Experts say Windows 10 updates are a mess and demand Microsoft fix them

Windows 10 on a laptop

Microsoft’s methods of patching and updating Windows 10 have come under fire from a group of experts that have been surveyed by PatchMangement.org, and they've called on Microsoft to fix the mess.

The survey was created by Susan Bradley, a computer network and security consultant who also moderates the PatchManagement.org mailing list. The survey was sent last month, and Bradley has since been sifting through the responses.

The results of the survey will make uncomfortable reading for Microsoft, which has made a lot of noise about improving the update process for Windows. According Bradley in an open letter to Microsoft, 69% of the respondents were either "not satisfied" or "very much not satisfied" with the quality of Windows' updates.

In the open letter, Bradley implored Microsoft top brass to “take the time to read the responses. It showcases that your customers who are in charge of patching and maintaining systems are not happy with the quality of updates and the cadence of feature releases, and feel that it cannot go on as is.”

An unhappy bunch

The survey also found that 64% of respondents are dissatisfied with the quality of Windows 10 updates. The IT admins weren’t fond of Microsoft’s recent habit of releasing two major updates a year either (like the April 2018 Update, followed by Redstone 5 in October), with over 78% saying these should be issued only once a year or every two years.

It’s worth remembering that this is a survey of IT administrators, and these major operating system updates (which often arrive with teething problems) can be a real headache for businesses with a lot of devices that all need to be updated at once without anything else experiencing down time.

While none of the executives Bradley mentioned in her open letter have responded, Computerworld reports that “someone at Microsoft logged a support request on Bradley's behalf, after which a customer relationship manager on Microsoft's executive escalation team emailed.”

According to Computerworld, the email said that the person who sent it was “working on finding the best venue to bring your concerns to our leadership team". A day later, a follow-up email stated that Bradley’s letter had been forwarded “to a team that is better equipped to handle the concerns and feedback that you have stated,” and suggested sharing comments or suggestions on the Windows Feedback Hub.

A few days ago Bradley again tried to contact Microsoft executives, including CEO Satya Nadella and Carlos Picoto, head of the Windows servicing and delivery group, but so far has had no response.

In comments published by Computerworld, Bradley said that “Windows updating is hard. But the constant changes have made the process of getting a machine to service updates more complicated, not less.” Despite Microsoft’s failure to respond directly to her letter, she remains positive that the company will fix Windows 10’s update problem.

“I trust that there are many inside of Microsoft who believe that this needs to be fixed… I have faith that the [people] inside the corporation will push to do the right thing for the customers of Microsoft.”