The Beast of Microsoft: Windows 10 Upgrades

By Sam Orlando, Systems Engineer | Team Lead at Umbrella Managed Systems

The Beast of Microsoft: Windows 10 Updates

There was a time when managing Windows updates was simply a matter of configuring Group Policy to change settings on every workstation centrally. Patch management remained behind the scenes – an easily tamed beast – a worry for IT to handle while end users worked without interruption. Systems stayed updated, and all was as it should be…

…until the introduction of Windows 10.

What Changed

The newest of Microsoft’s operating systems have pulled patching out of the hands of IT service providers and leaned more heavily on users to manage their machines. Experts in the industry (Computer World, Windows Central, and RCP Magazine) have cried out to Microsoft to reconsider, to no avail.

In response, technology companies got crafty by snooping through buried registry settings which drive the Windows Update process. The change worked, for a time, then Microsoft released new updates and features to wrest away control once more.

The Impact

There are real issues to the way Microsoft wishes to handle system updates:

  • Persistent user notifications
  • Patching and System Reboots occur while users are trying to work
  • System admins do not control which updates are applied

Windows 10 is the first subscription-based operating system, meaning features and functionality are in a constant state of change. These upgrades are typically dispersed twice a year – sometimes causing a business to come to a crashing halt. Recent updates (1709 and 1803) catch users in failure loops (where the update fails, attempts to revert back and then restart the update, only to fail again and restart the cycle).

System admin groups have been buzzing with ideas on how to get a handle on Windows 10 patching. However, the constant flux of the operating system means most solutions don’t work or are quickly outdated.

A New Normal

In the end, we are confident and eager that Microsoft will provide the right features and fixes that will allow them to meet their Windows 10 model while allowing service providers to keep maintenance work behind the scenes where it belongs.  Umbrella has always believed in a smooth end user experience.

…and to that end, we fight on.

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