Dear Bill Gates

Dear Bill Gates, I have been following you on social networks, and have been admiring your efforts, through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to spend billions of dollars to make the world a much better place! Let me please offer a simple suggestion that could make a big difference for many people. Are you […]



Dear Bill Gates,

I have been following you on social networks, and have been admiring your efforts, through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to spend billions of dollars to make the world a much better place!

Let me please offer a simple suggestion that could make a big difference for many people. Are you listening?

Please consider telling your friends at Microsoft to change Windows to COMPLETELY UPDATE WINDOWS WITH ONLY A SINGLE MOUSE CLICK by the computer owner!

No waiting an indeterminate time and confirming that yes it is desired to restart now, only to wait another indeterminate time for the update to install or fail.

No repeated entries of root login password during update.

No incomplete updates when additional updates are available.

No googling cryptic failure codes.

No manual invocation of Windows Update Repair, invoke Repair automatically when needed.

No coming back to discover an antivirus needed to be manually disabled.

Add a failure timeout. No waiting days to discover the update got stuck and the device needs a manual reboot.

No messages “Waiting on updates. 21% Don’t turn off your PC. This will take a while.” Instead tell your user when they should come back IN MINUTES, not as a percentage of an incomplete intermediate stage.

By all means keep the current update process available for anyone who wants it.

Consider wrapping an automatic retry loop and failure timeout around the current process, with an escape ([ESC]?) to abort and fall back to the manual process.

Please test this thoroughly before you release it, track every outcome failure mode in your lab that did not end in a complete update. Allow users to anonymously fax an update failure log to Microsoft to report unsuccessful update outcome modes so they can be tracked, prioritized and fixed.

Let us put an annual economic measure on this suggestion. Let us assume that there are 1B Windows computers in use, and each computer undergoes 4 hours of updating each quarter, and assume an average worldwide wage of $10/hour for computer users then the automation proposed here could save USD $160B/year.

In comparison it has been estimated that a more efficient utilization of older workers in USA would increase the USA GDP by over $800B/year.

But then again, perhaps automating Windows update is a much easier change?

Thank you so much for listening, and for all that you have done and continue to do.

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