back to article Actual control of Windows 10 updates (with a catch)... and more from Microsoft

The Microsoft world was awash last week with the wailing and gnashing of teeth over what many of the more vocal in the development world regarded as the big bad corporate wolf chowing down on the fluffy sheep of open source as Redmond picked up GitHub. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and soon-to-be GitHub CEO Nat Friedman went …

  1. My-Handle

    Nice embedded device there...

    ...shame if something were to 'update' it.

    Quote: "for a fee users can join the Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) and avoid feature updates"

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Removing services as a service?

      Ingenious! I'm about to patent IOT wireless internet connected locks, that for a fee *don't* update online and crash loop boot!

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Nice embedded device there...

      As with desktop Windows, LTSC is the way to go.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Nice embedded device there...

        "As with desktop Windows, LTSC is the way to go."

        You forgot the "For a FEE" part...

        (sounds like EXTORTION to ME)

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Nice embedded device there...

      "Quote: "for a fee users can join the Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) and avoid feature updates"

      Which is not meant for standard desktops, and on which Office is not supported, and the latest Office version wont even run on.

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge
        Headmaster

        LTSC

        "Which is not meant for standard desktops, and on which Office is not supported, and the latest Office version wont even run on."

        LTSC is fine for desktops. You'll be just missing the fancy metro apps, Edge and store. Perhaps it's actually even better than the vanilla versions then?

        Office 365 won't run, but Office 2019 (PKC, volume) will run just fine. Lack of 365 could be problematic for many orgs, I'd agree.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: LTSC

          It's not "fine for normal desktops" if It doesnt run a supported version of office. Microsoft are very clearly targeting it at kiosks, ATMs, medical devices, etc.

          From your own link:

          "Effective January 14, 2020, ProPlus will no longer be supported on the following versions of Windows. This will ensure that both Office and Windows receive regular, coordinated updates to provide the most secure environment with the latest capabilities.

          Any Windows 10 LTSC release"

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: LTSC

            You've just restated what he summarised on his link text.

            1. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: LTSC

              "You've just restated what he summarised on his link text."

              No, he claimed it was only O365 that will not be supported on O365. When actually it's both O365 and Proplus.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: LTSC

          Microsoft has basically been completely unaccountable for anything for years, just look at the whole red X means yes debacle and spying on onedrive personal files.

          And now we have surveillance

        3. Michael Habel Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: LTSC

          Meto (a.k.a. UWP's), Edge, Cortina, and the (Cr)AppStore?! - Will NOT be missed!

        4. TwistedPsycho

          Re: LTSC

          But surely at that point the organisations buying in to LTSC for desktops will also be buying into any similar offer for office anyway?

          My employer still runs on Windows 7 Enterprise though, so we will never find out....

      2. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: Nice embedded device there...

        Quote: "for a fee users can join the Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) and avoid feature updates"

        What fee? Its exactly the same cost as standard CBB Windows 10 enterprise licensing.

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Nice embedded device there...

        the latest Office version wont even run on

        Yes, but what's the downside?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice embedded device there...

      And soon, the path towards Ransomware will be other.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nice embedded device there...

        Yeah, we're all much better off with devices that have unpatched flaws!

        Google got it right with Android!

        1. My-Handle

          Re: Nice embedded device there...

          @AC

          On the other hand, if I want to manage the patching regime for my own connected devices rather than rely on a third party's patching process, should I have to pay the third party -not- to interfere with my devices?

    5. King Jack
      WTF?

      Re: Nice embedded device there...

      The definition of blackmail: Paying someone not to do something. Can M$ sink any lower?

      1. Sandtitz Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: Nice embedded device there...

        "The definition of blackmail: Paying someone not to do something. Can M$ sink any lower?"

        The IoT is a freemium product. Similarly almost every free app for mobile phones etc show ads and are restricted in some way unless you pay up.

        Stop whining.

    6. Flakk Silver badge

      Re: Nice embedded device there...

      This reminds me of the curious sports car manufacturer tradition of charging you an additional $10,000 to not install AC, the infotainment system, carpets, and a backseat into your new track day toy.

  2. Waseem Alkurdi

    ScreenPad?

    How about I take a sledgehammer, strike the ALPS GlidePoint on my laptop to its death, then chuck a phone in there?

    Not that the ScreenPad will work on Linux or under Windows PE or, heck, NetBSD! Gimme my freedom!

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge

      Re: ScreenPad?

      You have all the freedom you need - not to buy it if you're allergic to Windows.

      If the feature takes off, which it won't, then more laptops will have this feature, the Open Source community will build support and life will continue.

    2. tony trolle

      Re: ScreenPad?

      Just use that app that lets you use a phone as a pointing device.

      You may have your freedom.

      And later on a newer version will give you the same full functions as m$ and crApple devices.

  3. Kaltern Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Money

    Can I just mention...

    ... PAYING to have LESS features?

    I'm waiting for this to be a Windows 10 optional feature.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Money

        Yes, it is a bit like, pay us, or we will f*ck it up for you

        FTFY

      2. Giovani Tapini

        Re: Money

        Yup,

        Its a protection racket in its most literal sense now. We wont bother with features or investment, we'll just fleece you to stay operational at all.

      3. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Money

        Windows protection racket. WPR for short!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Money

      I would rather be without many of the so-called 'features' in Windows 10, thank you very much.

      OneDrive integration, Edge, Cortana, Microsoft Store, Groove Music etc.

      I guess this is a natural progression in the cunning plan called 'Windows as a Service'.

    3. onefang Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Money

      "... PAYING to have LESS features?"

      Those are not features, those are bugs.

      Mines the one with pockets full of insects.

    4. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Money

      Metro (UWP Adver-Tiles ex. Candy Cush Saga), Cortina, Edge, and the (Cr)AppStore to rule them all. Aren't the kind of "Features", that most People would welcome. The added Telemetry, (i.e. Spyware), is of course mearly a courtesy detail.

      Yeah now tell me again how this is better then Windows 7? Please note I don't currently have any need of DirectX12+ as I'm not one to subscribe to the PC MASTERRACE culture.

  4. Dave K Silver badge

    Interesting that MS recognises that their bi-annual updates are a risk to stability and reliability, hence you can pay more if you want a more reliable and dependable Windows 10 (for your IoT device).

    Yet if you have a normal PC, or even a typical business PC, MS doesn't offer the "reliable" option. Why doesn't MS see reliability as a marketable feature for normal PCs?

    1. handleoclast Silver badge

      @Dave K

      Why doesn't MS see reliability as a marketable feature for normal PCs?

      By "normal" PCs I assume you mean PCs sold to ordinary consumers as opposed to business PCs.

      The explanation is simple. Ordinary users are Microsoft's gamma testers so MS can deliver reliable s/w (at higher prices) to businesses.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: @Dave K

        Ordinary users are Microsoft's gamma testers so MS can deliver reliable s/w (at higher prices) to businesses.

        Most of us are also business users (or specifiers, installers, maintainers, etc) and I've not heard anybody describe the Windows desktop estate as reliable. It's just the same as for home users - chock full of shite nobody asked for, more holes than Swiss cheese, unsafe and dysfunctional without third party add ons, and always struggling with some aspect of interoperability with another MS product.

      2. Dave K Silver badge

        Re: @Dave K

        I mean almost all PCs to be honest. MS's LTSC version of Windows 10 is deliberately crippled in many areas to try and dissuade businesses from using it on anything but mission critical shop-floor machines. Your standard office PC will be on the Current Branch for Business, and hence will still get bi-annual "feature updates" even though 99% of businesses couldn't care less about a new version of 3D Paint.

        Of course, many of them do care about their PCs being down for 90 minutes or so whilst the update applies, and many of them also care when a handful of PCs break during the update process. Hence my question as to why MS doesn't see reliability as a marketable feature for PCs - home as well as business.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Win10 bi-annual updates

      > Win10 bi-annual updates

      These are no "UPDATES" - these are new Windows releases!!

      For stupid reasons M$ switched from normal updates to whole new releases. So every bi-annual "update" is a whole new Win10 release!! So it's like installing Windows 8 over Windows 7!! No normal Windows user would do that, we all know it's best to re-install from scratch a new Windows. Yet M$ releases Windows 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, etc. are each a new Windows release - meaning resetting/destroying the Windows registry, aka forgetting the settings and drivers. Facepalm.

      And the inbuilt surveillance, means Win10 is a no-go. I will stay with Windows 7, it works great on AMD Ryzen with 64GB mem by the way (despite big lies from M$ PR that it would not). Win7 runs circles around the slow Win10 spy-shaft.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Win10 bi-annual updates

        Indeed, it's not an 'update' like the service packs back in the old days: it's some dumb and frivolous 'refresh' of Windows itself, adding more features e.g. Paint 3D, packaged in silly names e.g. 'Anniversary Update' or 'Fall Creators Update'.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Terminator

      "Why doesn't MS see reliability as a marketable feature for normal PCs?"

      You're asking the wrong question. Micro-shaft sees SLURP and TRACK and ADS and FORCE-YOU as a strategy to PWNING you and CONTROLLING you, which (as THEY perceive it) pays BETTER than providing something that the CUSTOMER wants.

      And if you PAY EXTRA (this includes 'Enterprise' editions as well as this new IoT pay-for-it option) you can "opt out" of SOME of this.

  5. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Why doesn't MS see reliability as a marketable feature for normal PCs?

    Lack of historical evidence that it matters to their victims customers?

  6. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Inspired or close to illegal?

    We have a situation where we pay for a product and update support but we then have to *pay* to not use the support we have already paid for, strikes me that it's dangerously close to unfair practice ...

    Perhaps Ford will start charging if you don't use the can of puncture repair gunk they put in the boot of a new car ... ?

    And as for start-up/repair disks - you have ten weeks to use them or we'll charge ...

  7. Joerg

    Visual Studio 2017 is an atrocious mess!

    Visual Studio 2017 is just unstable, it keeps crashing and giving all sort of errors and more Microsoft releases patches and worse it gets.

    Visual Studio 2015 got much better in a shorter time. What happened then? Nardella happened! Way worse than Ballmer!

    Visual Studio 2019 is going to be only worse.

    New versions are useless and not needed! Why the heck releasing a new version to add more bugs? Fix the damned issues with the current version instead!

    1. Tony Jarvie

      Re: Visual Studio 2017 is an atrocious mess!

      To be honest, I'd like to think that "Fix[ing] the damned issues with the current version" is what they're at least attempting to do, but rather than do that as an update, they're bringing it out under the new name. Perhaps the attempts at fixing the current version are so much under the hood that it would be a new version anyway, or perhaps it's a marketing/sales issue, but still... Of course, whether they SUCCEED in fixing those issues is another matter to be seen once 2019 launches.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Visual Studio 2017 is an atrocious mess!

        but rather than do that as an update, they're bringing it out under the new name.

        Of course....

        1) Launch half-assed product early to much fanfare.

        2) Wait feedback for exactly how bad it is in the press

        3) Fix small subset of the most glaring problems, introduce three times as many new features.

        3) Rename product to give the impression it's much newer than it is

        4) Return to step 1.

        1. Terje

          Re: Visual Studio 2017 is an atrocious mess!

          I would be content if they just sorted out edit and continue, and debugging parallel / multithreaded code in a sane manner.

  8. SVV Silver badge

    Windows ID IoT

    That's what the name looks like at a casual glance, marketing geniuses.

    Anyway, to work around the pay-to-not-get-updated scam, you can simply disconnect all such devices from the internet. That'll show 'em!

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Windows ID IoT

      Using windows for embedded is kinda silly anyway, ESPECIALLY when Linux is FREE.

      /me points out that if you have issues with GPL, then you can use FreeBSD instead. It's also FREE.

      (even if you obtain it with a 'free' license, you can see that Micro-shaft is crafting new ways for a 'free IoT' version to actually COST you)

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Windows ID IoT

      > Anyway, to work around the pay-to-not-get-updated scam, you can simply disconnect all such devices from the internet. That'll show 'em!

      IoT works with Azure IoT Hub (only), so disconnecting makes them not work.

  9. Tabor

    Device Update Center

    “Device Update Center“ ? A missed opportunity, I feel. They should have gone with Device Update Hub. Makes a far better acronym.

    1. tony trolle

      Re: Device Update Center

      Or

      Device Update Delay

      Or

      Control Resource Active Patch

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Device Update Center

        Or Device Update Master Program.

        Or Device Update Network Gateway.

  10. DrBobK

    smart bar thingy

    I've got one of those adaptive function bars on my old(ish) Thinkpad X1 Carbon. It is ergonomically dreadful (it works as intended but I can't understand why anyone would think working like that was a good idea). Lenovo saw the light and got rid of it as soon as they could with the next generation of X1.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Now

      if they put the screens on actual keys. Surely that's economically feasible now. I mean, I just bought a $10 smartwatch.

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Re: Now

        There have been keyboards available for a number of years where each keytop has a small screen, so you can reprogram the symbol on it.

        And um Office on Iot devices? Like I really need a word processor and spreadsheet on my toaster. Wait, spreadshit toaster, the more bread you got the less shit you gotta eat, ... I need sleep.

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Unfortunately

          they're eye-wateringly expensive. If they weren't I'd have one.

  11. N2 Silver badge

    Sounds like

    Ransomware to me.

  12. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Alien

    I, for one

    WELCOME our new MicroGit overlords.

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    Yeah, right! In your dreams!!!

    The name IS catchy though.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ahh, good ol' Sideshow and Windows "Gadgets"

    "According to Microsoft, Gadgets were discontinued because they have "serious vulnerabilities", "could be exploited to harm your computer, access your computer's files, show you objectionable content, or change their behavior at any time"; and "an attacker could even use a gadget to take complete control of your PC"[1]. Gadgets were completely removed in Windows 8. However, with the launch of Windows 10, widespread support for Gadgets led to their revival as third-party enhancements to the new operating system, which adjusted to take account of them, including a link to the Gadgets Sidebar in the Windows Control Panel.[2][3] Many hundreds are now available from a variety of sources and more are in active development."

    What was old is now new again!

    (But some of us still remember)

  14. doublelayer

    The screen-mouse will fail

    Sorry, microsoft, but your touchscreen trackpad system has no chance. Apple actually had a chance with their touchbar--sure, nobody wanted it, but they could ensure that all the macs available would have it, that all the apple software would make it useful (sort of, but at least it would do something), and that people who were doing development and wanted or needed a new mac would have it available. You can't do that. The little touchscreen is going to cost money to make, so nobody buying their machines on a budget will have one. It has no business case, so people buying laptops for employees won't use one. The pad is now a selling point for the machines it's shoved into, and there really isn't enough use case for people to buy it. If you really want to see it succeed, start forcibly attaching it to all the models you can, especially the surface. Then, you can actually say that [some large number] of these pads have been sold. However, don't assume that their sale means anyone's using them, because they're not.

  15. Lion

    Lowest of the low

    The questions asked the MS employees and their responses on work/pay satisfaction ( re: CNBC link in the article) has only one question that references dealing with customers. It had the lowest of the lowest scores.

    The question: Processes and procedures allow me to effectively meet my customers' needs .

    The 47% and 49% (2015, 2016 respectively) is abysmal. However, it looks as though the company stepped up in 2017-2018 and things improved, however if is still only a few percentage points over 50%. .New technology and associated services can not be fully embraced unless MS resolves conflicts and creates meaningful protocols. The Cloud and AI business is a competitive space, so they had better, or their customers will get their needs met elsewhere.

    1. Updraft102 Silver badge

      Re: Lowest of the low

      The question: Processes and procedures allow me to effectively meet my customers' needs .

      It would be a lot lower still if it said "...my customers' needs as defined by themselves." It's easier to meet someone's needs if you get to decide what those are, and MS is far too arrogant to ever think the customer has any insight into what he needs. He might even decide he doesn't need two new versions of Windows every year!

  16. onebignerd

    Maybe it's different in Europe, but the percent (%) they are referring to is one word not per cent. Per cent is per penny which does not fit into the context they are using.

    It's guaranteed Microsoft will ruin GitHub!

    1. Alphebatical
      Boffin

      "Percent" is nothing more than a contraction; even older American works will have a space if you look(you can see the same effect in action with "deluxe").

      1. Updraft102 Silver badge

        It's a compound word. You know what 'per' means, and 'cent' refers to there being 100 of something. Ten per cent means, therefore, ten per 100, which is an apt description of what it is.

  17. DrM
    Thumb Down

    How much do you charge for not practicing?

    So, you have to pay them to not update your WIN10 features?

    How much do you charge for not practicing? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhaDA7TneL4

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