Windows 10 October 2018 Update is back, this time without deleting your data

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This message, shown during Windows upgrades, is going to be salt in the wound.
Lengthen / This message, shown during Windows upgrades, is going to be salty in the wound.

Just over a month since its initial release, Microsoft is fantasizing the Windows 10 October 2018 Update widely available today. The update was aloof shortly after its initial release due to the discovery of a bug causing data wastage.

New Windows 10 feature updates use a staggered, ramping rollout, and this (re)press is no different. Initially, it’ll be offered only to two groups of people: those who manually determine their system to check for updates (and that have no known blot out issues due to, for example, incompatible anti-virus software), and those who use the media-creation work to download the installer. If all goes well, Microsoft will offer the update to an ever-wider row of Windows 10 users over the coming weeks.

For the sake of undergo windows, Microsoft is treating last month’s release as if it never happened; this unloose will receive 30 months of support and updates, with the clock starting today. The at any rate is true for related products; Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server, adaptation 1809, are both effectively released today.

The problems with this update drink provoked increased scrutiny of Microsoft’s testing and development processes and “Windows-as-a-Service” liberation model. The data-loss bugs had been reported by a number of members of the Windows Insider program, but for whatever end, those bug reports weren’t treated with the priority and importance that they proper. Microsoft’s immediate reaction was to allow insiders to include an indication of how top-level each bug is—data-loss bugs are obviously more important than, say, offensive icons or misaligned text—though it remains to be seen whether this want be enough to improve the quality and utility of the reports.

Measurements and metrics

As a longer-term followup, the convention has promised to be more open about the Windows 10 development and try out process, and over the next few months we can expect to learn more close to the approach the company uses and how it’s changing that approach in response to this issuance. Microsoft tracks the quality of its software a number of ways and across a variety of dimensions. The October 2018 Update highlighted a problem with “opening quality”—the stability and reliability of a new feature update—which generally denotes that something was missed in upstream testing. Windows 10’s monthly Reconcile Tuesday updates have also raised concerns over what is referred to as “continued quality”—the reliability and effectiveness of the stream of updates that service each countenance release.

While Microsoft acknowledges that the October 2018 update had dilemmas, the company maintains that, overall, the trajectory is a good one. Redmond hints two particular metrics to assess overall satisfaction with the quality of the driving system. First is the “incident rate,” the number of customer reports (take ining reports to OEMs) made with each new release. This circumstance rate has steadily declined throughout Windows 10’s life. This insinuates that Microsoft is doing something right, but incident rate can be give someone a bum steering. A Windows version with a minor cosmetic bug that hits piles of people and hence is widely reported would tend to have a crabbier incident rate than a version with a major, data loss-causing bug that on the other hand affects a fraction of the user base, but the latter issue is nonetheless far multitudinous important.

Similarly, the company is looking at “Net promoter score”—whether alcohols would recommend each version to their family and friends—and bring ups that this, too, is heading in the right direction, with the April 2018 present the most highly recommended version of Windows yet. Again, though, the heart on this metric can mask problems that have a high burden on a small number of users.

With the complexity of the Windows installed abject—700 million users, 175 million versions of 35 million applications, and 16 million one and only driver/hardware combinations—there’s a lot of scope for these high-impact, configuration-specific problems to come forth. Indeed, the data-loss bug was just such a problem. It didn’t affect Windows installations utilizing the default configuration, instead only biting when an optional stress was used.

Passing the test

As part of this new openness, the company has profiled in high-level terms some of the testing it performs. There’s a suite of automated studies, and certain critical tests must be passed successfully before new stresses and code can be integrated into the main Windows codebase. Within Microsoft there’s also encyclopedic deployment of new Windows builds, with many of the company’s staff utilizing the very latest builds. Major OEM partners also run their own trial labs, providing a wider range of hardware and software testing.

We also have found out that the development process is not set in stone and that the company wants to pick up the process. Our previous examination of the development process was informed by extensive bull session with company insiders, both past and present; as such, we’re convinced that there are certain flaws in the process—not all code has tests, not all study failures are regarded as blocking issues, and the main development branch is not coerced to be production-quality at all times. The result is that Microsoft fundamentally treats Windows phenomenon as a condensed version of its old “waterfall” process, wherein lots of bugs and instability are usher ined during an intensive period of development, followed by a longer period of bug set. This means that each new feature update represents a importance dip, and it takes some months to recover.

There’s some variation between cooperates—some are a lot more disciplined about their testing and code distinction than others—but ultimately we feel that this process desire need to change, in a rigorous and consistent way, in order to get the initial quality of each quality update to the level it needs to be. Windows users should be able to settle the updates with confidence; until the process is improved, questions and affairs about Windows 10’s quality and reliability will remain.

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