Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Do Microsoft users have a "fundamental right" to stability so they can do their work? Some discussion of product lifecycles

Do home users and small business owners, and especially would-be journalists have a fundamental right to expect the devices (most of all traditional PC’s, whether Microsoft, Mac, or some other Linux, as well as tablets and smart phones) to be reliable without breakdowns caused by vendor adventureness?

Today I had some misadventures with a Windows 10 “Second Tuesday” update.  One restart got caught in a loop, which I got out of by repowering the machine.  The “Advanced options” tells me one more restart is needed to finish updates, but another screen says they are up to date.  A symptom was Microsoft Word not loading, which would always be fixed by a restart (or even a power off and Windows 10 fast start).

Microsoft, especially, seems to think it has the right to disrupt customer work by scheduling Windows 10 upgrades on older machines with 7 or 8, which are very likely to fail.

Furthermore, on Windows 7, it seems that “checking for updates” gets caught in a loop now, even though essential security support is supposed to continue until 2020.

I see a lot of troubleshooting forums, with widely varying answers to problems, with people who seem to have time to rebuild operating systems and drivers al the time.  How do you get business done if your basic infrastructure is unstable?  Yet, I’ve heard the moral view expressed that every computer owners should be able to rebuild his own operating system from scratch.  It’s like saying car owners and homeowners should be able to do their own repairs. It’s rather Maoist.

Here is the Microsoft product lifecycle factsheet

Here is a discussion of Microsoft mainstream and extended support     You should be able to get security vulnerability patches until extended support ends.

With the Mac, I have fewer stability problems, although I can't say the Mac is perfect.  More about that another time.

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