Windows 10 and the forced release

On May 20, 2016, in news, by susan

Susan note: I need to get this off of my chest and then I’ll get on with going forward and dealing with the technology we need to deal with in SMB. One of which is handling Windows 10 in our networks.


First and foremost I think Microsoft is being a bully on the Internet. A big bully. The manner in which Windows 10 has been pushed out the patching channel has me seriously questioning if I want to be associated with this Company going forward. I certainly am naïve about the patching practices of this company. A few years ago I would have insisted that Microsoft would never ever allow a patch to be installed without express permission. I have and still do argue that Microsoft never changes your update settings when people claim that Microsoft has changed the WU settings. Often these settings are changed by third party software or office installations which flips the windows update settings to automatic. Long term I think the cumulative updating model of Windows 10 will be good for the ecosystem as it gets rid of that long term issue befalling Windows 7 today with the long scan times when one goes to Microsoft update as it gets rid of the supercedence problem we have with updates on the 7 and 8.1 platforms. [Mind you I say this knowing that short term we are going to have bumps and bruises getting our vendors used to the all or nothing updates and watching for potential side effects].

But I really don’t appreciate the heavy handedness of the Windows 10 push that has gotten to the point now that Microsoft is scheduling the 10 update for you. No update should install without your explicit permission to do so. I don’t appreciate that it’s being done with the justification of “from feedback from Microsoft customers”. No, Microsoft, we asked you for an easier way to say no, thank you. No one asked you to schedule the upgrade for us.

The side effects of Microsoft not supplying an easy fixit to block the update is that I’m seeing folks turn off Microsoft update in order to not get the 10 upgrade again. Not good. Not good at all. Yes there are programs like GWX control panel and Steve Gibson’s blocking tool, but there is no easy consumer fixit from Microsoft.

But Susan… you ask…. Shouldn’t you be doing all you can to move folks up to Windows 10?

To that I answer… it’s not that plain and simple. Windows is a messy ecosystem and if you could assure me that EVERY application would still work, all printers, all devices, everything worked 100% with Windows 10 I would say that I should be shutting up and be glad this is happening as it puts people on a patching model that won’t have supercedence issues in the future. But here’s the thing, people have old stuff. People can’t always afford to buy a new printer at the drop of a hat or buy new software every time there’s an major release that causes it to no longer work. And unless Microsoft can guarantee that they will work with every vendor to make every application and printer and device and driver work, then they shouldn’t be so heavy handed in pushing out Windows 10 like they should.

The technology world in which we live in is not a dictatorship. And these actions that Microsoft is taking is damaging the brand of Microsoft in all of the IT pro communities I am in and in all the patching communities I am in. There is no more Windows loyalty, no more trust that Microsoft doesn’t have an ulterior motive in it’s actions.

I’m saddened that Microsoft has done this. It’s changed the attitudes in the communities and it’s obviously changed mine.

Microsoft, you want Windows 10 on people’s machines? Then how about you work on getting Edge to be a functional browser. How about you keep working on the continuing issues I see where the start menu breaks or the live tiles stop working? How about you stop removing group policy ability to block the Windows Store in branch releases impacting the small to medium customer base? How about you reach out to the HP and the Canon’s and all the other printer vendors I see that are not releasing drivers for certain devices for Windows 10 leaving that user without their devices. How about you go about the old fashioned way of doing things that apparently isn’t good enough anymore: That of building a better mousetrap as the old saying goes. Building something so cool, so wow, so fantastic, so solid that we will madly volunteer to get the Windows 10 install on every single last Windows 7 and 8.1 out here.

So Microsoft? How about you go back and review your latest policy and really ask yourself if you really delivered on what customers were asking you to do? I’ll bet you’ll find that no one really asked you to schedule a Windows 10 install for them. What they really wanted you to do was to be a bit more polite and give a clearer “No, thank you, I have a justifiable reason to stay on this platform” option.


16 Responses to Windows 10 and the forced release

  1. Crysta T Lacey says:


    I do not disagree with anything you have said, except to say, this is not new for Microsoft and Mr. Bill Gate(absolutely no respect implied) from as far back as the 70’s. This is and always has been an endemic part of theirs and the companies corporate culture. Just look up the real story of there OS product called “Q-DOS”. The actual name is still practiced today, mostly ‘D’irty.

    In late 70’s we were wondering, what the heck is a “Disk Operating System”??? We research into that an found out what the first letter really meant…..

    Microsoft got itself into trouble BY the 90’s because of this very culture and its assumed gangster tactics with a significant weight that it did not have earlier. What has changed? After reading what you just wrote, absolutely nothing.

    Having said all that….

    Susan, I don’t yet really see any truly viable replacement for Windows! Unix/Linux/BSD is coming along from a client perspective but I do not see it there yet. On servers they are further along but Windows Severs are still heavily used too. I listen to people say, I have left Windows for ______. Have they really? When you really listen, one finds they still have one or more Windows PCs, often really powerful ones.

    Smartphones are supposed to be replacing PCs. Really? How many sites and functions do people have to gravitate back to a PC for setup or other needs, allot.

    Susan most of us need Windows to continue to work at least as well as it does BUT we don’t have the contacts, access, or gravitas with the PEOPLE at Microsoft that you do.

    At the end of the day it is about people, US, and THEM not corporate BS or corporate association! We desperately need your help! I know it has been very uncomfortable for you and that you have been HURTING ALLOT! I could sense it since trying to help you with W 10. I rarely use ‘Win’ because I do not see Windows as much of a “Win” but for the time being it seems to be a necessity for many(1.5 billion many).

    Susan, you are LOVED!!! We may not say it all the time, but you are LOVED and VERY RESPECTED!!! hang in there, PLEASE…..

    Best Regards,


  2. Job says:


  3. Jeff says:

    Susan, I wholeheartedly agree with you. This is madness. I wish there is more we can do. Your voice, and that of the IT communities are a great start but apparently not enough.

  4. Jeff says:

    Susan, I wholeheartedly agree with you. This is madness. Your voice and that of the small business IT service communities are a helpful but apparently not enough. Frustrating (and frustrated) to no end.

  5. Jay says:

    Yeah, second the love and all that… ;o)
    However I just think that Microsoft has finally given up and started behaving in the arrogant fashion that all huge corporations do nowadays.
    Let’s face it, every minute we see ads showing happy smiley customers and longer and longer corporate messages explaining how they really care about what we think.
    Since probably c 1995 or maybe before, the ‘customer-centric’ ethic went out the window and was replaced with shallow ‘how can we make things easier for US as a company, and thereby increase our earnings and stock value’
    (not wanting to get political, but that’s why people like Trump and Sanders chime with voters – the message “I’m going to give you what YOU want, not what THEY say you need…”)
    So yes, Microsoft are absolutely in the wrong with their bullying (maybe ‘pushy’ is a better work) tactics re W10. But single them out for condemnation? – nope, they probably hung out longer than most other companies before going down this route.

  6. PC Cobbler says:

    “I have and still do argue that Microsoft never changes your update settings when people claim that Microsoft has changed the WU settings.”

    Not quite. On Windows 7 with Office 2010 installed, having a new user open Office for the first time will auto-check “Give me recommended updates the same way I receive ordinary updates” in Windows Update and allow Windows 10 updates to be installed.

    “And unless Microsoft can guarantee that they will work with every vendor to make every application and printer and device and driver work, then they shouldn’t be so heavy handed in pushing out Windows 10 like they should.”

    Very true. Intel has stated that all graphics before Ivy Bridge (Third Generation Core) will never be ported to Windows 10 ( No Intel motherboards and few older ones from other vendors have been ported to Windows 10. Sure, users can often use drivers from 8/8.1 or even 7, but they are on their own if problems arise.

    Debian, Fedora, and other Linux distributions can do everything Windows 10 can do, without the telemetry / spying.

  7. MikeFromMarkham says:

    This is about Malwaresoft’s desperation to get to one billion W10 devices, pure and simple, with no regard to how they get there or how many users they trample to do it. Something tells me things are not going to get any better from now until July 29th.

  8. Jim says:

    I believe Microsoft got to where it is today (absolute dominance in the desktop/laptop arena) because they have always done their very best to make sure that Windows was as backward compatible as possible. In other words, you knew that you could probably keep using that old computer, that old printer, that old software.

    But now apparently Microsoft has abandoned that effort (and I’m sure it was a HUGE effort). As a result, the opportunity is opening for someone else to cut into Microsoft’s dominance in the desktop/laptop arena.

    Doesn’t Microsoft realize that they are getting off message? Their crown jewel, their cash cow, is their absolute dominance in the desktop/laptop arena. And just like so many huge companies of old (Novell always comes to mind at this point), someone may come along and unseat Microsoft.

    I don’t think it’s too late for Microsoft to get back on message. But they had better hurry, or they will soon look back with a lot of regret, sad that they walked away from their dominant position.

  9. Doug says:

    Microsoft is being so heavy-handed in the Windows and Office market, that they’re not realizing a few crucially important items:

    1.) If you treat me this badly on products that I have little choice but to use your solution for, then as an IT administrator, every time I *do* have choices, I’m going to look for the best choice that doesn’t have the Microsoft name on it. Every. Single. Time. This is to ensure you as a company, don’t take control of another market, and then do the same thing to me and the rest of SMB/Enterprise IT in that market as well.
    2.) Microsoft, you have broken patches so badly in the past six months time, month after month (be it Windows 10, Windows 7, Office 2010/2013/2016) that I no longer trust Windows 10 to not break horribly next month, or the month after that. And I no longer trust your patches to the point where I will let large Fortune-500 companies be your QA and beta testers (you must have eliminated so much of your QA department in that 15,000-employee staffing reduction that we’re at this point), and I’ll wait 2-3 weeks before even considering deploying, and that includes security updates you mark as critical.

    The key to all of this is: Microsoft, I can no longer trust you. You haven’t been listening to IT people for a long time (since the Windows 8.x beta testing time as I see it), and I can only assume it’s because you’ve decided you know what’s best no matter what (Hmm, if so, why is the start menu back in Windows 10?), users, sysadmins, and the like be doggoned. At some point, there will be a tipping point; when that happens, people will begin to treat your operating system and Office like they currently treat Microsoft Edge: they won’t use it, because there are other choices. Please keep that in mind.

    We want to be the ones that shout your praises, and you’re leaving us with very few reasons to do so.

  10. Lyle Epstein says:

    Microsoft has not been listening to their IT customers for several years now. I can recall going to many times to Microsoft events and letting their “people” know of issues and directions that make no sense. Of course, you get the official “we will look into that” message, but it is all just BS cause we never see it change.

    I remember attending a SMB Nation event in 2012, and talking to a key MS employee. I was told “You really should start looking for another career path because MS doesn’t want you IT people interfering in their business and global plan. We are building the cloud to take over your customers and you will not be needed in the future.”. I really questioned that statement years ago, but sadly, it is actually becoming somewhat of a reality.

    On Susan’s subject of forced updates, I think the data they collected was from the kids that go to the MS store in every mall and are asked if they would feel better having their devices always updated and patched. That is how they gained their market research.

  11. Adam says:

    Microsoft has definitely gone downhill fast. As a professional software developer, I’ve seen them go from being very responsive to developers feedback to flat out ignoring feedback. As one small example, the Visual Studio 2012 IDE started using all-caps menus by default — it looked ridiculous and virtually all the feedback they received was “we hate it; get rid of it” and they blatantly ignored us. Five years ago if someone had asked me whether they should buy a Mac or Windows machine, I would have told theme Windows without hesitation. With the massive privacy and security issues that are Windows 10, I simply WILL NOT UPGRADE. For the past two decades my home network has had 4 Windows boxes and 3 Linux boxes. Today I’m down to 6 Linux boxes and 1 Win7 laptop. I really prefer Windows for UI applications, but I refuse to sacrifice privacy and security for that UI. In my humble opinion, Microsoft is committing suicide. The people who want their technology and privacy dictated to them buy Apple. Microsoft has nothing to gain and everything to lose by sacrificing its customer’s privacy and security.

  12. Bruce says:

    “So Microsoft? How about you go back and review your latest policy and really ask yourself if you really delivered on what customers were asking you to do? I’ll bet you’ll find that no one really asked you to schedule a Windows 10 install for them.”

    You really believe there isn’t ANYONE who wants a Windows 10 upgrade to be scheduled for them?

  13. Carl Katz says:

    I just received a call from a client whose Windows 7 Pro “home office” PC upgraded to Windows 10 overnight as an automatic update. They did not accept the EULA for Windows 10 and the rollback process began – I will hear back from them in a couple of hours on whether the rollback was successful.

    I have heard from several IT Pro colleagues that non domain-joined computers running Windows 7 and Windows 8 are vulnerable to this unwanted overnight upgrade. In this case my client uses their home office PC to RDP into their domain-joined PC at the company’s office in town.

    So any non domain-joined or “workgroup” computers that have automatic updates enabled are vulnerable to this unwelcome and unwanted upgrade.

  14. Look at it this way — at least it’s not as bad as what Apple does. When iOS 9 was released it was an AUTOMATIC DOWNLOAD to all iOS devices. The only way to remove the download from your device was to install it.

    Many users complained that the download ate up all of their metered bandwidth for the month causing additional charges from their provider.

    Others complained that the update killed their older devices causing them to have to buy a replacement they weren’t planning on for awhile.

    My experience with Windows 10 has been almost flawless. Because there were so many problems with Windows 8/8.1 it was a welcome relief. My Dell Venue tablet which I felt was worthless with Windows 8.1 on it all of a sudden became one of my favorite devices with Windows 10.

    I don’t think its possible for a very large company to implement a policy that is going to be popular with all of their customers — except maybe giving their core service away for free. To me, the idea that Windows 10 was a free upgrade for most everyone was a tremendous way to offset any negatives related to how it was going to be distributed.

    You and I both know how Microsoft works incredibly hard to reduce their support costs — doing such things as the eliminating CAL validation on SBS — so it makes perfect sense that by pushing out Windows 10 the way they did was done in large part to reduce the amount of support calls they were getting regarding Windows 8. I haven’t seen the metrics on this, but my inclination is to think it had a huge positive impact on reducing their support costs, and will continue to do so.

    OK, now it’s time to get onto something more productive…

    • Carl Katz says:

      Jefferey I have some comments in response to your post:

      As an iPhone 6 owner I experienced a ton of frustration when I contacted Apple support about a persistent problem that was affecting me and one of my clients. Apple support was going to put me through the ringer after 3 hours on the problem – I decided to wait and surprise surprise the issue was resolved in the next incremental iOS release. When I emailed the Apple tech who helped me asking why support does not talk to dev I did not receive a response.

      Regarding your commment that Windows 10 is being flogged so heavily due to problems with Windows 8 and 8.1, I have been running Windows 8/8.1 almost three years on my laptop – it is rock solid as is every one of my clients who are running it. The interface was a dog – a huge mistake – MS seems to make changes that rob users of their productivity, but nothing that one of the programs that created a usable start button/start menu could not fix. (Classic Shell)

      Windows 8.x is fundamentally the Kernel of Windows 7 with a different interface. I chatted with a senior tech at Microsoft – Windows 7, in my opinion their best OS ever, was a re-engineered and fixed version of Windows Vista thanks to Mark Russinovitch and Bryce Cogswell who were hired on as MS Fellows after MS purchased their company, Sysinternals. From what I understand, both Mark and Bryce were very involved in the dev of Windows 7 and it was the 1st time in MS history that a subsequent major release of an OS had less lines of code than its predecessor.

      My main issue with Windows 10 is it wrests control of the updates from you. Having to roll back updates many times in Windows 7 and 8 that broke drivers and also having to roll back Internet Explorer to the previous version after it broke line of business apps for legal and real estate clients, I do not want to give up control of the update process as doing that invariably creates more problems for me to resolve and costs my clients more money.

      I have been running Windows 10 on an older laptop which I recently used to watch a downloaded 30 minute video – I stepped away from the laptop for about a half an hour and returned to the startup screen that processes the updates you just ran – Windows 10 closed my video and rebooted on its own.

      I’m not surprised that Microsoft changed all their EULAs in 2012 to include a section that has the user agree not to be part of a class action lawsuit against MS.

  15. Mark Berry says:

    I scripted two registry changes described in KB3080351 and haven’t heard of any user getting a scheduled Win10 upgrade. So it is possible to disable. Or is your point that NOT upgrading should be the default?