Many home users of Microsoft products almost take for granted their Windows Update will operate correctly.  For those of you keeping score, Microsoft pulled the Windows Update from October 2018 because it was unexpectedly deleting user files.  To finish the year with a bang, Microsoft pulled yet another failed Windows Update in December of 2018 to end the year with a bang.

The Next Failed Windows Update

Unsuspecting Microsoft users were greeted with the dreaded blue screen of death after this failed Windows Update.  The lucky users were owners of Microsoft’s Surface Book 2, which is one of their highest end computing devices.  According to ZD Net, symptoms of this failed Windows Update were blue screen upon blue screen, rendering these expensive devices unusable and unstable.

After the initial reports, it turns out additional users were impacted, and the failed Windows Update was removed for all consumers.

The Real Problem With A Failed Windows Update

The real problem of a failed Window’s Update probably is not faced by the reader of this article.  As IT pros, we generally have good control over our personal assets, including utilizing cloud sharing services and backing up our devices on a regular basis.  We may even have more than one computing device accessible to us in the event of a failed Windows Update.

The real problem is for the Microsoft consumers who do not work a day job in the IT field.  These users can lose valuable data if they are not protecting it (which they very well may not be) and may be dead in the water with a continuous blue screen.  Think of small business owners that are not tech savvy, or those who are not the most computer literate.

While Microsoft does provide instructions on how to recover from a blue screen issue such as this one, how realistic would it be for a non IT pro to be able to follow them?  While the troubleshooting wizard is helpful, I think many consumers will struggle with it.

Failed Windows Updates Shake Consumer Confidence

While these failed Windows Updates shake consumer confidence, what options and what recourse does an end user have?  While there are other operating systems out there such as Mac OS and Linux, they are not all without fault, and would require an end user to learn a completely new computing platform.  In the case of Mac OS, it would also require end users to purchase a new device.

The fact of the matter is end users do not have any recourse to a failed Windows Update, or the data loss and disruption that goes along with it, and they deserve better.  Microsoft needs to do a better job of making sure their updates (which they encourage users to ensure happen automatically) do not wreak havoc.  They should also begin a wider campaign targeted at general purpose users encouraging them to backup data and make copies of important data.  They could even turn it into a business opportunity.

While this is hopefully the last failed Windows Update of 2018, it will probably not be the last if we look at history.  We can hope that Microsoft has learned from its two failed Windows Updates so close together, and that Microsoft users will have a more stable 2019 next year.

To learn more about the specifics of the failed Windows Update, be sure to to check out Microsoft’s Official Knowledge Base page here.  The mention of the update being pulled is towards the bottom of the page.