A couple years back Microsoft culled its popular TechNet subscriptions service. Those that work in IT, saw this as a detriment to their abilities for being able to test Microsoft's software before deploying into production. Microsoft promised to provide a replacement, but has notably fallen short with 180-day evals and Virtual Academy offerings. This, coupled with an insistence on moving more and more on-premises operations to the Cloud, Microsoft began driving a wedge between itself and those that had supported the software company's wares inside its customer networks. Many still see this as the underpinnings of a modern day "war on IT."
Fast forward a bit and Microsoft further exacerbated the problem with the demise of its notification for Microsoft's regular monthly security patches. Advanced notifications still exist, but only for those companies willing to shell out extra cash for paid support. This puts some organizations at a severe disadvantage without proper planning – or planning capabilities they relied on for years. It's caused many customers to revamp their patching processes, forcing many companies to take a lot longer to deploy critical updates than ever before. Information about each month's updates are now only available for everyone else the moment the updates are released from Microsoft's Cloud.
But, hey, at least Microsoft is still providing information, right? Not so fast.
According to reports, Microsoft is going even further, particularly for Windows 10. Rich talks about this in The demise of detailed info about Windows 10 Cumulative Updates where Microsoft is eliminating communication about what's included in updates altogether. Instead, the company will reserve full disclosure only when it can be used to promote major new features in Windows 10 released as part of a larger update.
Over the past month, since the release of the Windows 10 upgrade, Microsoft has delivered four cumulative updates. This quick update pace has been to fix bugs and deliver security updates, but also to expose new features that the company isn't talking about. For consumers, this should be no big deal since they can't opt-out of updates anyway. But, for businesses, this could be a big deal and is yet another thing that Microsoft seems to be "taking away" from IT.
It's almost as if someone is applying the precepts of The Art of War.
"When the enemy is relaxed, make them toil. When full, starve them. When settled, make them move." – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
The business story for Windows 10 is still being written. A larger update still to come in the next couple months is intended to bring better business features for Windows 10. But, as for updating Windows 10 after the fact, the messaging is still murky. Mary Jo talked about this in a recent column, wondering why information about Windows Update for Business hasn't been forthcoming, despite Microsoft announcing it in such a major way at its mega-event, Ignite, in Chicago this year. I spoke then with Microsoft employees to learn that just the idea of Windows Update for Business was only about a week old and the announcement actually surprised some.
I'm heading to Redmond this week to hear about Microsoft's strategy and commitment for supporting business transformation. As part of the 3-day trip, there's a customer panel and Q&A for which I'm especially looking forward. I hope to hear Microsoft fill the gaps in our knowledge about what businesses can expect with the Cloud and Windows 10. If you have questions you'd like me make sure to address, feel free to hit me up on Twitter or leave a comment here.
In the meant time, I'm curious. Are people making too much over the lack of information about updates? Do we really need to know what's included in Windows 10 updates? Is full disclosure of what's contained in patches important?
We have a poll available now that I'd truly hope you'd take some time in which to participate:
Additionally, a new UserVoice suggestion has been posted. If you believe Microsoft should be more forthcoming about what is embedded in each update, drop by UserVoice and cast your vote:
The topic has already garnered almost 200 'yes' votes in less than a day.