Microsoft has now released three cumulative updates for Windows 10. These updates combine security fixes with non-security bug fixes, and so far, Microsoft hasn’t done a very good job of describing the contents of these cumulative updates. While the security content is quite fully described, explanations of the non-security fixes have been lacking.
Many, including your author, feel that this is undesirable and that a key part of the Windows-as-a-Service concept, in which Microsoft releases a steady stream of fixes and functional improvements, is a clear explanation of what those updates are. This is a new approach for Microsoft, and it seems like reassuring users and administrators that issues are getting fixed—and that functional changes are clearly described—should be important.
This is doubly important in those unfortunate situations that a patch has a problem. Microsoft will tend to update such patches when the problems have been fixed, but it does a poor job of clearly communicating this.
Unfortunately, it does not seem that the company intends to change this approach. Company representatives told The Register that while the company “may choose” to perform “additional promotion” of new features depending on their “significance,” there’s no intention of providing full release notes. This means that future patches are going to continue to say nothing more than “This update includes improvements to enhance the functionality of Windows 10.”
Microsoft is not unique in the lack of detail in its updates; as app store aficionados will know, software developers show great variation in the quality of their release notes. Some clearly describe the fixes and features that a point release update includes; others offer no more than a terse “Various bug fixes” or similar. But if it is to make Windows 10 appeal even to conservative administrators, we cannot help but feel that more information would be much more valuable than less.