Microsoft dreams of a future in which the cloud empire dominates – in the computer and business world as well as in game streaming – and the subscription revenues are flowing so fast that the auditors can hardly keep track of the ever-increasing numbers,
But the current sleep of the software giant is more likely to be driven by nightmares than the sweet dreams of a heavenly cloud-based future. Microsoft's sleep is likely to be haunted by the visions of poisonous little insects flocking around the occasionally huge queen of a showstopper threatening to rip up user files in her chitinous lower jaw.
Yes, we are talking about Windows 10, which has recently been hit by an alarming number of errors. This started with the infamous October 2018 update and a plethora of file deletion faux pas along with a host of other "small but serious" Gremlins that actually put the upgrade on hold for more than a month unprecedented step with Windows 10) update).
As a result, Microsoft carefully tested the following update in May 2019 and maintained the upgrade for a significant amount of time in the final stages of bug squashing, and indeed introduced it very slowly and cautiously. Rightly so, and with apparent success, as users flocked to the upgrade later (although many of them were pushed by an upcoming support appointment, mind you).
Nevertheless, the rollout itself – certainly in comparison to the previous one – was good enough and was only haunted by a few minor problems that are likely to occur. However, it's about solving the small issues where Microsoft faltered in September.
In the beginning of September, several minor bugs (including compatibility issues with certain Intel memory drivers) that were longstanding were resolved by a patch released by Microsoft for the May 10, 2019, Windows Update. The problem was that this cumulative update not only fixed bugs, but also introduced a new one where Cortana suddenly caused high CPU utilization.
Then the patch to fix this Cortana error broke something else – the Start menu and the taskbar. Oh, and it also caused audio problems in certain games and interrupted the internet connection for some people.
When Windows 10 was a china shop, Microsoft whirled around between the shelves and cracked a pitcher by knocking it over with a stray elbow before it managed to send a set of plates to the floor in an unholy cacophony of shattered porcelain.
In short, the whole situation was unspectacular and little help was provided when a subsequent bugfix for Microsoft's built-in Windows 10 antivirus software stopped most Windows Defender scanning features.
After all, there was an inevitable outcry from the technology world, with serious eyebrows, questions and criticisms of the quality assurance and testing procedures by Microsoft for Windows were loud. More on that in a moment, but perhaps most crucial in terms of the cumulative damage Microsoft has done here. The general public sat up, shook the collective heads and began with a sluggish clap. At least according to a new report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
According to ACSI, PC software satisfaction has dropped 1.3% year-over-year, with Microsoft slipping the most among software makers with a 3% decline. The report goes on to say: "According to ACSI data, customer perceptions of Microsoft's quality have deteriorated significantly over the past year as the manufacturer's Windows 10 fixes have encountered a variety of customer issues."
Let us digest that again for a moment. That is a significant deterioration With so many issues with Windows 10 updates, Microsoft is rated high-quality by consumers in the United States.
So, at least according to this survey, Microsoft's reputation in the public eye is seriously declining – though this is easy to believe or even obvious given recent events. In fact, as mentioned earlier, the tech community is alerting you to Microsoft testing that you may have experienced earlier this week.
Works by Barnacules
As Ghacks reports, Barnacules – also known as Jerry Berg, formerly Microsoft's Senior Software Development Engineer in Testing, who split from the company in 2014 – has uploaded a YouTube video explaining how the software giant compares its testing methods to the software giant changed five years ago.
In short, there was a whole team dedicated to testing Windows on Berg's time. It was divided into several subgroups (user interface, network, drivers, etc.), which all met in daily meetings to discuss problems and where they might come from. In addition to using automated testing – with a variety of real-world PC configurations, including notebooks – to back up manual tests.
Then, in 2014, everything changed when Microsoft dismissed (mostly) the dedicated Windows test team and stopped testing on real PCs in favor of using virtual machines (again, not just, but mostly). And as we know, Microsoft now relies on a small army of Windows insiders to test beta versions of Windows 10 and provide feedback on bugs. Another resource is telemetry (data from users' Windows 10 computers related to crashes).
However, finding errors in this way is far more random: Windows insiders are not always as diligent, sometimes they can not bother to report bugs, and even if they do, these reports can be found under a mountain of other feedback. Complaints are buried over very small things like suggestions or tiny changes to the user interface. In addition, working with the above telemetry data may be a notoriously difficult affair, and error details can easily be overlooked there.
The most reasonable-sounding argument is that this new scheme is a far less cohesive, less thorough approach than a dedicated team – and that's why Windows 10 has a lot more problems.
Considerable cost savings were achieved when the entire Windows test team was dismissed and the new approach introduced. But what was the actual cost of this change?
Regardless of whether or not one of these speculations about Microsoft's changed internal processes is the cause of the Gremlins mentioned above, these bugs are undeniable. And although many of them are relatively small or limited to a limited range of victims, some are definitely not (although Microsoft will certainly argue that lessons have been learned from the Showstopper for deleting data).
The truth is, Microsoft has evolved over the years, from the days of regular crashes to the more stable Windows 7 era, when bluescreens became scarcer. With Windows 10, this development and the victory in the fight against the bugs seems to be taking a step back recently.
To the point that incidents such as the catastrophic October 2018 update will seriously affect public perception of Windows, this ASCI report will be used.
Although another question might be: what is the realistic problem?
What exactly will unaffected Windows users do? Migrate to another operating system? This is very complex and associated with some significant disadvantages, eg. For example, you may not be able to play all the latest PC games, or your hardware choices may be limited under macOS (and issues such as driver support on Linux).
As we recently discovered in our article on Google's Chrome browser, there is a risk that it will be used by everyone as Windows, but nobody likes it: Mac and Linux are a threat waiting in the wings.
From waves to waves
However, this reputation corruption due to errors is not just desktop operating systems. Microsoft's broader perception of the public, which is almost amateurish, could be detrimental to the company's confidence, and all of the future dreamy cloud products we mentioned earlier might be compromised. ..
Punter # 1: "Are you going to try Project xCloud?"
Punter # 2: "No, forget that. Microsoft can not fix a simple mistake without causing two more problems. I think I'll give Google Stadia a spin instead … "
Of course, this doubt – or whatever doubt may be expressed – is not true. This is about perception, not reality.
In addition to the cloud and open source driving, one of the big things Microsoft has been pushing for since Nadella is that the company listens to users, responds to feedback and eliminates the hustling and bustling urge is what you need 'Specter of Windows 8 – and it has been proven to do so for the most part.
And now the company has to listen to the voice of the dubious computer public voiced in this latest poll – all over the internet – for confidence in Microsoft's ability to work without a banger to continue and that prevailing feedback wears off The line is the ever-louder noise of pedestrians heading for competing products.
In short: fix the fixation department. And fast.
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