Should Microsoft apologize for Windows 10 update fail?

Mysterious KB3081438 update fixes problems -- without creating new ones, hopefully

Windows 10 patch KB3081438 SR3

Microsoft's problematic patch process for Windows 10 sees renewed criticism. Thanks to a sequence of issues with post-RTM updates, the calls for Redmond to rethink its update strategy are getting louder and more urgent.

The latest catalyst was last week's cumulative update, which caused problems for some -- chiefly constant reboots. It's now been reissued. Forget '36 -- KB3081438 is the new shiny.

Presumably, it includes a fix for said problems. But Microsoft's new SOP is to say as little as possible about the contents of these patches -- and that very secrecy is in itself a focus for ire.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers peer at patch logs, in search of enlightenment. Not to mention: What happens when you magnetize Silly Putty?...

curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
[Updated 7:27 am PDT with more comment]

Why is Simon Sharwood so cynical and sarcastic?

Windows 10 is keeping its new owners busy, as Microsoft has released the second “cumulative update” for the operating system in three days. [It replaces] the August 11th update, but with what or why isn't explained.

Microsoft's patching process hasn't gone well, of late, with multiple patches causing unintended consequences.

Microsoft's automatically sending your machines code it isn't explaining, but there's no reason to doubt it's doing absolutely the right thing.  MORE

And Alex Wilhelm crunches the numbers:

And then there were three. ... As before, the update comes with minimal documentation and explanation.

And for fair play, these update packages are more background fixes than new features. So that Microsoft isn’t saying much should fail to surprise.  MORE

So what could have prompted this embarrassing volte-face? Samuel Gibbs suggests:

Some users of Windows 10 are reporting issues installing one of Microsoft’s first updates...which traps them in a reboot loop.

[It] reaches a certain percentage of installation before failing and rolling back. ... The sheer number and variety PCs onto which the updates have to install mean that it is very difficult to account for every small error.

While a good thing for the majority of users...this problem highlights the dangers of a mandatory update policy. Only enterprise versions of Windows 10 can prevent updates...while some consumers have taken to a tool to help defer updates – though that’s not recommended.  MORE

Rod "told you so" Trent wholeheartedly agrees, especially where cumulative updates are concerned:

[It's] fundamentally wrong...for Microsoft to deliver updates...combining feature and OS updates with security patches. There's a huge potential for things to go wrong quickly.

I've been watching and reporting on Patch Tuesday woes for, it seems like, forever. ... I said early on, when Windows 10 was first announced, that for its new strategy for updating to work, Microsoft needed to take a step back [to] revamp and fix its QA process. 

We're now two weeks into working with a public version of Windows 10...and issues are still as common as before.  MORE

Woody Leonhard says, "It’s like déjà vu all over again":

I’m seeing other problems with KB 3081436 this morning, including a Mail app crash. Now's a good time to wait and see if other problems develop.

Patching. Windows 10’s Achilles’ heel.  MORE

Meanwhile, Michael B. offers some hints about what changed in the reissued patch:

You could have dropped the file list into Excel and sorted on Date to get a sense of where the changes have been made. ... Granted it doesn't tell you why [or] what the changes are.

Apparently two files were changed in AppX deployment: ... Appxdeploymentextensions.dll and Appxdeploymentserver.dll.  MORE

Update: Ian Paul brings related criticism of Redmond's words:

Microsoft sure excels at stirring up needless worry by poorly communicating.

This weekend, a new Windows 10 brouhaha popped up that had nothing to do with Microsoft and everything to do with not giving the bold print a closer reading. ... Reports [said] Microsoft’s [EULA] for Windows 10 had changed, allowing the company to scan your PC and prevent you from playing [pirated games].

That sounds pretty invasive, but...the EULA the reports point to is called the Microsoft Services Agreement, which is not the Windows 10 EULA. ... It’s for Microsoft’s various online and cross-device services. ... So these terms are most likely a reiteration of what’s already happening [if] trying to connect to Xbox Live with pirated games. ... Microsoft has been taking action against Xbox pirates for years.

If you are are free to read the actual document.  MORE

And Finally...
What happens when you magnetize Silly Putty?

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by , who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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