This summer, Microsoft rolled out a nearly perfect Patch Tuesday. Maybe that’s what helped boost the company’s confidence in a plan to more aggressively push and package patches, one that is already giving a number of IT departments serious headaches.
The complaints started in force when Microsoft accidentally set the option to upgrade to Windows 10 as the default rather than an option during standard updates to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 systems.
Now Susan Bradley, a Small Business Server and Security MVP and contributor to Windows Secrets, has taken her complaints more public, and so far 3,176 (and counting) other people agree with her. That’s how many people signed her Change.org petition asking for transparency and control over Windows 10 patches, prompted by forced bundling of separate patches.
She lays out her case after a recent run in with more crashes right before a trip:
Preparing for an upcoming trip overseas, I’ve taken what I consider to be a drastic step. I booted up the Surface 3 I plan to take with me and turned off Windows 10’s updating service. I did so because I know that the machine will be offered updates while I’m away from home.
I’m not just worried about updates soaking up my mobile-data allowance; I’m more concerned that an update will crash my Surface, and I won’t be able to fix it while on vacation. (As most Win10 users know by now, unlike previous versions of Windows, the new OS doesn’t give you full control over which updates are installed and when.)
I had good reason to worry. Recently, the Surface ended up with a blue screen of death that was fixed only after the updating system installed an Intel video driver.
Microsoft’s in a tough spot. Competitors have become increasingly aggressive about pushing free updates to functionality and, most importantly, security out to their users. This is particularly true with Software-as-a-Service vendors where weekly or even daily updates are the norm.
And pushing upgrades aggressively means better herd immunity for Windows users everywhere, as viruses and exploits find a harder time spreading.
But MVPs and other business customers are key to Microsoft’s revenue stream and pushing buggy software undermines the trust that has kept those customers loyal for years, sometimes decades — even if sometimes those users will, for better and worse, opt out of critical updates for years after they’re issued.
For now, Microsoft is standing relatively firm — but the total supporters of Bradley’s petition continues to climb.