Windows 10 patch expert: Dear Mr Panay, please fix Microsoft's buggy updates

An enterprise patch specialist has called on Microsoft to do something about the quality of Windows 10 updates.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Veteran IT pro and Windows 10 patch expert Susan Bradley has once again appealed to Microsoft's top execs to fix the quality of Windows 10 patching. 

Bradley, a regular contributor to Windows blog AskWoody, in 2018 implored Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and other top execs to fix what she observed was an uptick in quality problems in Windows 10 patches, which left her with the choice of whether to patch workstations or leave them vulnerable to disclosed vulnerabilities. 

Her complaint was aired in an open letter just after Microsoft announced that Windows 10 version 1803's rollout was its fastest ever. The problem, she highlighted, was that updates were riddled with known issues. 

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

Since that time Microsoft has made some drastic changes to how it rolls out Windows 10 feature updates, which was also in response to the botched release of Windows 10 version 1809 – its slowest rollout to date.     

Bradley's latest open letter, addressed to new Windows software and hardware tsar Panos Panay, came in response to the broken Windows 10 Windows Search box reported by ZDNet's Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley on Wednesday. Microsoft has since said the issue should be resolved, but that was only after annoying a lot of Windows 10 users who were left in the dark. 

Bradley says Microsoft technologies have been critical to her personal and business success, but once again highlights the problem of trust in Microsoft to do quality checks on software updates to ensure they don't wreck productivity after installing them. 

"We have to trust that you are keeping our data safe. We have to trust you on Patch Tuesday to patch and protect our systems," she tells Panay. 

"But rolling up all these updates into one patch meant that we had to trust that you'd done enough quality checks to ensure that we'd not only be protected when we patch, that we'd also get patches that didn't hurt us in the process of updating," Bradley continues. 

"I STILL get constantly asked about which patches should be skipped because people don't trust that Microsoft is doing enough to ensure that patches are tested in advance," she said, adding that she can't in good conscience tell people to patch immediately. 

Generally, she advises people to wait at least a week to allow for bugs to be discovered and patched. 

And, pointing to the broken Windows 10 search box, she's demanding more transparency from Microsoft, even though Microsoft has improved transparency with the Windows release health dashboard. 

"Most of us had no idea that our shiny new Windows 10 search box had a dependency on something that broke. Most of us had no idea that you are not only updating our operating system with patching updates, with store updates and now apparently another updating mechanism that none of us really had a clue was being updated on a regular basis."

SEE: Microsoft: This is how Windows 10 has been changed by Windows Insider feedback

Finally, she raised concerns about Microsoft's recently aired plans to switch the default engine in Chrome from Google to Bing for Office 365 ProPlus users. Microsoft, wrongly, assumed users would be fine with a forced switch to Bing because it would let them use Microsoft Search to access workplace information from Chrome's address bar.

"Please sit down with Joe Belfiore (who is taking over the Office side of Microsoft) and do not hijack the search engine of a third-party browser. Doing so means that you are setting a bad precedent. An entry in Wikipedia now lists Office 365 as a browser hijacker. It saddens me to see that," wrote Bradley.  

ZDNet has contacted Microsoft for comment and will update this article if it responds.

More on Microsoft and Windows 10 updates

  • Windows 10 users encountering problems with built-in search  
  • Microsoft: This is how Windows 10 has been changed by Windows Insider feedback  
  • Windows 10 PCs get these new Intel chip security updates for Zombieload attacks  
  • Data Windows 10 1909 sends to Microsoft can be totally shut off, but doing so is risky  
  • New Windows 1909 and 1903 updates fix File Explorer search, but it still has bugs  
  • Wine for running Windows 10 apps on Linux gets big upgrade  
  • Microsoft: Windows 10 1909 rollout has just entered its next phase  
  • To stop drivers trashing Windows 10, Microsoft changes how it updates them  
  • Windows 10 1809 user? Microsoft has started herding you to 1909 update  
  • Windows 10: Microsoft unmasks the mysterious 'G' app that stops you shutting down
  • Microsoft christens Windows 10 20H1 as Windows 10 2004; preps to start testing its successor    
  • Windows 10 1909: Microsoft opens November 2019 Update to more users  
  • Microsoft: If you're on Windows 10 version 1803, you'll be automatically upgraded  
  • Windows 10 updates: Microsoft kills off Skip Ahead ring for Insiders  
  • Why is Windows 10 a mess? Ex-Microsoft engineer blames the culture of 'made-men'  
  • Windows 10 users fume: Microsoft, where's our 'local account' option gone?
  • Windows 10 1909: Microsoft ends 19H2 confusion, puts all testers on same builds 
  • No more buggy Windows 10 updates? Microsoft makes it easier to flag early flaws
  • How to delete the Windows 10 paging file on every shut-down TechRepublic
  • Test Microsoft's Chrome-like Edge browser for Windows 10 CNET
  • Editorial standards