Windows 10 1809 bungle: We won't miss early problem reports again, says Microsoft

Microsoft makes changes to its Feedback Hub after failing to notice early reports flagging up data losses caused by the Windows 10 October 2108 Update.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft has modified its Feedback Hub tool for Windows Insiders after it was discovered that many testers had already reported the same file-deletion problems that prompted Microsoft to halt the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

Rather than having to pull the Windows 10 version 1809 update after releasing it to the public, Microsoft could have fixed this issue if only its engineers had noticed multiple reports from Windows insiders on Microsoft's Feedback Hub about data loss after upgrading.

In a short note posted with its announcement of a fix for the problems, Microsoft revealed it has also added a new feature on Feedback Hub that lets Windows Insiders and users report the severity of issues they're sharing with Microsoft.

"We believe this will allow us to better monitor the most impactful issues even when feedback volume is low," said Brandon LeBlanc of the Windows Insider Program Team.

"You can now provide an indication of the severity of your issue and how it is impacting your experience when filing new feedback."

Microsoft argues that reports of actual data loss amounted to "one one-hundredth of one percent" of version 1809 installs.

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)

Nonetheless, as it admits, any data loss is very serious, and if such incidents were reported during the 1809 preview phase, it would have preferred to address them pre-release with users who expect bugs from unstable builds.

LeBlanc doesn't explain how the severity rating system will work, but it could help address the problem of low-volume reports getting buried in the Feedback Hub, which may have failed on two counts in this instance.

The Feedback Hub relies on upvoting as a way for users to say they've experienced the same problem described in an existing report, rather than filing a duplicate report.

But reports only get upvoted if users search for an issue, identify it as common to their problem, and then upvote it.

Microsoft also added a feature called Collections to the Feedback Hub last year to automatically group common reports. This feature should address the problem of users not identifying common issues.

The Collections feature groups common reports and adds all the upvotes that each of the separate reports have attracted.

However, as noted by Microsoft watcher Rafael Rivera, there are "tons of reports in Feedback about data loss on upgrade" to version 1809, and the reports were neither upvoted by users nor grouped in Collections, resulting in high-severity issues being buried.

"There are a lot of low upvote reports, and Feedback Hub auto-collection failed, so they got buried in the noise," wrote Rivera, who added that fixing this issue is a "tough problem".

Microsoft has promised to monitor all feedback regarding data loss from the Windows Insider community with the "utmost vigilance" before it rereleases Windows 10 version 1809 to the wider user community.

Microsoft is first rolling out the fixed version of Windows 10 1809 to members of the Windows Insider program in the Slow and Release Preview rings.


Feedback Hub users can now report the severity of an issue and its impact.

Image: Microsoft

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