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  1. #1
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    Will updating Windows get easier or not?




    FIELD NOTES

    Will updating Windows get easier or not?


    By Tracey Capen

    With questions about updating still swirling around Window 10, Microsoft posts a Win10 Preview tool for troublesome updates. All other supported versions of Windows should see an out-of-cycle security update for a font-driver vulnerability.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/field-notes/will-updating-windows-get-easier-or-not/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    This column brings into focus an issue that I have been fascinated with for over a year now: should I update to new MS operating systems (even after 'support' has ended)?

    Accounts of user/owners keeping XP systems running by isolating the system from the internet or otherwise shielding them and my own experience with an absolutely indispensable series of programs by a now defunct publisher have made it necessary to revive two old systems back to XP. Considering MS's increasing symptoms of (business) disarray and an interesting situation has developed. Suppose, just for grins, that this "forced update" situation results in a scandal big enough to hurt MS as an investment?

  3. #3
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    This article brings a bit of new perspective to what could turn out to be a pretty good fig leaf to cover any Windows 10 automatic patching failures. As patches move from the Fast Ring out t o consumers, and finally out to Pro and Enterprise users, new complications often show up. Hardware and software configurations not tested previously can have unexpected effects, sometimes turning what looked like a safe security update into a nightmare for the unfortunate "isolated" end-user case.

    At least it looks like Microsoft is thinking about this possibility. The tool leaves something to be desired, and Woody Leonhard's tests with it raise questions as to how effective this tool is. But at least MS is trying to make things less scary for those who are used to letting others try out the new patches before committing our own systems to the month's patches. (Or, with Windows 10, the day's or the hour's latest patch.)

    I don't know how this tool will play out in practice, but if it allows a sharp-eyed user to apply the blocking part of the tool before the problematic patch is installed, maybe we aren't all doomed after all.

    In the event of not being able to block a patch before the fact, a Windows installation can become inaccessible after a particularly bad patching experience. It would be nice to have a bootable version of this tool, which could perform its magic on a system which cannot boot into normal Windows or into Safe mode. But that may be technically unfeasible.

    I'll wait and see how this all plays out, and I'll watch Windows Secrets and Woody Leonhard at Infoworld and at his own web site. Then, if indeed there are mechanisms to rescue unbootable Windows 10 systems, and to remove and block the offending patch(es), I'll still probably have plenty of time to jump in with an upgrade on my Tablet, and a fresh Pro install via my existing OEM-PUL Windows 8 license on my laptop.

    I expect more refinements as Windows 10 is rolled out. As always, wait for the dot-one version before committing mission-critical systems or acting as your own technician.

    Meanwhile, some Linux distros will also undergo some disruptive changes, both on PCs and on mobile devices, within the next year or so. I'll be watching that space closely as well.

    Don't worry, Windows Secrets Editors -- my annual paid subscription renewal will come. I'm just a bit behind on my finances, what with this tablet issue I'm dealing with right now.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2015-07-24 at 16:56.
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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Car Hacking:

    I saw on the national news the Wired demo with the actual video of what happened. So far it's only been proven for a few Jeep models, but this is a Brave New World.

    I am not happy with how "automatic" my Toyota 2005 Prius is (all-electronic controls). But I haven't yet had anyone take control of my car while I was speeding -- er, driving -- down the highway. Yikes!!

    (For that matter, I think some public washroom lights are too automatic. If you don't keep moving, you can get plunged into darkness at a most inconvenient time!!)

    Ah, The Internet of Things! How did we ever live without it?

    Update July 30: Chrysler has now admitted that the problem with hackable software is much more widespread. A Brave New World indeed!
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2015-07-30 at 15:57.
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    Stop taking reading matter with you!

    cheers, Paul

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    Automatic updates

    Well,
    However this may pan out in the end:

    I have seen a Microsoft statistic claiming that over 95% (?) of virus infections happened only because the Windows system was not up to date!

    My experiences with many thousands of home customers shows that (way too) many don't run Windows Update even if you give them an icon on the desktop and written step by step instructions.

    For all these customers who all use plain vanilla machines from a store shelf automatic force feeding of updates seems to be THE solution.

    And yes, I once thought differently. But life with my customers has taught me some lessons. One of them is "What seems to me (and other techies) to be just plain common sense can be a daunting proposition for others."

    Thus I welcome that MS seems to have come to similar conclusions, that is to force feed updates.
    Eike J Heinze
    What I am about
    SE Wisconsin

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eikelein View Post
    Well,
    However this may pan out in the end:

    I have seen a Microsoft statistic claiming that over 95% (?) of virus infections happened only because the Windows system was not up to date!

    My experiences with many thousands of home customers shows that (way too) many don't run Windows Update even if you give them an icon on the desktop and written step by step instructions.

    For all these customers who all use plain vanilla machines from a store shelf automatic force feeding of updates seems to be THE solution.

    And yes, I once thought differently. But life with my customers has taught me some lessons. One of them is "What seems to me (and other techies) to be just plain common sense can be a daunting proposition for others."

    Thus I welcome that MS seems to have come to similar conclusions, that is to force feed updates.
    But why force-feed Pro users? Many of those, and some Home Users as well, are well aware of the pros and cons of waiting to apply MS Updates. We just do not desire to be treated as cannon fodder when Microsoft pushes out a rushed and poorly tested security update which -- oops! -- just happens to hose our OEM Windows DLLs. We should not be punished and sacrificed just because 95% of users are lazy or stupid, or just don't care -- until something happens and they lose data which they also failed to back up.

    The choice should remain. And we shouldn't have to register with a business domain to exercise that choice.

    At the very least, a tool should allow ANY offending or suspected offending patch to be blocked before it hoses our Windows PCs.

    With history as my witness, no company has ever gotten patching down to such a science that it never fails. We need recourse and defenses when, not if, this happens with Windows 10.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2015-07-30 at 15:52.
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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Stop taking reading matter with you!

    cheers, Paul
    Hee-hee!
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    The choice should remain. And we shouldn't have to register with a business domain to exercise that choice.
    I'm dismayed that Windows Update for Business is still MIA, since it was announced as a feature of Windows 10 Pro nearly three months ago. That could allay a lot of concern if/when it shows up.

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  13. #10
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    Bob,

    I agree with you, they (MS) takes defenses away from the knowledgeable ones.

    From MS's point of view 100s of millions of punters with un-patched systems do more harm to the whole than a minute percentage of knowledgeable ones with eventually a problem.

    Brave new world...
    Eike J Heinze
    What I am about
    SE Wisconsin

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