Microsoft, which has not given up on frequent feature changes for Windows 10 users, has introduced Windows feature experience packages as a way to increase the number of times a year customers receive new shiny things.
Redmonds released a preview of the first Windows Feature Experience Pack for members of the Windows Insider beta program.
“By testing this process first with Windows Insider, we look forward to expanding the scope and frequency of releases in the future,” Brendon Leblan, senior program manager, wrote on the company’s blog. “Eventually, updates to the Windows Feature Experience Pack will be integrated into the existing Windows 10 service process and will be delivered to customers in this way through Windows Update.”
These feature packsDue to the lack of a better short form, Redmond has been bubbling for some time: two years ago, they were mentioned in a Windows 10 support document. ZDNet’s Mary Joe Foley, who reported on the Leblance job on Monday, had also called the Windows Feature Experience Pack in June as it was shipped to some users.
The idea of feature packs, as explained by LeBlanc, is to send “features and experiences” through a mechanism outside the two-year feature update cycle already in place for Windows 10. Such features and functions could be installed independently of the OS, as they were developed independently. from the operating system, such as the Edge browser.
This debut included only two minor improvements to existing features. The first allows users to save screenshots or screenshots taken with Snip & Sketch in the specified folder instead of automatically in the Pictures / Screenshots folder. The second supports a shared keyboard for the touch keyboard on 2 devices in one.
According to LeBlanc, Windows feature experience packages will be delivered to users through Windows Update.
As a result, they will rely on the same service technology used to implement the monthly security update, other monthly deliveries (including optional updates on the third or fourth Tuesday of each month), and especially Windows 10 “small” feature upgrades. Both November 2019 and 2020.
Okay, but why?
In 2019, Microsoft launched a major-small feature upgrade cadence, with the first update of the year – released in the spring – followed by an even smaller one in the fall. The first contained many additions or enhancements to features and functionality, and was delivered as a standard operating system upgrade, so it was necessary to completely replace the OS.
The second included all fixes issued since the first, as well as a very limited number of feature additions; due to its structure, it could be handled and installed just like one of several monthly updates. In fact, the entire second “upgrade” was embedded in the code of one of these monthly cumulative updates, then activated with a minute minute later.
“Updates to the Windows Feature Experience Pack will be delivered to internal users through Windows Update, as will builds and cumulative updates,” writes LeBlanc.
This feature means that Microsoft expects these updates to be processed significantly faster than a true feature upgrade, even if they are not unobtrusive. (LeBlanc noted that the feature pack needs to restart the device, although the Patch Tuesday security update does not.) This also means that Microsoft expects these updates to occur more frequently than feature updates, possibly as often as every month.
The latter is likely to affect especially commercial customers, IT staff. IT as a group has not been enthusiastic about Microsoft’s pace of Windows as a service; In a survey conducted earlier this year, almost six out of every 10 administrators surveyed said innovations were not helpful or infrequent.
In addition, only 17 percent of administrators preferred the current two-year upgrade frequency, while 75 percent wanted only one upgrade per year or one upgrade per year. two years.
Microsoft’s upgrade rate has actually dropped from twice a year to just once a year, starting in 2019, when it reached its main-smallest term. Now you’re thinking of increasing the frequency with Windows Feature Experience Packs?
Microsoft has never shown evidence that customers spoke of their Windows 10 as a service model, that they thought it improved the security of their wards, or that these customers saw Windows 10 as a better result of frequent OS upgrades.
In fact, since Windows 10 debuted five years ago – even before launching it – users have complained about Microsoft’s upgrade practices, focusing on everything from speed to disruption, and questioning their value and Microsoft’s motives. Customers have adapted to the new service strategy because they have had it, not because they want it.
The concept of the Windows Feature Experience Pack is more or less the same. Almost as important, the feature packs run counter to Microsoft’s move to less innovation, as evidenced by 30 months of support for Windows 10 Enterprise upgrades and Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro cadence once a year. From there to someone, another way to distribute updates? Again, why?
Microsoft should answer that – and once, before it corresponds to a change. Customers, especially paying customers on the commercial side, deserve it.
Tag MicrosoftWindows 10