WIN­DOWS 10 UP­DATES STILL A MESS

Oc­to­ber dead­line missed, more bugs found

Maximum PC - - QUICKSTART -

a goal of two ma­jor up­dates to Win­dows 10 a year, and it’s al­ready gone wrong. The Oc­to­ber up­date ap­peared, then was quickly pulled. It had a nasty habit of emp­ty­ing peo­ple’s My Doc­u­ments folder. It tran­spires that if you des­ig­nated a My Doc­u­ments folder on an­other drive, the up­date would clean out the orig­i­nal. A fixed ver­sion was read­ied, but that de­vel­oped a bug of its own. The Unzip app proved er­ratic, re­plac­ing all the files with the same name without ask­ing, or sim­ply fail­ing al­to­gether.

Fin­gers are be­ing pointed at Mi­crosoft’s test­ing process. In 2014, it moved much of this to third par­ties. The new struc­ture was mod­ern and smart. Water­fall de­vel­op­ment was out, and Ag­ile was in. No more pass­ing a project down through the line, from re­quire­ments, to de­sign, to im­ple­men­ta­tion, to ver­i­fi­ca­tion. The new way opened Win­dows de­vel­op­ment out to the world with its In­sider Pro­gram, with over seven mil­lion mem­bers.

All well and good, but the cracks are start­ing to show. Test­ing an en­tire OS of the com­plex­ity of Win­dows is se­ri­ous un­der­tak­ing. So many testers cre­ate a lot of noise, and not all of the feed­back is high qual­ity. To test some­thing prop­erly, you re­ally need to know how it works in the first place. Sim­ply adding more peo­ple to the In­sider Pro­gram won’t help ei­ther. The file dele­tion bug was spot­ted by more than one tester, and re­ported in fo­rums, but the right peo­ple didn’t get the mes­sage. The re­ports were buried un­der a moun­tain of other feed­back.

Two ma­jor up­dates a year at spec­i­fied dates has given Mi­crosoft a hard tar­get that in­vites the com­pany to over-reach. We like new fea­tures, for sure, but we like stable and se­cure up­dates much, much more than that.

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