Microsoft May Reveal More About Windows 10 Patches

John Lister's picture

Microsoft says it may revise its policy of giving little to no information about the contents of updates to Windows 10. For now at least, any details would only go to business customers.

As previously discussed, Windows 10 marks a departure from the traditional monthly release of updates, with the only exceptions being one-off security patches for serious bugs in the wild which are usually being exploited by hackers.

Under the new system, Microsoft quietly sends out updates both for security fixes and enhancements to features, as and when they are ready. That's accompanied by a change in policy which means most users will receive all updates automatically, and without an easy system to manually approve the changes. In fact, after its first month of release Windows 10 had five such updates.

No Details For Feature Updates

A particularly controversial element of the new policy is that Microsoft will no longer publish details of feature updates to explain exactly what it does and how it makes a fix or improvement. This policy has really only come to light now the finished Windows 10 is up and running, but such details are now only published with security fixes.

One Microsoft executive recently told a customer that publishing details of the changes in each update "is too tough to manage and doesn't really add any value." (Source:

System Admins Hate Being In Dark

That's not only upset some consumers who have experienced glitches and even problems starting Windows following an update, but has gone down very badly amongst corporate system administrators. That's partly because administrators are now short on detail about how an update will affect the PCs on their business network, and partly because it undermines the basic security principle of only installing software when you both trust the source and understand exactly what you are putting on your machine.

Microsoft's Jim Alkove has now told the press that the company may rethink that policy slightly and provide a list of what changes an update includes. However, they will only go out to Enterprise customers, which make up just 1.5 million of the 75 million Windows users at last count. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Should Microsoft publish details of exactly what every update does? Would this make any difference given that all the updates are getting applied automatically? Does the idea of not knowing what changes Microsoft is making put you off Windows 10?

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Dennis Faas's picture

I for one would like to see a little detail about the patches being installed on the system so I understand what's being patched. I certainly don't care for the new "settings" app which manages the updates - the layout is horrible and takes up only a fraction of my screen (as opposed to the entire screen) when scrolling through the updates which are ready to download. The old Windows Update was much more informative and the layout was much, much better.

jimain's picture

I've been griped about the information Microsoft's given with patches for years, but at least there's been a reference to the problem/logic to help understand what they're doing to us. The Company must need to maintain a brief title, overview, or keywords and a reference for every patch they put out -- for their internal use and permanent record.

jamies's picture

As far as I am concerned, most of those I support are Pro rather than enterprise users.
And what they do not like is:
1) Windows taking more than 1 minute to accept their login and become usable for their queries and other work associated with their emails.
2) Their system changing without warning and advice that they should take a backup.
(Yes the Backup is better and File History is a nice idea - shame that the implementation requires a separate hard drive - how many off-the-shelf PC's have 2 hard drives.)
3) Windows on their laptops using their bandwidth when they are away from the office broadband.
4) The black screen while windows downloads fixes at their morning power-up is frightening.
(And I recently experienced a 30 minute black screen for updates, followed a couple of days later by a 2 hour black screen before realising - it was not windows update, but actually that the screen had died!)

Basically, all versions of windows should allow the user to accept, or reject specific updates within their own timescale. If users want to be at risk, that should be a choice they are allowed to make.

So - back to advising about what fix effects what problem, which files, or provides what facility - Yes all users should be able to access that information.
And they should all, not just Enterprise customers, be able to see that BEFORE the fixes are applied to their systems.

So - why have Microsoft put so much effort into new customer interfaces that they have not managed to provide what most of their userbase consider basic functionality
As in -
The Windows7 Windows Update facility provided a perfectly acceptable user GUI
The Windows7 Windows Defender facility provided a perfectly acceptable user GUI
The Windows7 Windows Internet Explorer facility provided most of what was needed to easily browse the web, and manage the results, while Edge - well it may be an adequate replacement for the other browsers available with another couple of years of adding the facilities that were in IE.

Basically - my understanding of what most users (well, those I support) want is the Windows environment and facilities to be reliable, safe to use, and provide them with easy, and mostly, already understood interfaced.
They don't want entirely new GUI's and especially ones that don't let them do what they used to do as easily as they used to do it, and especially they don't wand interfaces that don't let them do the things they used to do, at all.

pdriddell_4818's picture

In regards to Windows 10 I have three options. Stay with Win 8, return to Win 7(it was just an extension of XP, their best product) or learn Linux.
At this time Windows 10 is not an option. I would encourage everyone to hold off on Windows 10 until MS comes to realise that they are to serve their client base not the other way around.
In other words, give us what we want!!!!!

nate04pa's picture

1. Businesses which ignore their customers eventually fail.
2. Keeping the same UI from Win 7 in Win 10 would negate the need to purchase a new OS. Even though Win 10 has improvements, how many users care about them?
3. Software does not wear out. I can load programs written 20 years ago and they still run although certain aspects of them are not compatible with the latest OS.
4. Most people don't buy a PC for the OS. They buy it to get something done.
5. Whey would a company give away a product when they had always charged for it?

skilz853's picture

It's been mentioned here on in the recent past, but here's a M$ link to an update that is supposed to let you uninstall a driver update or regular update that's causing issues on your system and then hide it so it won't install again.

I have Win 10 installed on a VM and tried this update and it seems to work, for what it's worth.

Hope this helps some of you guys that are getting bricked by Win 10 updates :)

Doccus's picture

Aww boo hoo It's tooo tough for us wittle Micwosoft techs to manage. Awww. I WANT MY MOMMY!
Honestly, are they bloody Serious? Just how hard is it to describe an update? The one or two sentence summaries they used to give could have been written on a few minutes, and it's not as if they have to give a different one for each PC.
And who are they to say it adds no value? Did they ask anyone? Or does it simply add no value to them?
The simple fact is they don't want people to know just how buggy it may be. Fact is, it adds extreme value to *any* sysadmin or consumer tech assistance. even if the updates are forced, at least if something goes sideways , we know the changes made and have an idea where to look.
I have to say it's a very disappointing response, coming from Microsoft.

Tradesman1's picture

MS is so out of tune with it's customers it's ridiculous. This auto update is yet another bad step, they just send updates out 'as soon as they are ready', which more than likely will mean less testing than on say Win7 or Win 8, and those were the once a month updates, they sent out plenty then that weren't fully tested that caused problems galore, this is just going to be worse. Plus many of us already question their honesty and ethics, so we know even less of what they are slipping into the OS.

I like to take updates and run on a single system before updating or using updates on my other rigs, this doesn't allow for that. They might have something in an update that will crash in house apps, which companies aren't going to want, so they will stay away

kitekrazy's picture

I had problems with stuff being reset with shared folders and networking. I was asked for a user name and password to get files. The option where no password was needed was checked and now broken. THis was my only system expose to W10 using the Insider Preview. It's a legacy system and can't really be upgraded.
I'm always creating a restore point before any updates. I'm afraid to expose my recent builds to W10. I had to revert one machine back to 7 because I made the mistake of upgrading to 10 via Windows Update.