I have occasionally applauded Microsoft® during recent years for their apparent softening of some of their traditional customer bullying. I have even referred to them as “a kinder, gentler Microsoft”, and credited them with listening to their customers and even being somewhat customer focused. I have heard similar sentiments from customers and others in the industry, and it appears as though they may be shedding their reputation for some historically negative business practices.
With that in mind, I was surprised when Computerworld reported that the Windows™ 10 1803 update is being pushed onto some PCs which had been specifically set to block it. 1803 is the latest “feature update”, and it’s relatively minor when compared to previous feature updates. Microsoft allows professional PCs the option, known as “branch readiness”, to defer automatic updates until they have been thoroughly tested in the in the market. I haven’t seen the offending updates myself, but it has been reported by credible sources, and Microsoft has been known to do the same thing in the past (Windows 10 1709).
Four of my PCs have received the update (mine are not set to defer). Two of them updated with no problem, but I experienced problems with the other two; one of which required a complete recovery of Windows. Based upon my experience, version 1803 is not ready for commercial use.
Microsoft doesn’t want to lose credibility with their key customers, but if a forced update were to break a mission critical application or process, the implications could be severe.
I’m not suggesting a mass exodus from Windows will result from forced updates, but it could be damaging to the more favorable reputation they have earned since Satya Nadella became CEO four years ago.