Microsoft wants us to let them update our Windows computers whenever they choose. Anyone using the Windows 10 Home edition is already living with this new reality, and — short of upgrading to Windows 10 Professional — can do nothing about it.
Of course, Windows 10 Professional is only slightly less invasive, as it only lets users delay updates for a few weeks. The only way to regain complete control over updates is to use one of the extremely pricey Enterprise or Education editions.
If you wanted to demonstrate just how awful this all is, you couldn’t ask for a better example than the recent anniversary update, which caused huge numbers of webcams to stop working.
Nothing in the release notes for the anniversary update provided any clues that this might happen. I imagine plenty of people simply assumed that their webcams had failed. Some may even have purchased new webcams.
Microsoft is apparently working on a fix, but there’s no indication of when it will be available. In the meantime, there are a lot of angry webcam users out there.
But wait a second: why wasn’t this problem reported by people with affected webcams who are on the Windows 10 Insider Preview program? The problematic changes were available to those users well in advance of the anniversary update’s release. If it was reported, Microsoft apparently failed to grasp the scope of the problem. A more likely explanation is that Insider Preview participants either don’t have webcam hardware (e.g. they test Windows 10 on a virtual machine), or simply never thought to test their webcam. Either way, Microsoft failed to perform adequate internal testing, and this doesn’t bode well for Microsoft’s reliance on the new Feedback mechanism.