Why won't Microsoft publish Windows 10 update release notes?

While Microsoft continues to document security updates, those whose job it is to deploy and maintain Windows 10 receive no official information on what non-security updates are being pushed to the platform.

While Microsoft continues to document security updates, those whose job it is to deploy and maintain Windows 10 receive no official information on what non-security updates are being pushed to the platform.

For the average users who don't concern themselves with release notes this will pass unnoticed, but for those of us who are pulling the decision-making levers with regards to Windows 10 in the workplace, it makes things very awkward. The information vacuum makes it difficult to tell whether some show-stopping bug has been fixed, and offers no heads-up as to what new features are coming down the pipeline.

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"This is frustrating," writes Ars Technica's Technology Editor Peter Bright. "If an organization is holding back on deploying Windows 10 because of bugs it has experienced, it would be useful to know if those bugs have been addressed. Even when Windows 10 has been deployed, it's helpful to know if a given build is supposed to fix a particular bug, as it can aid diagnosis of issues and make clear what's supposed to be happening, even if something isn't working correctly."

I agree.

The lack of official documentation means either having to rely on unofficial (and quite possibly incomplete) leaked documentation such as those published by Russian leaker WZor (you can see examples here, here, and here), or taking the slower, more cautious Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB). LTSB is meant for mission-critical systems, but I'm hearing from a lot of administrators who feel they're going to be happier taking things at a more reserved pace.

Whatever the reason for the lack of documentation, the idea of downloading operating system updates that have no documentation beyond "improvements to enhance the functionality of Windows 10" feels very unnerving. After years of being able to make informed decisions as to what changes were being made to an operating system, Microsoft is now asking Windows 10 users to download and install black box mystery meat updates, something which goes against common sense IT practices.

While it's common practice in the app world to issue little or no documentation -- I shake my head as some of the dismal documentation I encounter for iOS and Android apps -- applying this to an entire operating system is a strange move. Doubly so when Microsoft can't come up with any reason -- let alone a convincing one -- as to why it has made the change.

Since Microsoft is producing internal documentation for updates -- and it would be absurd to think internal documentation didn't exist -- then I can't see why it wants to keep these away from those who want to know what's in the updates in order to be able to make informed decisions.

While I cannot comment on why Microsoft is taking this stance with regards to the release notes, I have no doubt that the absence of release notes will both slow down Windows 10 adoption in the workplace, and also make LTSB a more attractive option for others.

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