Microsoft continued to manage criticism for several quality and testing of that updates in November, the month it resumed the Windows 10 version 1809 rollout, after the bug destroyed user data, and pulled an update for version 1803 that caused Blue Screens of Death (BSOD) on its flagship Surface Book 2.
Now, the lender has posted a completely new blog within their series explaining the ‘Windows strategy for quality’ and the efforts required to patch bugs quickly without causing headaches for users.
The post tries to assuage concerns that Microsoft isn’t adequately testing its software updates before releasing them how to the public.
The post is mostly a follow-up on quality updates after resuming the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.
Within a first post Microsoft’s corporate second in command of Windows, Michael Fortin, highlighted the complexness of treating millions of Windows drivers, several of which have since caused it to stop that update for users.
Today Fortin highlights the complexity of managing quality and security at scale, noting that “each month, we update more than one billion devices among desktop PCs and IoT devices to servers”, covering everything from the latest form of Windows 10 oh no – Windows XP for businesses on custom support agreements.
Fortin also offered an explainer on Microsoft’s various monthly updates, that have the Patch Tuesday update, better known as the B release on your second Tuesday of each one month.
There’s also the C and D releases that have already non-security fixes and which can be released within your third and fourth weeks using the month.
Fortin notes these include optional releases that users will have to actively seek. The other types of updates are out-of-band or ‘on-demand’ releases, like for example emergency fixes for critical security flaws or quality things which affect loads of devices.
The C and D releases were the center of attention earlier this month after an update for Windows 10 1803 triggered BSOD issues on Surface Book 2 devices.
As a IT pro noted right at that moment, Microsoft only tests these updates with Windows Insiders for ones latest version of Windows 10. Some Surface Book 2 owners criticized Microsoft for apparently not testing the update on its flagship Surface hardware.
However, Fortin says Microsoft engineers do use a “combination of testing procedures” to develop and validate all feature and security updates before unleashing them along the world.
These procedures get a Pre-release Validation Program (PVP); a Depth Test Pass (DTP) targeting code changes; a month-to-month Test Pass (MTP) that comes with tens of thousands of different devices to guarantee application and hardware compatibility; the fans Windows Insider Program with non-security fixes; additionally the invitation-only Security Update Validation Program for enterprise and ISVs which can be used to validate the outcome of security fixes before Patch Tuesday.
Fortin stresses that as patches and updates are freed the company also publishes related knowledge-base (KB) articles to refer to the issue and connect. And after that Microsoft’s telemetry systems monitor that the update has been doing among users.
This treatment includes live site validation testing (LSVT) to ensure the update exists on Windows Update and its successfully downloading and installing on devices.
Also, it monitors support service and feedback channels, and employs machine understanding how to help monitor social media optimisation and forums for reported problems.
For your credit, Microsoft ended up being particularly transparent about compatibility stuffs that have cropped up since re-releasing Windows 10 version 1809, updating consumer and enterprise customers about issues, resolutions and fixes about the Windows 10 1809 support page.
The page lists past and recurring blocks for iCloud users, Cisco enterprise users, customers with certain Intel drivers, therefore the just-fixed mapped drives bug.
“We need to improve this throughout 2019 in order to provide more information about our actions or partner actions to mitigate issues,” wrote Fortin.