Saturday, 16 October 2021
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IT admins warn Microsoft to slow Windows 10 upgrade pace

Microsoft should dial back its aggressive Windows 10 release schedule, IT administrators said, to a slower tempo of one feature upgrade annually – or even one every two years.

Approximately 78% of more than 1,100 business professionals charged with servicing Windows for their firms said that Windows 10’s feature upgrades — now released twice annually — should be issued no more than once a year. The 78% was split almost evenly, with 39.2% arguing for one upgrade per year while 39.3% picked one every two years from a questionnaire on Windows patching, updating and upgrading.

Just 11% agreed that the current twice-a-year cadence is their preference, and an infinitesimal 1% wanted an even quicker tempo.

The results came from a questionnaire circulated last month by Susan Bradley, a computer network and security consultant who moderates the PatchMangement.org mailing list, where IT administrators discuss update tradecraft. Bradley also writes for AskWoody.com, the Windows tip site run by Woody Leonard, a Computerworld blogger.

The questionnaire asked administrators how satisfied they are with Windows’ patching in general and with Windows 10’s specifically (their reply: not very) but also included queries about whether feature upgrades are useful to their businesses and if Windows 10 has met their companies’ needs. Bradley used the responses to support her plea that Microsoft’s top executives address what she and her colleagues believe is an ongoing deterioration in the quality of Microsoft’s monthly patch updates.

But she also raised the issue of the Windows 10 feature upgrades’ release calendar. “If Microsoft is not realizing that (their) enterprise customers are having issues with the timing of the feature updates, then Microsoft is not listening to their enterprise customers,” Bradley said in an email reply to Computerworld‘s questions, referring to the landslide vote for slowing the release cadence.

Commentary by the IT administrators vividly painted the frustration they feel from the feature upgrades’ frequency.

“Most feature updates introduce so many bugs and problems,” said one respondent. “With the current pace of releases of new feature updates, the entire IT department is busy constantly dealing with all the problems that follow, instead of spending time on activities that actually create value for users.”

“At twice per year, you’ve barely got over one before you need to do it all again, leading to the temptation to skip every other update,” asserted another.

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