For all the praise that we’ve bestowed upon Windows 10 since it launched at the end of July, there are plenty of outstanding issues that Microsoft has yet to address. The privacy concerns certainly take precedence, but the lack of patch notes following mandatory updates is by far the most maddening change in the latest operating system.
In case you either haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 or simply aren’t keeping up with the ongoing drama, updates are installed automatically on Windows 10 computers. Users can opt out by jumping through a few unnecessarily complicated hoops, but that could leave them open to security holes in the future.
It’s an unfortunate change, but the worst part about it is that Microsoft is refusing to let Windows 10 users know exactly what is being changed in the updates. Cumulative updates are worming their way on to millions of computers, and your guess is as good as mine as to what’s being changed.
Here’s the most amazing element of this ridiculous saga: Microsoft is writing release notes for each and every build — the company just isn’t sharing that information with users.
Earlier this week, famed Windows leaker WZor published photographic evidence of release notes for Build 10537.0 and Build 10540.0 from September 2nd and September 11th, respectively. Despite the fact that notes are being produced (albeit in a less palatable format than the company would distribute to end users), Microsoft has no plans to share this information.
There are two major issues with this line of thinking, as laid out by Ars Technica’s Peter Bright:
- Businesses aren’t going to be comfortable receiving updates to their machines that they can’t monitor. Furthermore, if they turn automatic updates off, they could potentially miss a vital security update and leave their data vulnerable to hackers. This is going to force some businesses to choose Microsoft’s Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) instead, which is updated far less frequently, but only contains necessary security updates.
- Microsoft is trying to win back an audience that it lost when it launched Windows 8. Regaining the trust of your users doesn’t just mean releasing a competent product — it’s about opening up a dialog between users and creators. Microsoft spent months talking up its Preview program and reinforcing how important user feedback was to the development of Windows 10, but now that the software is out, Microsoft isn’t budging on one of our biggest complaints.
If Microsoft is dead set on keeping users in the dark when it comes to Windows 10 updates, can they at least explain why we don’t need to know what’s being done to our computers without our permission?