WaaS

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I’m following all the discussion on WaaS, and about why people don’t want to update to Windows 10 due to WaaS. I work in a medical university , and everyone uses obviously a computer, without being an IT person or an engineer. Our whole campus (thousands of computers) is still mostly on Windows 7 btw. We can update to Windows 10, but very few people choose to do so. From my experience, the reason why people are so afraid of going to Windows 10 is not the frequency of the updates or the problems introduced with the updates. The fear is because the update process is erratic, unpredictable and unstoppable when it starts. I have been countless times in the situation where a meeting begins, a course starts, a presentation in front of 100 people is about to start, and groups of people are waiting for long minutes because an update is happening precisely at that time. It’s embarrassing, it’s absurd , and every Windows 10 user has been in that situation. From this perspective, there is no difference if it’s possible to postpone the updates by one week, by one month or by one year. The problem is that the user has no control over the update once it has started. Is it so difficult to ask users just before the update starts (as in macOS) if they want to update now, tomorrow or in a week? If this problem didn’t exist no one would have a problem with updates. We are all used to update our devices frequently, but only on windows the update process starts without the explicit consent of the user. Can you imagine a phone that decides to update when you are waiting for an urgent phone call or in an emergency? I am aware that IT guys don’t like frequent updates because they get thousands of support requests, but I don’t believe that’s the main factor behind the fear of a system that removes from the user the possibility to control it.

Comments (15)

15 responses to “WaaS”

  1. jchampeau

    An environment with "thousands of computers" should be managed with Microsoft's (or third party) management tools which do, in fact, give administrators complete control over updates. If your machines aren't being centrally managed, or if they are being managed in a way that causes the issues you describe, it's your IT group that has failed, not Windows or Microsoft.

    • Vladimir Carli

      In reply to jchampeau:


      I’m not a fan of our IT department by any means. In fact, I think they are mostly incompetent and only worried about reducing their workload as much as possible. However my point was that I don’t care how often the computer needs to be updated. What I care about is not having to sit in front of twenty people waiting for a meeting to start because the laptop I just turned on has a pending update that I can’t defer. When that happens everyone blames Microsoft and windows 10, not the it guys (who don’t even care).

      • jchampeau

        In reply to Vladimir:

        Right. It's a shame your IT people aren't taking advantage of the freely available tools that would fix your problem. The end result, as you point out, is that your colleagues are blaming the wrong company. Don't get me wrong, MS has screwed the pooch for unmanaged Windows machines, but your organization can and should protect you and your colleagues from the WaaS nightmare by using the management tools. They just aren't doing it. Maybe the next time people complain, you could help them direct their ire at your IT director where it belongs.

        • Vladimir Carli

          In reply to jchampeau:


          I don't completely agree. IT might want that the computers get the updates. The issue is that the update process is so bad that the only way to prevent problems is not to update the computers. Is it such a difficult computer science problem to give the person that is sitting in front of the computer the power to decide if an upgrade should happen in that specific moment or not?

    • Greg Green

      In reply to jchampeau:

      But what about the environment with ten computers and the owner as the learn as you go IT guy? That’s where half the US workforce is.

    • crp0908

      In reply to jchampeau:

      Our enterprise environment has thousands of computers and we attempt to manage our updates via WSUS. We still struggle because Microsoft moves the goal posts every 6 months with a new release of Windows 10. Their documentation comes out after the fact and sometimes exists in the form of a mere blog entry. In previous versions of Windows 10, we were burned by Delivery Optimization which originally didn't support local subnet awareness. We were also burned by Dual Scan which caused updates to be downloaded from Microsoft even though we had thought our WSUS policy settings were correct. Now with 1809, we are suffering with updates coming directly from Microsoft when we enable Dynamic Updates during the 1809 upgrade installation via setup. My point being - one might have the appropriate management tools for Windows 10 and still struggle with WaaS. Life for the IT Pro was much simpler and less chaotic back in the days of Windows 7.
  2. sentinel6671

    I agree with you 100%. Proper, built-in tools to allow management of the process would have really helped this situation. I manage IT for my 30 user office and was forced to set up my own WSUS server to get a handle on it. Similar to yours, my IT company was tone deaf and unsympathetic.

  3. madthinus

    Waas biggest impact is in small and medium size businesses. These are people that don't have WSUS servers and don't have the dedicated IT staff to manage and control this. As someone that has worked in that environment, it is a bloody nightmare. We have limited connection speeds, even at best of times, so not having the ability to set a time to check for updates and install updates is a real problem. We use to set the time for like 23:00 in the evening and on patch Tuesday I asked people to leave their machines on. It works surprisingly well and the only costs is the electricity you burn one evening.

  4. minke

    In my experience SMBs have very limited IT departments, and many have none. Unfortunately, some IT people seem to prefer that things are difficult in order to justify their existence, and so much the better if updates create havoc and require lots of IT staff time to solve. I have been severely reprimanded when solving my own IT problems after the IT staff ignored the issues for days--"file a support ticket." Very small businesses are totally on their own, or at the mercy of very expensive outsourced support that loves this type of update havoc--a great way to sell service contracts!

  5. warren

    Microsoft has been criticized for how it presents and updates Windows for many, many years. I remember sitting through those "Oh no, my computer is updating!" meetings in the Windows Vista days! It isn't a peculiarity of Windows 10. Anyone who thinks this problem is new, is probably themselves new to IT.


    Or you've forgotten the BS you used to deal with.


    As for "Windows as a Service".... this is literally nothing more than a marketing phrase. Five years ago when they were sitting around thinking up this stuff, phrases like "Platform as a Service" and "Infrastructure as a Service" were becoming quite popular, and they wanted to ride on that wave.


    Windows still works like Windows has since 2003.... security updates every month, new features every so often. The only major difference compared to pre-Windows 10, is that new features are now delivered twice a year instead of "whenever". And sure, there's a bunch of stuff built in Windows 10 that reaches out to web services, like OneDrive, Microsoft Account, and various Store related things.


    But the telemetry stuff? That started aaaalllll the way back in Windows XP with the "Customer Experience Improvement Program", which included something called "Software Quality Metrics" or SQM. This idea of Windows communicating certain performance & monitoring details back to Microsoft for the purposes of measuring how Windows is running on real computers is old...... older than some of the people who run around on the Internet complaining about it!



    • crp0908

      In reply to warren:

      WaaS is a game changer. The BS we used to deal with before WaaS was nothing compared to the BS we have to deal with now post WaaS. The days of buying a Windows computer, prepping it for the user, and letting it do its thing for its many years of service with never having to look at it again are long gone. Now we are forced to reinstall the OS every so often (through installing feature upgrades) or face not being supported with new security updates.

    • Vladimir Carli

      In reply to warren:


      I didn't forget. The main difference was that at the time of windows vista Apple was still selling good computers and I didn't have the problem. Now apple computers are unbuyable (at least from my perspective) and I'm back at the windows 10 update pain :-)

  6. bill_russell

    Waas was jealousy of mobile OSs and chromebooks' update systems, and being oblivious to the fact that Windows should not be updated like that.

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