Microsoft started off October on a high note with the released of a long-awaited Windows 10 update. This was part of the company’s ongoing effort to roll out a pair of major updates to its flagship software product every year. Here we are at the end of October, and there’s still no October update following an embarrassing rollback.
When Microsoft rolled out the October update, it called out important features like a new screenshot tool, Explorer dark mode, and deeper cloud storage integrations. However, the update also had a nasty habit of overwriting the My Documents folder during installation. That nuked all the files and folders previously stored under that directory. Microsoft pulled the update several days later as it investigated the issue. Many users also complained of broken drivers on the October update, which seems to happen every time.
The history of issues with the October update stretches back long before the first public reports of file loss. In the wake of the update debacle, members of the Microsoft Insiders program pointed out they had been warning Microsoft of this exact bug for months before the official release. Those reports had been buried because of the way Microsoft’s feedback tool worked. Microsoft said it’s fixing that by adding a severity rating to the bug report function.
Microsoft has acknowledged its mistakes with this update. After pausing the rollout, it claims to have fixed the bug internally. It looked like the October update would start rolling out again, but updates have been limited to Insiders so far. The most recent update (build 17763) includes more fixes for Insiders to test. The new build addresses an issue with ZIP files where Windows wouldn’t ask if you wanted to overwrite files of the same name when decompressing. It was just skipping those files instead.
This seals the fate of the October update — it’s not launching in October. Microsoft is going to have to come up with a new shorthand to describe this update when it does finally roll out. It also needs to make sure the functionality is unimpeachable. Pulling the same update twice would be a real disaster.
Windows supports so many hardware configurations that it’s hard to test everything sufficiently. It could be that these twice-yearly major updates are just too much for the Windows team.