Microsoft's Windows 10 update policy, though meant to respond more nimbly to a rapidly shifting, cloud-enabled technology landscape, has drawn the ire of IT professionals.
Despite some early indications that the operating system has a bright future in the enterprise, many administrators are distrustful of the software giant for its lack of transparency concerning the content of Windows 10 patches. Concerned about their organizations' privacy and security, they fault Microsoft for not publishing a comprehensive list of bug fixes and feature additions.
This summer, Jim Alkove, corporate vice president of Microsoft Enterprise and Security at Microsoft, told attendees at a press event at the company's Redmond, Wash., headquarters that Microsoft "heard that feedback from enterprise customers, and so we're actively working on how we provide them with the information to understand what's changing and what new capabilities and new value they're getting with these updates."
Now, thousands of people are petitioning the company's CEO Satya Nadella to overhaul the Windows 10 patching process and provide both IT professionals and end users with more thorough documentation.
A Change.org petition, started by Susan Bradley, a security specialist and Microsoft MVP, calls for Microsoft to provide Windows 10 users with more control over their updates. "We need the ability to delay or hide damaging updates that impact the computing experience, have undesirable side effects such as blue screens of death, or reduce the functionality to attached devices," states the petition.
Bradley also calls for Microsoft to provide detailed information on Windows 10 updates, as the current system can create problematic blind spots for IT staffers and end users.
"People that care about their PCs have to know what is included in the updates, especially admins who need to validate and confirm updates," Bradley told eWEEK in an email statement today. "Then we have numerous examples of where firmware and drivers have caused issues. We can't just have control over after they update, we need control before they install.
"While they stated earlier in the year they would provide patch details to customers, they indicated it would be enterprise customers. All customers need this info," continued Bradley.
The current setup falls short of providing IT pros with the tools required to effectively manage their fleet of Windows 10 devices, she asserted. "Branch patching allows for pushing off feature updates [but] it does not allow for driver, firmware or normal security patches."
Microsoft's feedback mechanisms are doing little to improve the situation, according to Bradley. "Even with all the feedback tools they have in [Windows] 10, you can see in the forums that we are still seeing issues." So aiming for broader exposure, she started a campaign of her own.
"I used Change.org to send a very social message to Microsoft as I've tried the UserVoice feedback process and don't feel that Microsoft is responding," said Bradley. Her petition has gathered over 3,000 signatures as of this writing.