There’s a chance Microsoft is going to lose a lawsuit over unwanted Windows 10 upgrades, the results of which allegedly caused a permanent loss of data on
This suit, which only amounts to $5 million (so far), could easily turn into a massive class-action suit if Microsoft cannot counter the threat by finding something in its end-user license agreement (EULA) that holds the company blameless. If that does not work, it could finally kill off the onerous EULA and open the gates to lawsuits against every software company, website, cloud service, and everything in between.
I’ve never been a fan of the EULA, but see its value from the corporate perspective. It keeps these companies in business because it underscores that nothing software-based actually works as it is supposed to. There is always a glitch, flaw, or security risk.
What has changed over the years is auto-upgrades. This option has been a holy grail for Microsoft since the appearance of America Online. AOL used to just auto-upgrade your entire online system every so often, whether you liked it or not. It would change the whole experience and interface.
Microsoft and other software companies wanted this freedom, but two things prevented it. The first was that Microsoft’s pre-testing was never perfect; when it put a patch into the field it would often fail or make things worse. The second problem was the squawking from the users who never trusted Microsoft’s patches—until the patch for the patch arrived.
There are millions of lines of code in Windows and—like most software—much of it has devolved into spaghetti code installed over the years to fix bugs. Microsoft is sick of doling out customer support for someone running old Windows 8 code. Thus, it decided to upgrade everyone to Windows 10. Almost all Windows users—400 million at this point, according to Redmond—are running the same code base.
I have had no problems with Windows 10. I like it. I particularly like the speedy reboot times. I had two PCs that were auto-upgraded months apart. My Windows 7 machine updated first, then the Windows 8.1 system. Despite this “consistent code,” the presentation of Windows 10 on the two machines has differences.
Auto-updates will cause more problems in the future. At some point (and it better be working on this now), Microsoft must abandon Windows altogether and code something new and fresh and modern.
I have never understood why it cannot get rid of the idiotic registry. Why does a software package need to be “installed?” There are plenty of systems that simply run within a closed framework that can be contained within one directory.
The registry stems from the eye-rolling notion that different software subsystem can intertwine and there needs to be a common area for streamlined coordination. The convoluted registry is only one facet of this. You’ll find all sorts of hidden directories and “temp file” holding areas used for one function or another. AppData, a hidden folder, is a good example of this.
The interaction between programs, as promised in the 1980s, means you could send out a DOC file that had some spreadsheet summary data in it and could change automatically as the information on the linked spreadsheet did real-time re-calc. Data all over the place here and there would alter itself.
This idea has a lot of applications, such as doing a mail merge, or collecting stock market data, and changing the price dynamically. But does this require a burdensome registry?
When I use any of my Windows 10 machines, I have to admit that it is a miracle to me that they work at all, especially when I consider what is going on under the buggy surface. Maybe it’s about time to rethink the whole thing.