Windows 10 19H1: We'll fix confusing setup error messages, promises Microsoft

Would the average Windows user know what a KB is or what to do with one?
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

As most ZDNet readers probably know, KB is Microsoft's abbreviation for Knowledge Base, its catalog of articles written by its support staff explaining how to solve problems. 

But Microsoft has finally realized that many average users have no idea what a KB and its numerical ID are and don't know what to do when they appear in a Windows 10 setup error notification.

These notifications are shown when a version of an app isn't compatible with the latest version of Windows 10 and needs to be updated or uninstalled and then reinstalled. 

Currently on Windows 10, Microsoft doesn't link to the KB article in setup error notifications, while 'back' and 'refresh' buttons don't necessarily match up with the error message itself. 


Microsoft will make the new setup error notifications more helpful with links to support notes and more actions. 

Image: Microsoft

The example Microsoft uses is an antivirus app, which can't run because it causes security or performance issues on Windows. The message encourages users to check with the software provider whether there's an updated app that runs on this version of Windows.   

Microsoft's Windows Insider team revealed the upcoming changes to its setup error messages in a webcast spotted by Ghacks. Users should see new, more helpful error messages in Windows 10 version 1903, currently in testing as Windows 10 19H1.  

Microsoft's research found that users would often get a setup block and not know what to do afterwards, and that the current messaging doesn't help users understand how to unblock it. 

To fix this, Microsoft plans on providing actionable features in the dialog box, including a link to the relevant KB article in a 'Learn More' link. It will also give users the ability to uninstall or upgrade the flagged app where possible. 

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

Instead of the error message pictured, the Windows 10 Setup page will list apps that need addressing to proceed with setting up Windows 10. 

Microsoft also identified problems in the latest version of Windows 10 on the page that says, 'Some apps need to be uninstalled' due to compatibility problems. The page merely lists the apps by name with the single button 'Uninstall and continue'. 

The page also doesn't show users all the options they do have. In some cases, software vendors have been finding that lots of users are uninstalling an incompatible app and not reinstalling the updated app after setup. 

In the next version of Windows 10, Microsoft will present a notification that states 'What needs your attention'. It will contain a link to 'Why am I seeing this?', and then list the incompatible apps with links to either 'Learn more' or 'Learn more or update instead'. 

Microsoft says it will give software vendors a space for support notes to provide users with information about updated apps. 


The next version of Windows 10 will present give more information on incompatible apps.

Image: Microsoft

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