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article imageOp-Ed: Windows 10 mess fix shows how screwed up it is

By Paul Wallis     Feb 18, 2020 in Technology
Seattle - There is a fix for the absurd update KB4532693. The fix is complex, irritating, and the situation it’s fixing is quite unnecessary. Microsoft’s war with Windows 10 is a running commentary on a truly strange string of failures.
For those who’ve forgotten, Windows 10 was to be a big improvement. It’s not really all that bad, although the usual pressure caused by shutting off support for Windows 7 hasn’t helped. Windows 7 was an operating system which never had the bizarre problems of Windows 10. The criticism is pouring down from the entire market. The pity of it is that the criticism seems to be largely right.
The new fix for the Windows 10 update is explained on Tech Radar. This is the fix for the update which has been mysteriously deleting files and then hiding them in temporary accounts. You have to create a temporary account on your own computer to retrieve the files. That’s a bit like renting a new car so you can drive the one you have.
The actual coding issues are also a bit odd. Why would a security fix be doing things it doesn’t need to do? Are the deleted files considered a risk? Are they quarantined by Windows 10 creating a temporary account? If this is sounding a bit patchy, so is the logic.
A culture of change for the sake of change?
Microsoft’s extraordinarily bad habit of “we must have a new OS every X years” has been an ongoing disaster. From the absurd, obsessive-compulsive Windows 8 to Vista, to Windows 7 and god alone knows what else have been no easy stroll for Microsoft users.
All users want is a system that works and doesn’t go nuts. Is that really asking so much?
Let’s look at the realities of using computers and operating systems:
1. Mainstream market platforms become benchmarks for the market. Everyone adapts to the current major platform. Some platforms are in use long after they’ve been superseded, like XP still being used by the UK NHS.
2. Operating systems have to work with business systems. Business systems don’t change on a whim. Those systems have core functions which are pretty much static. There’s no huge demand for new operating systems from that direction.
3. Private users are similarly not all that prone to dragging around any more tech than they need. It’s truly discretionary spending, and if it’s not, it’s not popular. People have other costs, and adding a new OS isn’t usually welcomed with open arms, or wallets.
4. A “new” OS which simply does the same things and looks different doesn’t at all undercut the basic functionality issues. If you check out everything from Windows 95 to Windows 10, you’ll see a lot of very similar functions which haven’t changed at all, and probably never will. Regardless of the new tech and the need to support the hardware guys in their accustomed affluence (great trick, guys) real needs rule.
Windows 10 isn’t actually a bad system. It’s pretty smooth, and it does in fairness make the usual new OS point that some things can be done better. It also supports things like the Cloud, emerging tech, etc. reasonably well and not in a pretentious or pedantic way.
So why these idiotic update issues? Anyone who’s ever done any coding can tell you that amounts of extra obscure code aren’t good for anything, let alone an update to a major market operating system. How did these ridiculous things get into an update at all?
Did somebody have an idea which got “translated” into a mess? It does happen. Did somebody forget to look at “what we think we’re doing” in the form of the basic code flow? That happens, too. It’s when it happens so often and annoys so many people that a bit of introspection is compulsory.
The nature of software is that more isn’t better. You can get submerged in software which runs, doesn’t run, has gaps, won’t open, etc. Weird things happen. I remember on XP my computer wouldn’t shut down because, if you please, the shutdown tone didn’t play. So it kept trying to play it. Things can be that simple, or as complex as this Windows 10 update debacle.
The basic need, in fact, is to make sure everything runs. So how do you get into a situation where it runs, but does such totally useless things as deleting files?
Some questions for Microsoft:
• Did anyone actually test this thing?
• It takes a lot more than one line of code to cause such a cluster. You actually have to program quite a few operations to do it. How did anyone from a newborn baby duck upwards miss such a truly egregious load of crap in functions? (It CAN happen. It should never happen.)
• How did such non-functions get into the code in the first place? What possible use were they supposed to have?
• Did someone get “smart” and use A.I. to do the update? (If so, careful what you wish for. A.I. isn’t yet in the change rooms, let alone the ballpark, for this stuff yet. It’s quite capable of causing a real disaster without oversight. Ask yourself, how would machine learning produce this?)
• Is this endless market image of “ Duh…We screwed up again” going to be permanent? We’re now entering our second decade of Microsoft’s Misadventures The Movie, and it’s getting a bit samey.
The original Microsoft operating systems from Windows 95 to XP were excellent. People loved them, they were very stable and ran well. Since then, Windows 7 is the only one which hasn’t had its own virtual plague of ridiculous issues.
This is THE global brand, waddling along like it’s just browsing its own products and muttering to itself but talking to nobody else. The look is horrendous, and there must be millions of people around the world who could fix things like this in seconds. Why isn’t that happening?
Some cultural change obviously happened after XP, and this is the cumulative result. A lot of professionals now say every second Windows system is OK. Why should that be the case?
Just for the record – “cultural change” in highly successful business ALWAYS means a whole string of subsequent failures and train wrecks. There are no exceptions. Think of all the top brands which have “embraced change” and suffocated themselves with the BS. When you’re winning, DON’T change your culture.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Windows 10 update mess, Win 10 KB4532693, Micorsoft operating systems, Windows 95, Windows 98
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