Bad Windows 10 Xbox One controller driver forces Microsoft’s hand

There’s a fix for the bug that breaks the Xbox One controller driver, but it doesn’t solve the core issue

On Tuesday Microsoft released its latest patch for Windows 10 (that’s cumulative update 9, patch KB 3140743, bringing us up to Win10 Version 1511 build 10586.122, or Win 10.1.9 by my reckoning). Then yesterday, a hue and cry arose among the Windows 10 gaming community (for a succinct discussion, see the Halo Maps Forum). CU9, it seems, makes Microsoft’s own Xbox One game controller basically unusable.

Now Microsoft’s faced with a tough question, one that will have implications for many Windows 10 users for some time to come. How is it going to fix a problem with its own hardware that was introduced through a forced Win10 cumulative update?

Microsoft’s backed into a corner: It can issue a new cumulative update with a new version of the driver, which seems like smashing ants with a sledgehammer. The company can let it ride and hope the bad publicity doesn’t kill Xbox One controller sales. (A major marketing push appears to be afoot.) Microsoft could fess up, admit to the problem -- even offer a manual solution or a Fixit -- but if it does, how will it get the word out? Perhaps it could pull the entire cumulative update because of this one bug. But if it does pull it, two days later will anybody notice?

Because of the way forced Windows 10 patching works, there’s no easy solution.

In the Windows 7/8.1 sphere, Microsoft would simply release a better driver through Windows Update -- problem solved. What I want to know is how it’ll fix the problem with the new Win10 forced upgrade “as a service” model.

I’ve been talking about this specific problem for more than a year. It’s a foreseeable quandary, one that should’ve been rooted out and fixed a long time ago. Now we’ll see how Microsoft reacts.

By the way, if you have an Xbox One controller and run Windows 10, there’s a complex manual workaround posted by Stunt Man at the end of the Halo Maps Forum thread on the subject. Remember to use the wushowhide utility to turn off the forced update.

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