that)

        5. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

          "Most people have mobile Internet on their phone for when the PC is broken, and wired Internet on their PC for when their phone is broken."

          I'd downvote with the link but the count is currently '42'

        6. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

          At home, both lead to the same green cabinet at the end of the street, so if there is a problem between there and the exchange, neither option is going to work.

          1. Havin_it

            Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

            My phone's data connection goes through the cabinet as well? Damn. I should try to get them to route mine through the cabinet near my mum's place, I always get better speeds there.

            And if the problem's in the cabinet, how much help is the Windows manual going to be?

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

        Thus, we have a couple of desktops and a laptop (for travel). I only update them one at a time... just in case. Even still, I usually wait at least a week to see what issues occurred. But if I had only one, I'd be very reluctant to ever run an update....

      3. Ilsa Loving

        Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

        >Unless the problem you need help with is the fact that you can't get online. I wonder how MS intends to deliver help files when your network connection has been rendered FUBAR due to the latest MS update?

        >I'll get my coat, it's the one with the recursive Catch 22 trap in the pocket containing the recursive Catch 22 trap in th

        The sad part is that that isn't even a joke. Wasn't it last year when MS put out an update that destroyed everybody's DHCP?

        1. Donn Bly

          Re: Wasn't it last year when MS put out an update that destroyed everybody's DHCP?

          I don't remember - but it was only last month when they put out an update that destroyed static IP addresses

        2. jeffdyer

          Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

          Was it? I didn't notice it on any of my PCs.

      4. JimboSmith Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

        Unless the problem you need help with is the fact that you can't get online

        Reminds me of the episode in Cheers where Woody is trying to set up the VCR. He's having difficulty but is delighted when he discovers that there is a "how to set up your VCR" VHS cassette included. Sadly I can't find the clip on YouTube.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

        Message when you call company X's phone number - "For help setting up your internet router, visit www.Yourescrewed.com and select 'Support' from the main page"

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

      Once, you hit F1 and got a relevant help screen. Not you hit F1, and an almost random page opens in a browser with very little, if any, useful information. Also both WinHelp and CHM had navigation features and a way to organize contents so you could explore them. Also, you had everything in a single file, instead of several ones, and there were no viewer compatibility problems.

      Another example of how IT went backwards in the past years, cobbling up "solutions" using the wrong tools, and just making users experience worse.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

        ."Also both WinHelp and CHM had navigation features and a way to organize contents so you could explore them. "

        I've learned an awful lot through the years just digging around help files to see what's there.

        1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

          Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

          Same here. I called it spelunking and more than a few things I've found over the years yielded novel approaches even if Microsoft wasn't even aware of how they could be put together. Or anyone else for that matter.

      2. cynic56

        Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

        @LDS

        How many upvotes can I give you? However many it is, it isn't enough.

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

        I have yet to find Office's online help find anything relevant. It might as well not exist.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

          Over the years my experience of Microsoft's help files is that they only tell you the blindingly obvious and ignore anything that might be complicated (i.e. that you might want to find out about)

        2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

          I have yet to find Office's online help find anything relevant. It might as well not exist.

          The "real" Office online help process appears to be: "Typing in a variable selection of keywords into google until a genuinely relevant online article pops up in the first page of search results. Bonus points are available if it's actually relevant to the version of MS Office you are trying to get help for.".

      4. G2

        Re: Once, you hit F1...

        just tried it now, F1 doesn't do anything in my Firefox. It's as if I didn't press anything.

        according to https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Tools/Keyboard_shortcuts

        it only works in the developer tools now, and you have to press F12 or CTRL+SHIFT+i to enable that first.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Once, you hit F1...

          This requires developers to follow UI guidelines. Now every piece of software has its own GUI, including MS, I don't think they're going to bother about F1 for help.

          1. 5p0ng3b0b
            Coffee/keyboard

            Re: Once, you hit F1...

            Could be <FN F1> for help nowadays depending on keyboard/bios settings.

      5. viscount

        Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

        "Not you hit F1, and an almost random page opens in a browser with very little, if any, useful information."

        This. I remember when MS help was awesome - full, clear and context sensitive in Excel for example. Now you get random links to websites that often don't exist anymore, along with lots of worse than useless "community content".

    4. J27

      Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

      I won't miss writing them, Microsoft gave up on the format years ago and as a result writing CHM files is like building a web page for IE 4, with all the problems that come with that. Half the time I never knew what would work and what wouldn't. Local help files are cool and all, but the CHM format is terrible.

      As a side note I no longer have to worry about local help files because I now write web applications. If you can't access the Internet then there is little point in being able to read the documentation. I have also noticed that most people don't care if their applications work without the Internet, and you know what that means. If the users don't care, the programmers aren't going to bother. Much to the chagrin of you crusty old IT types, I'm sure.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

        Local help files are cool and all, but the CHM format is terrible.

        Well, CHM is a Compressed HtMl format. Maybe what we need is a new standard, call it CHMx or something.

        The files would live locally on the PC, but a service like windows update could check every so often to see if a new version is available for download.

    5. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

      Nice pussy.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

      IF you click the I don't care options for privacy, Cortana now does things like offer you relevant coupons in Edge for the site you are visiting. For instance visiting Dell.co.uk I was offered some quite useful discounts.

      And the asking is a little Cortana overly in the address bar, not a pop up and not otherwise intrusive unless you choose to select it.

      So whilst it's an invasive feature it's also potentially useful and has been quite well implemented imo.

    7. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

      I won't miss the vulnerabilities in WinHlp32.exe

      But what's wrong with using a browser to point to an index file on your hard disk? A few meg on an install DVD, and minor updates over the net? Search would suck, but at least it's searching a curated collection.

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "But what's wrong with using a browser to point to"

        Because suddenly you upgrade the browser and the old pages work no longer, because something changed in JavaScript or HTML support. Or the remote updates disappear, become inconsistent, with broken links.

        Vulnerabilities can be fixed (and should we talk about browser vulnerabilities, especially when accessing remote contents?), WinHelp was much more integrated with applications. Remember the help tooltips you could get by clicking the "?" icon in a dialog and then a control? That was a WinHelp feature no browser can deliver, and was removed. It was very handy to get quick help.

        Moreover WinHelp was much faster to load and display the looked for content, sure, less features than actual web pages, but you didn't need to build applications into WinHelp.

        It was also easier to write - without the complexity of HTML - which you don't really need - it was faster to write contents and focus on them, and no need to create indexing and navigation from scratch - they were built-in.

        1. MrXavia
          Stop

          Re: "But what's wrong with using a browser to point to"

          "Because suddenly you upgrade the browser and the old pages work no longer, because something changed in JavaScript or HTML support"

          Would be some seriously badly written HTML with JS to stop working on any browser, we are talking Help pages, which should be simple HTML with a bit of CSS, and still work if the CSS is missing.

          Even if the new standards are implemented and features were removed, these should still work in any browser.

    8. JLV Silver badge

      Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

      Not to mention that, maybe, perhaps, the contents of your local help file might actually be relevant to the version at hand, rather than applicable to a Windows/Office/whatever version different than yours. Who knows, they might even update the navigation instructions to correspond to Windows' navigation choice of the week.

    9. Tim Bergel
      WTF?

      Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

      Am I being foolish here or are you? Or is it the article that is incorrect? I'm pretty sure that WinHlp32 is used to open .hlp files, .chm are handled by hh.exe. So if the article is correct, then its only really old help files that become unavailable, and those who what to can use .chm as usual. Personally I quite like .chm and Help and Manual makes it a breeze to create them.

      1. Coen Dijkgraaf

        Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

        @Tim Bergel

        The article doesn't mention .chm files at all, so either the edited to remove that, or Alan jumped to an incorrect conclusion.

    10. Stumpy Pepys

      Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

      CHM files live to fight another day; it's HLP files (their predecessor I think) that are being deprecated.

      I wish they would get rid of CHM files; I'm a tech writer and still have to produce the bloody things. Static HTML 5 runs rings around them nowadays.

    11. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

      I've got thousands of old IT books, all helpfully published as CHM files. It's amazing how much space saving the format brings, and you can also hyperlink to the pages etc, far superior to PDF, and the thankfully dead XPS.

      Did anyone ever find a genuine use for XPS files?

  2. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    Yes!

    LOL, good old El Reg hating on MSFT for what they may do in the future.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Most of the 'casualties' are Ballmer era stuff

    Groove is just a Spotify wannabe, and not a very good one at that.

    1. Hairy Weasel

      Re: Most of the 'casualties' are Ballmer era stuff

      Groove had the essential functionality of being able to stream your own music files from OneDrive. As more and more underground bands either delay the release of their albums on streaming services or just keep them at BandCamp only all together, Spotify is pretty useless for me.

      I switched to Google Play, which has somewhat similar approach, but instead of managing your own files you upload them to Google, which performs some matching algorithm which fails quite a lot. MS Groove was much superior in that regard.

      1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

        Re: Most of the 'casualties' are Ballmer era stuff

        "Groove had the essential functionality of being able to stream your own music files from OneDrive."

        According to the article, that's about all the functionality it has left. So not really changed.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Most of the 'casualties' are Ballmer era stuff

        Nothing which requires a Microsoft account to use is 'superior'.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Most of the 'casualties' are Ballmer era stuff

          "Nothing which requires a Microsoft account to use is 'superior'."

          It's superior to requiring a Google account...

          1. joed Silver badge

            Re: Most of the 'casualties' are Ballmer era stuff

            not really if Windows is your primary environment. Then MS can see everything. Google can only dream of this.

      3. J27

        Re: Most of the 'casualties' are Ballmer era stuff

        Google Play Music is being discontinued as well, in favour of some sort of weird YouTube Spotify ripoff thing that hasn't quite launched yet.

        I really like the Groove client, it's a shame Microsoft is slowly giving up on it. I'm slowly learning to like Spotify. The free version is pretty good for the price.

        1. JLV Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Most of the 'casualties' are Ballmer era stuff

          >I'm slowly learning to like Spotify

          I'm fascinated by their annoyingly chirpy nasal ads for Spotifiy premium. At first, I thought "who'd want to make ads using actors with voices this annoying"? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of ads, to make you feel good about the product?

          Then I realized that's the entire point. They can't have full-on negative ads about how we are bad Spotify users by being on free tier. So they need to make the ads as annoying as possible, while staying positive, so that we will give up and pay.

          I haven't and won't. But I have bought a number of MP3s from artists who I have found here, so somebody's getting my $$.

          p.s. my local telecom company hasn't quite gotten that subtle point, so they've engaged a Spotify voice actress with an even more horribly grating vocal delivery to sell me their wares 8-/ Guess who's not getting my business?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Most of the 'casualties' are Ballmer era stuff

            I know this may sound strange, but I used the free version of spotify for over a year and never had 1 ad. I have never heard a spotify ad. I only got the paid for version (family) of spotify because my kids wanted it offline (so they don't use up their data plan).

            I used it on my phone (windows mobile) and PC at work.

    2. Roger B

      Re: Most of the 'casualties' are Ballmer era stuff

      Groove was pretty awesome, I was able to stream all my music from OneDrive to my Xbox or to my Windows Phone or any Windows 10 PC with my account on and also go to music.xbox.com and stream all my OneDrive music on any oneline PC. When using a Windows 10 PC or an Xbox it would also play any available music videos when using the Groove subscription, and if no video was available it would usually have a scrolling selection of photographs from the band/artist I don't think any music service does this? Although I've not really looked, since my sub ended I just stream from OneDrive, I don't honestly miss a subscription.

  4. MikeHuk

    Upgrade went perfectly

    Desktop and Laptop updated, no problems. Both seem faster too.

    1. Kaltern Silver badge

      Re: Upgrade went perfectly

      That's great.

      You appear to be interested in a bridge. May I suggest one for you?

    2. herman Silver badge

      Re: Upgrade went perfectly

      'Seem' - Ayup.

      1. Chronos Silver badge

        Re: Upgrade went perfectly

        'Seem' - Ayup.

        You've been watching a "Please wait while setup frigs around" spinner for two hours while patronising and/or condescending snippets of Microsoft blowing their own trumpet fade in and out on your screen. At this point, a snail attempting to navigate a salt covered superglue spill would "seem" fast.

    3. el kabong

      Upgrade went perfectly? That's quite a feat, congratulations.

      I'm sure that if Steve Ballmer were still in charge he would be glad to do a monkey dance so we could all celebrate the event properly. Unfortunately Steve is no longer in charge so, no party for us :(

    4. Diogenes

      Re: Upgrade went perfectly

      Surface laptop updated no problems (and battery life seems improved) . Desktop currently doing try no 3 ( I hadn't realised the other 2 had even happened/failed). Looking back I see I have a few other updates in error. Will waste an hour or so tonight to trouble shoot

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No groove for my zune?!?

  6. Terry 6 Silver badge
    FAIL

    Sadly

    The unwanted ( by pretty much everyone) 3d crap is still there - and still difficult or impossible to get rid of even though it clogs the start menu. Still the stupid set-up of "mixed reality portal" Catch 22 so that it can't be deleted if Windows has decided that it won't work at 1st run, because it hides away the settings page with the uninstall option.

    And as I mentioned on a previous thread's post - they still haven't fixed the recycle bin icon bug.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Sadly

      "The unwanted ( by pretty much everyone) 3d crap is still there"

      proving that, to Micro-shaft, '3D' meant something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

      When _I_ say '3D' I mean an XP-like or Windows 7-like interface (not "the Metro" 2D FLATSO with shading like lipstick on the non-oinky end of the boar).

      Micro-shaft missed the boat on that one. Easy to do when you've already jumped the shark and fallen off of the cliff...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sadly

        Microsoft wants to blur the lines between a touch-centric UI and a click-centric UI... this should have been obvious since Win 8.

        That means a flatter UI, getting rid of the 'Aero' stuff.

        It's a business decision, nothing to do with technical expediency. Nobody was buying Windows phones, PC (desktop) sales are declining. What's the only option left? Selling portable 'convertible' devices - Surface being an example.

        1. Mage Silver badge

          Re: Sadly

          But "flat" is equally stupid on mobile touch. A 3D effect only increases size by 2 pixels, or means element is 2 pixels smaller and makes it FAR easier to know where to touch.

          I HATE the style of Android and especially Kobo eReader and Win 10.

          Flat monochrome not needed since upgraded from mono CGA/Hercules to EGA. It's designer egotism and stupid to make web pages and GUIs look like B&W laser print.

          1. P. Lee Silver badge

            Re: Sadly

            >Flat monochrome not needed since upgraded from mono CGA/Hercules to EGA

            Flat and square is very fast and has very low resource requirements. If everything is doing that, your system will be more battery efficient than using texture maps.

            That's the only reason I can think of to do such a horrid gui.

        2. Chronos Silver badge

          Re: Sadly

          Sales are sliding for one reason alone: No compelling reason to upgrade. It's starting to hit smartphone sales as people wake up to the "latest model at all costs" scam. Surface, Chromebooks, even the Gemini is no solution to this. Spectre 1&2 and Meltdown have kicked the industry while it's already down as there's no point buying new hardware until both Intel and AMD have completely redesigned the speculative branch execution portions of their silicon. Even then the smart people will wait for several iterations while they work out the "oh crap, I forgot that bit did that too" gotchas.

          Add ME and PSP to that and you have a completely stagnant market, a minefield nobody in their right mind wants to walk through.

          The players have brought this upon themselves. The desktop, as a concept, isn't going anywhere. I personally will be frigged if I'm trying to do all I do on a bloody phone-alike, no matter how big and keyboardy it gets. The sales figures are simply a result of people becoming wise to the lack of real world performance gains, anti-features and baked-in security and privacy violations.

          As for Windows, only 2k and 7 are worth even thinking about. 8 through 10 are complete dogs' breakfasts and XP was a hint at what was to come with its Fisher-Price UI. SatNad is just flogging the last nerve impulses from the rapidly putrefying beast of burden. If PCs weren't sold with Windows pre-installed we wouldn't be having this discussion.

  7. Philip Storry

    XPS

    I was going to complain about the loss of the XPS viewer, but then I did a quick bit of research and found that Windows 10 has a built-in PDF printer driver.

    I'm really not sure how that escaped me. If I did see any headlines about it, I probably subconsciously shrugged it off with "welcome to 2008!".

    I do have a few XPS files kicking around at work though. With PDF printer drivers costing money at the time, the advantage of XPS was that it was there. I usually used it when I needed to save some information from a website that I could only use with IE.

    I have never used it for anything else though. Chrome "prints" direct to PDF without any printer driver required, like a civilised program should.

    Still, it's odd. I really didn't like XPS when it came out, partly because it felt like Microsoft yet again attempting to use their monopoly position to remove a competitor. But having used it a few times, I've found it to be reliable and usable. I can't say I'll miss it, though.

    I will, however, be annoyed that I have to open those XPS files and re-print them as PDFs!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: XPS

      There are other document viewers out there which can open XPS files.

      Still, it's not the most 'exotic' document format. I once worked for Xerox, and the payslips were sent in DocuWorks format (.xdw) files. You have to install the DocuWorks program to open them. No DocuWorks program? You can't see your monthly payslip!

      It's one thing to promote your own products, but pushing your own proprietary format when quite literally no one else is using it is just asinine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: not the most 'exotic' document format.

        DJVU files ?

        1. el kabong

          XPS is abandonware

          DJVU is still supported. Big difference.

        2. Charlie van Becelaere

          Re: not the most 'exotic' document format.

          DJVU files ?

          I think I've seen those before....

      2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: XPS

        "No DocuWorks program? You can't see your monthly payslip!"

        You should have submitted a freedom of information request to the tax authorities. (If *they* don't have copies of your payslips then they will probably be motivated to have a chat with your employer.)

    2. 0laf Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: XPS

      W10 used to have a reasonable MS PDF app but it was withdrawn as yet another way to force you to use Edge.

    3. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: XPS

      I do have a few XPS files kicking around at work though. With PDF printer drivers costing money at the time, the advantage of XPS was that it was there. I usually used it when I needed to save some information from a website that I could only use with IE.

      I've been using CutePDFWriter to write PDFs for quite some time now, since before 2008, I think. It's free. Microsoft put their own PDF writer in with Win10; I ignore it the way I ignored XPS Writer and continue to use CutePDFWriter. For one thing, the built-in Microsoft PDF writer requires you to name the PDF file, while CutePDFWriter assumes that the PDF will have the same name as the original only with a PDF extension, and gives you the _option_ to change the name if you want. Microsoft makes me type more, and, sometimes I commit typos which make finding the PDF at a later date interesting. Yeah, my fault, but CutePDFWriter manages to proactively fix user error. I like that. I may actually buy CutePDFProfessional ($50) for no other reason than to reward the devs for producing an excellent, free, tool.

      Note that Apple has managed to print PDFs natively for quite some time, since the original OS X Public Beta or at least the original OS X 10.0, and Apple prints PDFs the same way that CutePDFWriter does, eliminating one source of user error. Microsoft took nearly 20 years to copy them this time, and still messed it up.

    4. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Re: XPS

      "With PDF printer drivers costing money at the time, the advantage of XPS was that it was there."

      Yikes, I never realised you had to shell out for PDF printer drivers.

      OS X had PDF support from quite early on - 2002-ish IIRC,.

      Disclaimer: In that time frame I'd got PostScript capable printers, both at work and home, and a lot of stuff back in the day was available in .PS format.

  8. RonWheeler

    No - no -no - delete

    New annoying invasive stuff options on startup - no several times.

    New Edge icon on desktop - delete.

    Lappy seems okay and pretty much unchanged apart from that.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: No - no -no - delete

      Various "apps" that they foist on us reappeared. Which requires a Powershell visit ( or a use of Ccleaner) to remove. And the usual silly things like the arrows on the icons reappearing.

  9. aje21
    Windows

    Still using both Windows Home Server and Windows Media Center

    Still don't understand why they keep wanting to get rid of things which work well, only to shove loads of stuff down our throats which are not really core features of an O/S.

    Oh, and to really show my love of things which have passed from the Microsoft list of current products, my phone is a Nokia Lumia 1020 which (touch wood) is still doing well and I will really miss when it eventually stops working.

    1. J27

      Re: Still using both Windows Home Server and Windows Media Center

      Have you tried Kodi? It's a pretty good replacement for Media Center. There is little reason for you to upgrade that server.

      1. 404 Silver badge

        Re: Still using both Windows Home Server and Windows Media Center

        VLC still works well too ;)

    2. Inspector71

      Re: Still using both Windows Home Server and Windows Media Center

      WHS was one of the few MS products I have ever really liked, it really only seemed to be aimed at home hobbyists though which intrinsically limited its appeal a bit. MS being MS though, they killed the single best feature, Drive Extender when they moved to WHS 2011. Although they did add Time Machine backups which was nice for my Macs.

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Still don't understand why they keep wanting to get rid of things which work well,

      You really need to go and sit on the naughty step. Nanny Microsoft will be along shortly to correct your evil ways.

      MS knows what you want before you do. That's why all this new crap (that will never get used) is there. It allows them to proudly say "We have introduced all these wonderful features".

      Headmaster Icon naturally.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still using both Windows Home Server and Windows Media Center

      "Still don't understand why they keep wanting to get rid of things which work well, "

      Hint, your still using it...your not paying for it.

      Welcome to the Brave Cloud World: pay once, pay again...and again....and again....and again.

  10. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    pause for a moment

    The moment being windows 10. Maybe it'll be usable in 2020 not holding my breath though.

    It'd be nice if they unlocked that long term support version for anyone to use.

    If I wanted an "agile" operating system I'd use gentoo.

    (My main desktop/laptop OS has been linux since 1998 but I have kept a windows vm running for work stuff for at least a decade, semi obviously using win7 for that)

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: pause for a moment

      Usable in 2020? That might be a tad optimistic; more like 2030 at the earliest.

  11. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Pint

    My Microsoft Upgrade Song

    It puts me in the 'proper' frame of mind and introduces a note of whimsy that the unexpected 'changes' engenders.

    "On Top Of Spaghetti".

  12. Carl D

    "The Windows 10 April Update has begun seeping out from beneath the Redmond bathroom door"

    Yes, and it looks like a lot of people are already getting it even though they don't want it yet.

    https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/many-reports-of-win10-1709-users-getting-pushed-onto-1803/

    I've already got the popcorn out... I'm sure we'll be seeing another "Oops, sorry, we made another mistake" announcement from MS shortly (gets a bit boring after a few years of hearing the same thing over and over).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm looking at the link and see nothing about forced updates.

      The author screwed up the whinge, sorry post, and said people were getting it forced despite it saying May the 8th, although the post he referenced clearly states if you check for updates MANUALLY, you will get it before then.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge
      Linux

      >"The Windows 10 April Update has begun seeping out from beneath the Redmond bathroom door"

      Its Red[mond] and its seeping out from under the bathroom door?

      Is it a blood-bath or just washing over a single corpse?

      It was Tux, on my desktop, with a lead-pipe an unused activation code.

  13. AJ MacLeod

    Oh good, some utterly useless junk removed

    ... now if only they'd do the same for the other 20 or so "Apps" that blight every new Windows PC and will never be used (mistakenly clicking on their stupid oversized tiles and closing them as soon as possible doesn't count.)

  14. Lord_Beavis
    Linux

    Windows

    Is still a thing?

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Windows

      Is still a thing?

      Yes, it mutates and takes over every pc it can find, if it gets out into the real world we're looking at 2 maybe 3 years before nothing normal remains.

      <<wondering about blood tests for windows and flamethrowers.....

      PS we need a thing icon.....

    2. Barleyman
      Trollface

      Re: Windows

      Is 2018 the Year of the Linux Desktop?

      1. Lord_Beavis
        Pirate

        Re: Windows @Barelyman

        "Is 2018 the Year of the Linux Desktop?"

        There is no "Year of the Linux Desktop". One day it will just be. Don't fall for the Windows hype.

      2. georgezilla

        Re: Windows

        The "year" my desktop got Linux was 1998.

        And it's been my "year" of the Linux desktop, every year sense then.

        And will continue to be the "year" of the Linux desktop for the foreseeable future.

        So yes, 2018 IS the "year" of the Linux desktop.

        And thank you for asking.

        1. NeilHoskins

          Re: Windows

          My working day involves Adobe Captivate, Techsmith Camtasia, and a bit of photoshopping (I actually use PaintShop Pro as it's considerably cheaper than PhotoShop). Please explain how I get through a working day doing that on a Linux desktop. (Please don't tell me to use GIMP for photoshopping or I might fall off my chair.)

          1. P. Lee Silver badge

            Re: Windows

            >Please explain how I get through a working day doing that on a Linux desktop.

            Some people are just born unlucky. ;)

            Linux is great for custom data processing typical in IT, server systems and for scaling out. If you need a windows app, use windows. If you need both, use virtualisation or two boxes. No-one is going to hunt you down because you use windows. Not even MS does that - they just turn your stuff off. Maybe they'll slurp it first.

          2. TVU Silver badge

            Re: Windows

            "My working day involves Adobe Captivate, Techsmith Camtasia, and a bit of photoshopping (I actually use PaintShop Pro as it's considerably cheaper than PhotoShop). Please explain how I get through a working day doing that on a Linux desktop. (Please don't tell me to use GIMP for photoshopping or I might fall off my chair.)"

            I can only respond in respect of photography. I'm doing just fine with a combination of Corel AfterShot Pro, Pixeluvo, Polarr and Photomatix.

            Oh, and while I remember, you might care to look at the very latest GIMP 2.10 which is a thoroughly modern image editor.

      3. NeilHoskins

        Re: Windows

        Not sure whether to upvote that because your irony made me chuckle, or downvote it because you might be serious.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows

      "Is still a thing?"

      Windows 10 alone has over 700 million installs apparently.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows

      Is still a thing?

      Yes it is still a thing. Not long ago, a few Apple employees had attempted to justify it's non-existence. Reality had proven them wrong.

  15. Barleyman

    Homegroups

    That was actually kind of useful if you have more than one PC. In my case work laptop, desktop and HTPC. At least they apparently keep printer shares ..

    1. AJ MacLeod

      Re: Homegroups

      You can of course still use Workgroups and the old fashioned file and printer sharing to share with other machines running at least XP up to Win 10 (can't remember whether anything older than XP will work but you probably wouldn't really want anything that old loose on your network anyway)

      1. david 12 Bronze badge

        Re: Homegroups

        I don's see any "of course" about it. I'm sure the only reason MS maintains support for SMB1 is to attach to Open Source servers -- if they could delete support for just Win3.11-Win XP networking, I'm sure they would.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Homegroups

          Isn't SMB1 turned off by default?

          Samba appears to have had SMBv3 since 2015, so no real FLOSS requirement there.

          1. david 12 Bronze badge

            Re: Homegroups

            >Samba appears to have had SMBv3 since 2015, so no real FLOSS requirement there.<

            Which is really great for people who have no servers older than 2015.

            Which is perhaps not an apt comparison to people using Win3.11 or even WinXP.

      2. NeilHoskins

        Re: Homegroups

        File and Printer sharing doesn't actually work very well with Windows Home in my experience. Getting Windows Home machines to talk nicely to each other has always been a pain in the butt and Homegroups was actually the most painless of achieving it. Bloody ridiculous to remove a feature that actually works better than the alternatives, whether or not zillions of people are using it.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Homegroups

          I use simple sharing. A main home PC has a partition that is a family shared area, accessible to our laptops. As is the partition with the main copies of the family photos (not the backup locations). Another partition has my own folders mapped to drive letters on my laptop, which has an SSD that is big enough, but not exactly expansive so I like to offload some files and backup to the main machine.

          And it works really well, most of the time. But not always. Sometimes, for no particular reason that I can discover, the remote machine just doesn't appear in the network places. But the actual folders are accessible by navigating to the path or the mapped drives. The other drawback is that the whole sharing and permissions system is a bit Byzantine. Not for the casual user. So I would guess that the Homegroups thing was an attempt to make a simpler version for the civilians to use. I'm also guessing that they mostly didn't, or even have a clue about it or any wish to try to use it. You have to be fairly techie minded to want to actually set up your machines into a network.

  16. Johnny Canuck

    I have a client whose office is set up with homegroup - 3 windows 10 machines. Guess I should be expecting a call soon. Maybe I should thank MS for the work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My elderly dad has a HomeGroup ...

      ... consisting of one Windows 10 computer and two Windows 7 computers. I'm not going to be thanking Microsoft for the extra work.

  17. cjcox

    Help the hate

    1. Create a stupid feature.

    2. Get 1000 people out of millions to use it.

    3. Remove the feature.

    4. +1000 Microsoft haters added.

    5. Repeat.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have an iMac...

    And the regular and frequent stories about the latest Microsoft forced update omnishambles always brings a smile to my face. I’m smiling right now, and it feels good.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only use windows 10 for gaming in stereoscopic. For everything else Linux. Nice to have an OS that does what I want, does it well, and doesn't fall over repeatedly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Nice to have an OS that does what I want, does it well, and doesn't fall over repeatedly."

      Yep, Linux drivers do often suck compared to Windows. And as you mention, Windows is faster for gaming.

  20. oceanhippie
    Mushroom

    I know I should have moved on but

    I think it was this update that finally killed off Paint Shop Pro 9.

    I've been fearing this for years it only ran aero disabled on 7 now it won't start.

    :-)

    1. ADRM

      Re: I know I should have moved on but

      Paintshop Pro 7.04 still works OK on Windows 7 Ultimate 64. Just checked as I read your post and thought OH NO! Maybe you could install that?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shit features, half baked

    It's become a race to either reinvent the wheel (xpf) or get latest ideas out there and patented. Trouble is, too often with Microsoft, they're swimming totally uphill, or they're just shit ideas, they should know when to give up and be honest. I've been going off Microsoft for the last 10 years or more cos of this under-engineered crap, no need to pay (or pirate) them for my personal apps any more, and instead I'm loving my (free?) Google apps and Linux, most of the time. I also hate what they've done with Azure btw. Azure is just a con to increase their revenue, I find it dieing dog slow and glitchy as f,'k..

  22. DanceMan

    Does this mean that 2018 isn't the year of Windows 10 on the desktop?

  23. The Dogs Meevonks

    I've just helped a couple of people with W10 machines... my first ever experience with it... End result, both problems fixed in a few minutes, the majority of that time spent looking for where they moved the f'kin settings.

    As for one problem... the old issue of windows re-installing the same printer every time it's plugged into a different USB port. FFS.

    The other... a c*ntish PC shop installing software that nags people into thinking they need updates that cost money.

    As both of these people are in their 50's & 60's and part of a Parkinsons group I volunteer at... I of course refused any payment and advised one to avoid that particular shop in future and come to me for advice/help.

    1. Timmy B Silver badge
      Pint

      @The Dogs Meevonks…

      "50's & 60's and part of a Parkinsons group I volunteer at". As someone that does stuff for the elderly too I also often forgo payment - well done. Have one on me...

      1. The Dogs Meevonks

        My dad had parkinsons for 25yrs before he passed in 2016... I started taking him and my mum to the group each month, and even after he became to ill to attend himself... We both went along. Now I'm their go to tech guy (I'm not saying expert, because I'm far from it and still using W7 on all the systems I help out with) when anyone has issues. My mum is now on the management committee and I attend when I can (it's a 50m round trip on the last Weds of each month). Some times all I do is help set things up and do the teas/coffees and raffle draws. But they often have interesting talks and guest speakers and it's not always about parkinsons... It's a way for suffers and their families to meet others in the same boat and get help/advice/support from people who fully understand how hard it can be on whole families. They help us so much, it's the least we can do.

  24. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Trollface

    Offline Help?

    Is this a good time to mention man?

    1. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Offline Help?

      The help pages that weren't installed on AIX by default? No problem, I'll just use a second dumb terminal to check what the options mean.

      And don't get me started on the man page rewrites for Linux that removed useful examples and other references, and added the snarky Authors name instead.

  25. arctic_haze Silver badge

    Features dissapeear and reappear with every update?

    That's why I prefer the old good Windows 7. Every day your desktop works the same way. Maybe boring but reliably useful.

  26. Timmy B Silver badge

    Doing ok so far...

    A mix of 7 tablets, laptops, desktops and one mini intel PC stick done so far and not one hitch. One laptop for some reason took twice as long as everything else - even more odd when you consider that it's got the newest specs.

  27. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    Could this mean the end of . . .

    The printer help files?

    Every time I used to use them they'd circle back and a loop of unhelpful and rapidly awfully familiar pages would appear.

    I guess I does teach one to play with the kit out of desperation but . . .

  28. Mage Silver badge

    Peer to peer

    "HomeGroup was intended to allow a group of PCs on a home network to share files and printers without recourse to servers or complicated authentication rules."

    Which all MS Windows since they ever added networking can do.

    Constantly MS seems to invent new bloat because the developers or managers seem to be totally oblivious to an existing working version in the OS.

    ~

    So bloat gets worse, attack surface gets bigger and bugs multiply instead of getting fixed.

  29. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Will the "pro" version still be bloated with such useful things in a workplace like XBox or 'Films and TV', which are such fun for SysAdmins to try to remove?

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Will the "pro" version still be bloated with such useful things in a workplace like XBox or 'Films and TV', which are such fun for SysAdmins to try to remove?

      Yes. This is Microsoft, who still think that shoving adverts down the throats of paying users is also acceptable as is forcing rubbish like Cortana on "pro" machines is a good idea.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Happy

        Not getting me ;-)

        Why do business machines, in an AD domain, get the updates early ?

        I am lucky, seem to have something installed that is incompatible, I am getting 0xc1900208 -> This could indicate that an incompatible app installed on your PC is blocking the upgrade process from completing. Check to make sure that any incompatible apps are uninstalled and then try upgrading again.

        Unreliable source: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-update/update-fails-with-error-code-0xc1900208/6fcea993-07e8-42aa-97db-6d002c567abc

  30. Unicornpiss Silver badge

    Now if they could..

    ..just use Google to search the Help documentation instead of Bing or whatever dartboard they're apparently using now.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The Windows Fall (drop off) update (downgrade).

    What don't they just get to it and deny people from running any software on the platform unless they pay Microsoft an extortive protection money subscription thingy?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: The Windows Fall (drop off) update (downgrade).

      Any feature worth a damn is disappearing from Pro and staying in Enterprise.

      You'll know when they've really started boiling the frog when Win32 disappears from Home or Pro.

  32. EJ
    Facepalm

    Rather than focusing on what we've LOST, why not focus on what we've GAINED!!!

    You know, like ads in our default screen saver? I came back from the update's reboot to discover LinkedIn ads covering my screen. Thanks for that boot to the groin, MS...

    It's like MS is daring you to stay with them...

    1. E_Nigma
      Facepalm

      Re: Rather than focusing on what we've LOST, why not focus on what we've GAINED!!!

      Oh wow! Had someone called me 60 seconds ago telling me their PC displayed ads when idle, I would have told them that they had some malware and be 100% sure about it.

  33. Anonymous Git
    Thumb Down

    First contact....

    Boss came into work with his laptop (windows 10 home on it)

    Windows updated last night. He said it was endlessly restarting and blank screens etc.

    Turns out the update had corrupted his local profile and MS was trying to start with a temp profile to help... however, that was going very funky, BSOD's, graphical flickering etc.

    I tired the usual reg tricks to re-point the profile to the correct directory on the HDD. however that caused issues and it didnt login. I then tried copying over the NTUSER.dat file from the default profile into the corrupt profile folder.

    Restarted with multiple BSOD's and flickering screen, couldnt do anything.

    Only logs in with safemode. (not sure why startmenu or settings screens dont work in safemode?) couldnt add new user through control panel as it all has been moved.

    So used CMD to add a new user, didnt work for some odd reason, restart and the new user wasnt created...

    Ended up using Linux live boot, then force mounting HDD to remove the old ntuser.dat file and windows managed to do a "temp profile" on startup. Created new user from settings. it worked. booted into new user. Copied old files across from old profile, then deleted old profile.

    Then the usual endless setting tweaks for software thats got to be configured...

    Thanks MS loving the new feature....

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