And You Thought the 1809 Delay Didn’t Hurt Anyone

Posted on November 8, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 88 Comments

A few people told me that complaining about Microsoft’s inability to ship Windows 10 version 1809 was pointless as this is a victimless crime. And that this is the kind of thing that only bothers tech bloggers and enthusiasts.

I don’t agree. But as Brad as just documented over on Petri, this delay has had a material impact on Microsoft’s PC maker partners. And they, too, have heard absolutely nothing from the software giant. In other words, Microsoft’s cone of silence, its abject inability to communicate, extends to them too.

“This is a major headache [for PC makers],” Brad explains. “And having talked to a couple of them off the record, they are not only stuck between a rock and a hard place, but they are also dealing with shipping hardware on untested software.”

The issue, of course, is Windows 10 on ARM running on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor. As it turns out, this platform only supports Windows 10 version 1809. So PC makers had to make a choice: Ship PCs with a non-released, unsupported version of Windows (1809) with known bugs. Or ship them with an unsupported earlier version of Windows (1803).

But it gets worse: The agreements that PC makers have with Microsoft prevent them from marketing any PCs based on Windows 10 version 1809 until that version ships. And since that version was pulled in early October, that means they’ve suffered for over a month with no ability to market their newest PCs. And with no word at all from the platform maker regarding when that might change.

“Companies like Samsung and Lenovo are taking the biggest risk with these devices,” Brad notes. “They are backing a Microsoft initiative to move away from Intel and experiment with ARM and for their loyalty, Microsoft is not upholding its promise to ship a version of Windows on time.”

Yep. It’s a fiasco.

 

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Comments (95)

95 responses to “And You Thought the 1809 Delay Didn’t Hurt Anyone”

  1. jwpear

    It's time to move on from Windows. This dino is just too damn hard to maintain. We'd be better served putting our energy into other operating systems at this point.


    I am not saying this as an Apple or Google fanboy. I've earned a living writing apps for the Windows platform for 25 years. Yes, I'm biting the hand tha feeds me, but I find it absurd that Microsoft can't get this resolved quickly and has not kept its partners, at a minimum, in the loop on what's going on and when they expect to deliver. It sounds like there are deeper issues with this release. Why would anyone trust this release?


    • jbinaz

      In reply to jwpear:
      It sounds like there are deeper issues with this release.


      It really does make you wonder what is going on with this release. From an outsider perspective, although one who has built some software, the bugs that we've heard about don't seem like it would take this long to correct and rerelease, raising the question you asked, is there more than we're being told?

    • eric_rasmussen

      In reply to jwpear:


      Agreed. I moved on to Linux after the troubles we had earlier in the year with Windows 10. With all the issues in 1809, it looks like that was a good move. Honestly, Visual Studio Code is great, .NET Core is awesome, and I've been working with some new languages like Go, Dart, and Rust since leaving Windows.


      Windows and I have had spats in the past, and I make it go sleep on the couch for a week or two before forgiving it and reinstalling. But this time, it's been months and I couldn't be happier.

    • red.radar

      In reply to jwpear:


      I have set the delay feature upgrades to a full 365days and been getting more familiar with MACOS.


      windows as a service has failed.

      • jwpear

        In reply to red.radar:

        I use a Mac some and have to admit that it seems much more stable than Windows. Admittedly, my Mac use is not as heavy as Windows, so I certainly haven't put the Mac through the same paces. I sort of view macOS as a legacy OS too, but want to hedge my bets.


        Half of my development work these days is with JavaScript, which is truly cross platform. We're also moving our REST APIs from .NET Framework to .NET Core. And I wouldn't rule out a move to Node.js. I can see a day when we're free to use just about any client OS of choosing for development. I don't see that platform being Windows given the direction it is heading.


        Maybe the change of guard for Windows will right this ship, but I have a hard time putting a lot of faith in it at the moment. I'm beginning to get the feeling I have held on to the past too long and have foolishly advocated too much for Windows. The OS obviously has no future with consumers and Microsoft seems incapable of even keeping it going for professional use.

    • ben55124

      In reply to jwpear:

      MS should partner with Google on Fuchsia OS. MS is already hosting it on GitHub.

  2. dnationsr

    maybe linux is a better solusion

  3. leops1984

    The beancounter who decided years ago that getting rid of MS's testing teams and offloading it to the developers themselves deserves to be flogged in public.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to leops1984:

      Beancounters may have proposed it, but some actual manager, maybe Myerson, maybe Nadella, had to have accepted their proposal and signed off on it. It's a beancounter's job to think up ways to save money, even if some of those ways do more harm than good. It's a senior manager's job to distinguish beancounters' good ideas from their bad ideas. IOW, don't blame people towards the bottom of the totem pole.

  4. A_lurker

    If I ran an OEM I would strongly consider advertising any Chromebooks in my line up hard and start installing a well known Linux distro on many models and advertising them hard. The OEMs are stuck sitting on inventory they can not sell and what they can sell they do not have any idea how many to make. Either way they are losing money with unsellable inventory now and potentially later. This is not good for relations with the OEMs as MS needs them not to revolt.


    MS seems to be trying very hard to make 2019 or 2020 finally the year of the Linux desktop by sheer incompetence and arrogance.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to A_lurker:

      OEMs could sell their inventory, just with 1803 and a promise to new PC buyers that it should only take half a day to download and install all the updates.

    • skane2600

      In reply to A_lurker:

      They would have problems with Linux too. You can't just install a Linux distro on an arbitrary laptop and be assured that everything will work properly. They wouldn't be able to advertise their way into making Linux a mainstream desktop OS either.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to skane2600:

        Every Linux distribution guaranteed to work on every laptop, no. OTOH, Ubuntu, Mint, Elementary, Solus live CDs/DVDs/usbs work with a lot of laptops with no tweaking. Besides, if it were an OEM preinstalling Linux, I figure they'd make sure it was working before shipping.

        The real question is plug-in peripherals: whether those peripherals need their own drivers, and whether their manufacturers provide any for Linux.

        • skane2600

          In reply to hrlngrv:

          "Besides, if it were an OEM preinstalling Linux, I figure they'd make sure it was working before shipping"


          Of course, but that takes time too which why I said "They would have problems with Linux too. "

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to skane2600:

            Semantics. Problems should be unforeseen. Work is apter for foreseeable issues.

            • skane2600

              In reply to hrlngrv:

              I should ignore your pedantry, but I'll bite. So having to install Linux instead of Windows because the latter was delayed is foreseen work? All part of the plan?

              • hrlngrv

                In reply to skane2600:

                Intentionally feigned miscomprehension to match up against pedantry.

                No, installing and testing Linux would be likely to expose issues, and addressing those issues would be work.

                In contrast, deleting users' files would presumably be considered a problem, except that this was reported well before MSFT's original release of 1809. It should have been foreseen. In which case the main problem is MSFT's apparent unwillingness to pay attention to feedback.

                • skane2600

                  In reply to hrlngrv:

                  This is as far as I'm going to go down this silly rabbit-hole, so this is my final comment on the subject:


                  This thread isn't about MS' problems or MS' work, it's about vendors selling PCs with Linux installed as an alternative. The testing they would have to do to insure that Linux worked flawlessly is an unanticipated problem. But my mistake was implicitly accepting your idiosyncratic distinction between "work" and "problem". In many cases they can be used interchangeably.


                  You may have the last word, if you wish.

  5. skane2600

    "The issue, of course, is Windows 10 on ARM running on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor. As it turns out, this platform only supports Windows 10 version 1809. "


    How can that be? Haven't ARM fans been saying that it's just a matter of setting a compile switch for ARM instead of Intel? Yeah, right.

    • locust infested orchard inc

      In reply to skane2600:

      That quote you gave, although not a quote, is correct insofar as it potentially allows developers of x86-64 (i.e. 64-bit) software applications to natively compile for ARM64 using Visual Studio v15.8 Preview 1, which was released at Microsoft Build back in May 2018.


      So the information you state is direct from the horse's mouth, rather than some random ARM fanboi.

      • skane2600

        In reply to locust infested orchard inc:

        Yes, I was aware of the existence of the compile switch, but I was referring to people claiming that "flipping" that switch would be all that was necessary to convert an existing x86-64 software application into a fully-functional ARM equivalent. It's not going to be that simple.


        The current problem also suggests a coupling between the Snapdragon 850 and a particular version of Windows 10 which doesn't bode well for the future if such linkage patterns continue.

  6. dontbe evil

    Paul couldn't wait to turn out is blaming on delay on something (kind of) real

  7. jameskk

    I've owned the C630 for about two weeks now and overall I am very happy with this device. It's much faster than I expected it to be (for my tasks) and the size and battery life are outstanding. I have experienced two bluescreens so far and the connected/LTE hasn't functioned properly since I got the computer. In fact, I contacted Lenovo and they suggested that I take the unit back to Best Buy as it might be defective but the 2nd unit has experienced the same issues. I am wondering now if it is because its running 1803.... hmmmm. In that case I can't wait to get 1809 to see if it at least fixes the cellular issues.

  8. epguy40

    check out this recent article by Ed Bott of ZDNet, Paul:

    www.zdnet.com/article/windows-as-a-service-fail-microsoft-keeps-customers-in-the-dark-as-it-struggles/

  9. danmac

    I'm sure NVIDIA is also not happy with the delays. The 1809 update is needed for Real Time Ray tracing in their RTX cards that they are charging $1200 for, and the delays mean that one of their flagship titles, Battlefield V will launch without being able to support it.


    GamersNexus already has a "Days without ray tracing" counter in their latest news video.

  10. BBoileau

    Missteps abound. On the OS side of things, each time MS slips, I think of getting a Chromebook or All In One on Chrome OS. I recently acquired an iPad (it was free as I won it) and much of my daily sit down at my desk for consumption tasks is now free to do anywhere in my home. I hate iOS as nothing is intuitive and almost all apps are controlled by the inherent problems of the OS. Google (Alphabet) struggle with their own hardware, although their Chromecast and Home devices work well. Overall, I see Google mostly gaining ground and Apple and MS slipping.

  11. navarac

    When it does come, it should be 1811 anyway !!

  12. waethorn

    "Windows 10 on ARM running on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor. As it turns out, this platform only supports Windows 10 version 1809"


    You can't even use the joke of "17 people" waiting in line for these things. It can't even be that big of a number.

  13. waethorn

    Who needs 1809 when the updates for 1803 are bad enough??

    • annacourt

      In reply to Waethorn:

      One of those updates constantly crashes Access databases as my job. Microsoft has been aware of the issue since late May/early June with no fix. A workaround was found by the community. The real sad part is that they are no longer replying to one of their MVP’s in regards to the bug 1803 applied to Office.

  14. techguy33

    Windows Insider Blog...post after post about new builds of 19H1. No explanation/updates about what's going on with 1809. Amateur hour.

  15. locust infested orchard inc

    I'm not so sure that this is as a big disaster as all the FUD appear to suggest.


    Reason being, although Windows 10 version 1809 was developed with Snapdragon 850 in mind, the predecessor to the Snapdragon 850, the Snapdragon 835, worked with Windows 10 1803 (and possibly shipped with Windows 10 1709, though I'm not sure) without incident.


    So I suspect, though the 850 is officially only supported by 1809, there is nothing to suggest 1803 will be cataclysmic for the 850.


    The 1803 may not take advantages of certain hardware features of the 850, e.g., the Adreno 630 GPU, and the 4G LTE connectivity may be of considerable issue, but otherwise the sky isn't going to fall on the minority of folk who opt to purchase an overpriced ARM laptop, comparative to an Intel one.


    Version 1809 will ship when it ships. Until such time, use 1803 with a dose of patience.

  16. Mike Widrick

    Whether or not this is a widespread issue that has a huge effect, it's a terrible sign that the process has to change. There's a reason Apple sticks with one major update a year, and they have a far smaller ecosystem of vendors and devs to manage. And they're certainly not perfect lately. I hope Microsoft takes this to heart and makes some changes. This won't be the first time that new hardware features are attached to a specific build or that a bug is found late, and that has a large trickle-down effect.


    And since they're emulating Apple with an internal OEM, the Surface team, why aren't those guys finding bugs effectively? They couldn't have caught the ARM bug, but what about the other stuff?

  17. MixedFarmer75

    Just read an an article from Forbes making it sound like the end of the world. MS needs to speak out or others will do it for them. https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2018/11/08/microsoft-windows-10-update-problem-crash-windows-10-home-pro-downgrade/

  18. Matthias Götzke

    Well I got 1809 because I happened to check for Windows Update at that time and since yesterday my Windows says not activated .. duh. PS: They did fix it this morning and my windows was reactivated again just now


    • CaedenV

      In reply to matthiasg:

      At work I have a laptop and a Nuc which I updated to 1809. Nuc updated just fine with no issues, but the laptop (which is a ~4 year old HP) needed firmware updates before wireless would work again.... such a pain.

      On the plus side, both devices now have dark mode explorer, which is pretty much the main thing I use on both devices, and that is nice :D

  19. StevenLayton

    Have admit, I fell into that category Paul. It's good to consider implications you never thought about.

  20. nbates66

    So then Microsoft wonders why it's so hard to get manufacturer's or companies onboard with whatever new initiatives they come up with.

  21. hrlngrv

    Gee, only 2 weeks until Thanksgiving, meaning the Xmas shopping season begins in earnest 2 weeks from tomorrow. No PCs shipped to date could be advertised to be running the latest version of Windows? WAY TO GO MSFT!

  22. munchieswolf

    I would think they could make the legal argument that 1809 DID ship, as it was made publicly available and was subsequently pulled by Microsoft. I suppose it would come down to the legalese in their contracts. Nevertheless, it's clear Microsoft either doesn't know what the issue is, or doesn't know how to fix it, which is far more troubling for end-users.

  23. wocowboy

    And now we have reports that users are complaining that their Windows Pro installations that have worked fine for years are being downgraded to Home or de-authorized completely. https://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-acknowledges-some-windows-10-pro-licenses-being-mistakenly-deactivated Microsoft has some REAL problems on their hands and needs to get some word out on just exactly what is going on.

  24. PeterC

    it would appear to me that The Chief Executive needs to get a grip of this situation and communicate clearly what’s occurring. It’s so reminiscent of other issues that have bogged down the company I once held in such high regard. Really disappointing.

  25. madthinus

    NVidia is another company directly affected by this delay. The new RTX cards biggest feature, raytracing is only possible with the latest DX12 bits that is shipping with 1809. Battlefield V is the first game that will support DXR features and that will be playable on 15 November 2018 by the deluxe edition owners, with EA promising the patch with DXR support at that time. DXR only works on 1809. Needless to say, NVidia has a lot riding on the success of the DXR as a premium ask for the RTX cards with Battlefield V a big part of the pitch.

  26. sevenacids

    ...and they keep pumping out new 19H1 builds like as if nothing ever happened. I can't help myself but there is only one word that comes into my mind when I think about the current situation and the people in charge: incompetence. It's a group of hipster ninja-clowns that lead Windows now. Professionals wouldn't act like that.

  27. lvthunder

    For contracts and stuff wouldn't the original October release count as 1809 being released (shipped) and supported. I mean if I downloaded the update before they pulled it I would still be able to get support if I needed it.

  28. chrisrut

    The stony silence borders on Monty-Pythonesque. I mean... It's going on Thanksgiving - talk to us you turkeys!

  29. Josh

    What's even worse is that Windows Server 2019 is stuck in limbo with it. That's not just an incremental/hustle-as-a-service/never RTM-ing update but a full operating system that has been released and then somehow put back in the bag with no word from Microsoft.

  30. Winner

    The agreements that PC makers have with Microsoft prevent them from marketing any PCs based on Windows 10 version 1809 until that version ships. And since that version was pulled in early October, that means they’ve suffered for over a month with no ability to market their newest PCs.


    Well Microsoft claims that they "paused" the release, so that would imply that it IS already on the market.

    Of course that's Microsoft PR-speak...

  31. EZAB

    How many Insiders have installed 1809 on their Computers in the Slow or Release Preview rings? (Current Build 17763.107). What issues are they facing if any? I have not heard anything or read any articles from any writers that have installed that Build in those Rings. Let's hear from them and not Microsoft!


    https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2018/09/18/announcing-windows-10-insider-preview-build-17763/

    • RonH

      In reply to EZAB:

      I have 1809 on 2 of my 3 PC's but have not had any issues. (Surface Pro 4 and a custom built desktop). I have a friend who had an issue with 1809, but a refresh solved the issue. No one else I know has it

      • rfog

        In reply to RonH:

        I have as well in my 2 Work PC (one iMac 2011 and one clonic) without any problem... Well, specific 1809 problems. I don't use integrated ZIP support and had OneDrive enabled when updated.


        And a friend of mine updated 8 of his about 100 work computers without trouble (he fires update in groups of 8 to avoid risk break all the company Windows :-) ).

    • navarac

      In reply to EZAB:

      17763.104 on my second PC and its performing with no issues.

    • Patrick3D

      In reply to EZAB:

      Zero problems here, but I was already aware of the problems caused by past updates to OneDrive configurations and had manually corrected the issue such that I avoided the file loss bug. I'm actually annoyed that 1809 is unavailable since it is holding me up from being able to update the rest of my machines.

  32. Jhambi

    Meh. Call me when windows on arm is actually relevant.

  33. Stooks

    "The agreements that PC makers have with Microsoft prevent them from marketing any PCs based on Windows 10 version 1809"


    Soooooooo much BS. I bet you can't find 5 Joe Consumers that know what version of Windows 10 they are running.


    Exactly what was the PC maker going to market???????????


    "Buy our new X27R2 Laptop now with Windows 10 1809 Fall update 2018!!!!!"


    No they will just say "Buy our new X27R2 Laptop with Windows 10". Which can be said before and after the update.

  34. ericson

    Also 20 series NVIDIA cards are waiting for 1809 to enable ray-tracing

  35. Kudupa

    Microsoft never had any game plan when it came to releasing windows updates. It's absolutely broken & sooner Microsoft steps back from this suicidal ledge better it is for OEM's and consumers.

  36. infloop

    I wonder if some of it has to do with the fear of any legal issues, and that maybe lawyers are telling them not to say anything about it. Weren't there companies that were sued because of these things, making a public apology statement that then opens them up to lawsuits? I am likely mistaken though.


    Couple that with the fact that Microsoft has a tendency for poor communication, a change in strategy across Microsoft to minimize Windows and other legacy software including a CEO who is more focused on the cloud, their thinking that Windows will be continually serviced such that the next release is just around the corner, and we end up with what we have now.

    • Jackwagon

      In reply to infloop:

      That's the case for a lot of apologies; they tend to be phrased to avoid expressing sorrow for one's actions in favor of sympathy for the consequences of those actions. Of course, as you suggested, this is done because actually apologizing for one's actions might be taken as an admission of fault, which could have legal consequences.

    • Skolvikings

      In reply to infloop:

      But they've already admitted what happened and in what scenarios users were affected. So I don't see how them saying they're testing the fix internally now, or that they estimate another couple weeks, etc., is going to open themselves up to anything new legally speaking.

  37. aretzios

    There are more news on this, The 1809 update is now breaking activations. I did so in at least one of my computers. Suddenly, Microsoft is discovering that the digital license of Win 10 Pro is actually a license for Win10 Home and asks you to buy a new license!! Microsoft has admitted the problem and it is trying to fix it now! Wow!!

  38. MacLiam

    I get the feeling Microsoft's silence reflects their honest but naive belief that at any moment they are no more than 48 hours away from releasing a safe and secure 1809. Why rush to explain a problem with something when it is going to work just fine the day after tomorrow? But then they have to give themselves another 48-hour extension to deal with whatever new horror has just emerged. The same reasoning still applies, so they renew the silence. And as time goes by the only sound from Microsoft is crickets.


    This isn't the first time that Microsoft has leaned out too far over the handle bars in a downhill bicycle race. The last-minute "oops" is almost a characteristic of their release schedules. I'm not much injured at this instant by the current fiasco -- the machine that got royally screwed on 1809 is now chugging along reliably with a rollback to 1803, and I have no need there for 1809's early re-release. 1809 was installed without disastrous consequences on an older and a newer Surface Book, and I have had no problems with them. A mix of older machines and low-importance new ones (a Surface Go, for example) are running 19H1 as Insider machines. Tiny gripes occur, and I report them through the Insider Hub.


    But I take your point, and I see why manufacturers might not be as flexible as I am about the situation. This company may need an ombudsman, though I bet they would never use that name. They could call it something like a PIO for Corporate and User Technical Advisories. Well, no. I guess they wouldn't use that either.


    (Edited for clarity and punctuation.)

  39. robincapper

    Comes down to how you define 'paused' vs 'pulled', enter Legal...

    You'd have to argue it is released, and that roll out has been paused for upgrades...

  40. Pierre Masse

    Something must be brewing inside Microsoft and I wouldn't be surprised if they came with a big change in their delivering process.

  41. roastedwookie

    Another proof of MS's imbecile management and mediocre behavior, Junk quality control and zero respect towards any type of partner

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