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?

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. 

screenshot-2019-01-31-at-12-11-51.png

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. 

screenshot-2019-01-31-at-12-53-17.png

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

Image: Microsoft

Previous and related coverage

Windows 10 19H1: Microsoft pushes its services with 'Make Windows even better' prompt 

Microsoft wants you to "make Windows even better" by setting up Microsoft Account services on Windows 10 devices.

Microsoft's new Windows 10 19H1 test build is taxiing toward the finish line

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 19H1 (1903) test build is light on new features, and heavy on fixes -- which is expected as it rolls toward completion.

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 19H1 test build separates search and Cortana

Microsoft's newest Windows 10 19H1 build, No. 18317, separates the unified Microsoft search feature from Cortana, as had been widely rumored and expected.

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 19H1 release adds support for coming reserved storage feature

Microsoft is starting to test a new way that it's hoping will keep Windows 10 feature updates from failing on PCs with insufficient storage space as part of its latest Windows 10 19H1 Insider build.

Microsoft's new Windows 10 19H1 test build paves the way for new Sandbox feature

Windows 10 19H1 Build 18305 adds support for a new sandbox feature for isolating potentially suspicious apps, plus several other new security, user interface and updates and fixes.

Windows 10 October 2018 Update finally shifts to automatic rollout

Microsoft will now be offering the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, 1809, to select devices in phases.

Microsoft: Windows 10 to grab 7GB of your storage so big updates don't fail

The 'reserved storage' coming with the next Windows 10 version is another reason to avoid PCs with little storage.

Windows 10: Home users will soon be able to pause updates but only for 7 days

Microsoft continues testing a seven-day delay feature for Windows Update in the Windows 10 Home edition. 

Microsoft: 'Expect a bumpy ride'. These are 2019's top 10 tech challenges 

Microsoft forecasts how the world will respond to fake news, cyberattacks, AI, trade wars, and social-media regulation.

Microsoft should pay damages for forced Windows 10 update, say Finns

Microsoft could face more complaints after a ruling says it's liable for damages caused by an unauthorized Windows 10 upgrade.

Windows 10 October update problems: Wiped docs, plus Intel driver warning

Back up files before upgrading to Windows 10 1809, and if you get a warning about Intel drivers, do not proceed.  

CES 2019: Everything we saw, from 8K TVs to amazing fake burgers CNET

The show opened with a bombshell from Apple, closed with a surprise from Samsung and had plenty of news in between.

Is Windows 10 still telling Microsoft what you're doing even if you don't want it to?

Microsoft baffles Windows 10 users by apparently collecting data about recently opened websites and apps when users have opted against sharing that information.

How to turn features on and off in Microsoft Windows 10 from the Control Panel TechRepublic 

Microsoft decided to conceal the traditional Control Panel, but you can still access it if you know how.