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How will Microsoft address the issue of confidence with enterprises surrounding Windows 10?

Kevin Feathers
Occasional Contributor

How will Microsoft address the issue of confidence with enterprises surrounding Windows 10?

Speaking with regards to the enterprise I work for, and that of many others I have spoken to in the industry there currently an issue regarding confidence surrounding the testing Microsoft conducts for each Windows 10 release. This goes back before the recent issues with 1803 which I grant you is not CBB yet.

 

Many of my colleagues that I network with in the industry have ignored Microsoft's advice to not roll out LTSB as their standard build, this due to the many quality issues that come with the SaaS model of a new release every 6 months or so. 

 

Does Microsoft accept that there needs to be improvements made to the Quality Assurance practices to regain trust in it's product, and that requiring the development teams and insiders to be the sole source of QA testing has not produced the results expected?

5 Replies

Re: How will Microsoft address the issue of confidence with enterprises surrounding Windows 10?

Every MSFT employee that I've dealt with has been on Windows 10 Insider Preview.  There are an additional thousands of public folks that are on insider preview.  Microsoft additionally offers your specific enterprise the option to preview the operating system, and provides OMS free of charge for you to see application compatibility and known issues at a glance.

 

What more QA do you want?

Re: How will Microsoft address the issue of confidence with enterprises surrounding Windows 10?

I dunno maybe a QA department instead of solely requiring on insiders and developers? Let's not forget that Microsoft's current setup means some Surface products were later discovered to be suffering from catastrophic OS failures because they hadn't been tested with 1803, or they were tested but there wasn't a properly setup mechanism/organisation structure that halted the rollout until it was fixed.... which is usually what a QA department does.

Re: How will Microsoft address the issue of confidence with enterprises surrounding Windows 10?

Our approach in Windows has evolved to a focus on quality upstream, so testing occurs earlier and more often by Software Engineers as part of Development. For us, end to end testing occurs through many mechanisms.  As an example the teams that used to build automated tests now build responsive data-driven and AI-driven approaches to monitor both Windows Insider “flights” and feature updates. This gives us more realistic coverage of the issues customers see in the real world in a way that allows us to be fast and responsive. To augment our opt in based telemetry, we also work more closely with our Customer Support Service teams and device OEM partners while looking at feedback from users on the Feedback Hub and other sources to understand issues. A good view of the overall Windows 10 continuingly improving quality trend is in this blog.

Re: How will Microsoft address the issue of confidence with enterprises surrounding Windows 10?

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-windows_install/devices-with-intel-ssd-... Having that occur on Surface devices is a huge black eye and loss of trust of the patch testing process.  That should have been blocked, no surface owner should have suffered issues with 1803.

Microsoft may think it's improving the quality, but on this side, it does not appear that quality is improving.  

So how will Microsoft address the issue of confidence because right now 1803 is giving Windows 10 a black eye.  The fact that 1709 is getting updates twice a month (still even though it's Semi Annual) is a question of confidence as well.  1709 should be settling down to a single update cadence.  How about starting by getting back to specific day releases?  Right now any of the 10 updates can come out any day any week with no clear rhyme or reason to them.

Re: How will Microsoft address the issue of confidence with enterprises surrounding Windows 10?

This is something that Microsoft's customers have been struggling with for the last few years, and what is in place now just isn't working. I agree there needs to be better QA. I've been calling for it for a long time.

 

I suggest that Microsoft expand its Trustworthy Computing program to include QA for patches and updates. Make it an inherent part of the Microsoft DNA and customers will start to believe. It'll take time but if Microsoft shows that its trying beyond just having Insiders (which has strayed from its original intent, btw) test, then customers will take notice.

 

Right now, there's just too many gotchas each month. Many corporate customers' devices are not secure today because they are too afraid that a patch is going to halt the business. Most IT department are working with testing patches two months in arrears. Many customers wait weeks for the fallout from the first update releases to make news. Microsoft is continually delivering updates on Patch Tuesday and then having to deliver fixes to the same updates a couple other times a month. This has to stop. In reality, Microsoft is doing right by releasing the fixes, but unfortunately its creating negative press - and that's the most difficult outcome to recover from.

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