Windows 10 rollout snafu: Day 33

Thirty-three days after Microsoft withdrew the Windows 10 October 2018 Update from all distribution, the Redmond, Wash. company has yet to restart delivery.

The delay has no precedent in Windows 10 and has gone on significantly longer than instances in prior editions when updates, most of them security fixes, had to be pulled and then later re-released.

Microsoft debuted the fall feature upgrade, also known as 1809 in the firm’s yymm format, on Oct. 2. Four days later – Oct. 6 – it retracted the release by yanking it from the Windows Update service and warning users who had downloaded it to trash the disk image. The reason: Some users – Microsoft said 1/100th of 1% – reported that the upgrade deleted all files in several folders, including the important Documents and Photos directories.

On Oct. 9, Microsoft told those who had installed the upgrade to stay off their PCs and to call a toll-free number for help in possibly recovering some of the deleted files.

(Computerworld selected Oct. 6 as the start date for the delay because it was then that Microsoft halted dissemination.)

The last word on 1809 was more than four weeks ago, when John Cable, director of program management in the Windows servicing group, told customers that bugs had been fixed. But rather than again putting the general public at risk, the company handed the re-release to those who had volunteered to test the OS by signing up with the Windows Insider preview program.

And that’s where it remains.

Other pauses – Microsoft’s term for stopping the upgrade – have been much shorter, with the company typically rolling out a re-release within a handful of days. For example, a 2008 security patch meant to plug a hole in Windows’ implementation of Bluetooth was re-issued in nine days. Earlier that same year, Microsoft took eight days to come up with a rejiggered fix for a math bug a previous patch had inserted into Excel. And in 2012, Microsoft re-released Office 2011 for Mac SP2 (Service Pack 2) five days after pulling it from distribution.

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