Microsoft finally spills some beans on Windows 10 updates

Microsoft has been traditional dreadful when it came to system-related error messages and notifications that it has become somewhat of a running joke in the tech community (Error 0x8020002b anyone?). It's no laughing matter, however, when Windows 10's continuously flowing stream of updates are concerned. Microsoft has been chided for its near secrecy of these system updates, that could, and sometimes have, make important changes without the user's knowledge. While not completely reversing course, Microsoft has now come up with a compromise, a website that lists Windows 10's update history and details.

For all its strengths, Windows 10 has been heavily criticized for its privacy violations and, as in this case, update policies. Windows 10 updates are applied automatically with very little control and definitely no approval from the user. Microsoft likens it to how web services are also updated automatically behind the scenes, which ties into the company's new "Windows as a Service" thrust.

The problem with that line of thinking, however, is that Windows 10 isn't a web service that runs on Microsoft's servers but software the runs locally on users' machines. As such, a broken update can lead to broken computers, which has happened a number of times already. As if preventing users from picking out which updates to install or to install any at all weren't enough, Microsoft's updates never come with any information on what the update it about, whether in the update settings or on its websites. After receiving a lot of flak for that, Microsoft promised to do things better, and it has. Somewhat.

The new Windows 10 update history site will, from this day forward, list the salient points of each update, starting with the ones rolling out February 9. It will not go into details but does link to the more technical Knowledge Base ("KB") page. You will probably still not see that list inside the Settings app in Windows 10, though we still have to see if Microsoft will move in that direction. Perhaps the reasoning is that these details will be of no interest to many users and only to IT personnel.

The update history page already reveals some interesting details about the next update, which has yet to start rolling out. The update addresses a recently reported issue about Microsoft Edge's InPrivate "incognito" browsing mode not really being private. The update does point out one of the advantages of Microsoft's new update scheme, that they are able to address critical issues faster than before.

SOURCE: Microsoft