Windows 10 update pulled after file losses

Microsoft has been forced to stop the October 2018 release of Windows 10 because users have complained it deletes files

Microsoft has suspended the October 2018 release of its Windows 10 operating system (OS) update following a spate of reports of users’ files disappearing.

In a statement regarding the update, Microsoft said: “We have paused the release of the Windows 10 update (version 1809) for all users as we investigate isolated reports of users missing some files after updating.”

Operating systems affected include Windows 10 version 1809, Windows Server version 1809, Windows 10 IoT Core version 1809, Windows 10 Enterprise LRSC 2019 and Windows Server 2019.

The challenge for Microsoft business customers is that Windows 10 has been sold as a way to offload the desktop OS updates as a managed service. Computacenter calls this evergreen computing.

In a report commissioned by Computacenter, Lionel Lamy, associate vice-president for European software and services at IDC, wrote: “Transitioning to Windows 10 and evergreen, where the operating system is constantly updated and consumed as a service, is a massive change for any organisation.

“However, the changes brought by evergreen IT go beyond Windows 10 itself. They affect the entire Microsoft stack, the full platform and support infrastructure, as well as the rest of the application landscape (non-Microsoft) currently used in the enterprise. This is a business challenge that must be addressed head-on. It is a change in mindset.

“In the short term, the main challenge will be to prepare properly and set up the right change programme/structure early enough to do a good job of this migration. In the medium term, practical issues such as scheduling frequent testing of the entire application stack and guaranteeing services will be secure, available and optimised is going to be tough. Application and infrastructure testing, as well as release, must become a more fluid and continuous process.”

But as the 1809 update has illustrated, giving Microsoft full control to update the operating system, in the same way smartphones are updated, can lead to unanticipated problems.

Delaying an update until the IT team has thoroughly checked incompatibility issues removes the benefits of the evergreen architecture promised in Windows 10. As companies prepare for Windows 7 end of support, they are now having to rethink how much they trust Microsoft to keep its operating system updated in a way that does not break enterprise IT.

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