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Shenanigans on Microsoft Feedback Hub (thomask.sdf.org)
399 points by Aaronn on Jan 16, 2022 | hide | past | favorite | 224 comments

I also spent quite a lot of time during the Windows 10 preview phase, and a while after release, diligently reporting bugs, and voting on well thought-out feature requests. But after noticing that none of these bugs ever got any attention, and how the Feedback Hub was mostly just noise, I started to wonder why I even did free work for a multi-billion dollar company, on my own time. Right around that period I switched to Linux and now only use Windows for some games that absolutely won't work on the former. This way I no longer care how bad the UX of the system is, and how many bugs there are, as long as my games launch.

Just want to say that the time you spend reporting bugs on Linux environments is not in vain but much appreciated. I try to give back to the community and spend time fixing issues people have for the Linux desktops MATE and XFCE, at least a few times a year.

Giving back to the Linux ecosystem is definitely much more enjoyable than reporting Windows bugs. I'm active building packages and reporting/fixing bugs for Solus, as well as contributing some code to a variety of projects from time to time. It's more of a relaxing pastime for me than a chore. Also you mostly are in direct contact with the actual developers of the apps/libraries, which is a huge improvement.

>> It's more of a relaxing pastime for me than a chore.

This is how a lot of software should be developed. Time to reflect and think about how to make things better. Not some weird money and authority driven scheme.

Really? FOSS software very often has the same problems in this regard that Microsoft does. Almost every time I have an issue with something I will find it already in their bug tracker, several years old, at best ignored and at worst closed by the stale bot.

In my estimation it is roughly the same as it is with Microsoft: if it doesn't directly affect a developer's workflow it will not be fixed and they're annoyed you even brought it up.

The big difference of course being that Microsoft expects you to pay money for this treatment.

That's depends on the specific software and maintainer. I see stuff in the GNOME tracker that boil my blood, I become angry even when now, thinking about it.

On the other hand, I had filled bug regarding some encryption functionality and was given useful and respectful comments that helped me with the non-bug but user error issue. I also reported on some power management feature I was missing and got it implemented in merely few weeks. This two are from fedora maintainers, but I also had some unknown dev on github to implement additional auth options in his product per my request, got this delivered on very short time and could proceed to do POC of the product for a customer.

> That's depends on the specific software and maintainer.

Something so obvious I didn't feel the need to explicitly state it in my post. I guess I should know better.

It's hardly a salient detail when we're talking about... checks notes thousands of distinct software projects with their own unique leadership models. Much like the parent said, there are indeed pretty notoriously ignorant dev teams out there like the GNOME and Flatpak maintainers, but they're more the exception than the rule. By and large, I'd argue that the Linux community gets stuff right more often than Microsoft does these days, and probably Apple too (though their software these days isn't exactly a high bar).

The point might be obvious but I wanted to highlight some non-obvious experiences I had.

> I see stuff in the GNOME tracker that boil my blood, I become angry even when now, thinking about it.

Here's one affecting me recently, When the app on another workspace is closed and the workspace is switched, it crashes GNOME shell. I found that there have been several bug reports raised regarding issue[1].

The oldest related bug report was opened in upstream Ubuntu launchpad a year ago. Granted this is relatively small period compared to some other bugs.

Yet this bug affects me regularly(I guess it has to do with trackpad) and no workspace until it can be fixed. So I'm planning to create a debugging setup to contribute towards resolving this issue.

[1] https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gnome-shell/-/issues/4801

You can’t paint all projects with the same brush as how they are run can vary widely from one to another.

I'm sorry, but where did I say 'all FOSS software'?

Are there any Linux desktops that don't require you to sign up for an account to submit a crash report, and keep crash report details private until triage? That has kept me from reporting reproducible bugs in KDE apps before.

Tip: Use your distribution’s bug reporting system, not the upstream’s. For example, in Debian, simply run the “reportbug” command. It is then the maintainer’s job to, if appropriate, forward the bug upstream.

Whenever a game I play is released on the Nintendo Switch, I am a little bit happier (eg Diablo 3, Tetris Effect). There’s honestly nothing keeping me in Windows except for video games (which I have less and less time for each year). I’m sort of looking forward to the day I won’t need to play video games on Windows and just be happy with a MacBook and a Linux workstation.

You might be interested in a Valve Steamdeck, it's a Switch form factor Linux gaming device.


Plus you can play on Steam on GNU/Linux so you're not restricted to Windows. It's pretty much the same runtime that's gonna land on the Steam Deck. I play some pretty demanding games and it runs flawless. While technically it does not require discrete graphics hardware, in practice it does, but its been smooth sailing with my somewhat old NVIDIA GTX1060 GPU.

I'm the same. My drive doesn't have enough space so I'm stuck using WSL2 for React/Node development, and I'm waiting for an unreleased game to see how it will perform on Linux before I make my permanent switch.

Every other game I play is on Steam and have decent Proton support, or is a retro game where I can use Retroarch and PCSX2 natively.

You could install a debian bullseye into the NTFS filesystem alongside with windows, and use the NTFS FS as your root filesystem. That has been possible for a while, but had performance caveats due to the use of fuse-ntfs. There are a some guides on the interwebs. Since Linux 5.15 there is the new ntfs3 driver in the kernel, that has much better performance. 5.15 is easily installable from the testing repo into a normal bullseye.

> My drive doesn't have enough space

The recommendation here is to buy a larger drive (and a usb->sata adapter if necessary), clone to the new drive, and keep the old one as an offline backup!

Me, too. I'm so happy if a newly purchased game "just works". It feels like Windows by now is deliberately wasting my time with updates and unexpected configuration changes.

Sure, because Nintendo is such a great example of openness towards FOSS communities.

Is it sarcasm, or they are really open to FOSS communities, pjmlp? Tone deaf reader here.

It is sarcasm. Nintendo is extremely hostile towards perceived infringements on their IP, and go out of their way to make modding and fan content difficult to use.

Nintendo is notoriously litigious and hyper-sensitive to IP infringement. It's a real shame considering the cultural impact their games have had.

Nintendo is super trigger happy when it comes to suing modders and homebrew. But at the same time they are extremely friendly towards the indie developers that they work with.

So they hate people publicly distributing an open source switch SDK, but they'll happily give it to you (including full source) after you sign their NDA.

Sarcasm, as if switching from Microsoft to Nintendo was any better.

Welcome to the dark side. I’m sure (almost) every bug you report will be appreciated here.

> Welcome to the dark side

Linux to me is the "light" side.

I once even spotted a Microsoft employee who took the time to raise their concerns on the public tracker:

That is just incredibly exasperating to see. When even MS employees are being forced to "bend over and take it", you'd think there would be some sort of "find the people responsible for this shitshow in the Windows team inside MS, and keep emailing them to fix it" protest. That one employee he noticed seemed to have concluded his comment with a rather sarcastic thanks directed toward someone who might be one of the responsible?

On the other hand, what I can find in the news about internal protests at MS are all seemingly SJW-ish topics, and absolutely none about the quality of the products themselves. I think that alone says a lot about who's working there and what they actually care about doing --- which is clearly not improving their products. The people who do care about that are being heavily outnumbered, and perhaps a lot of them have already deemed MS to be unsalvageable and left.

I can't believe the incredible amount of reality distortion they must have in order to spew forth marketing BS like https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28753528 with a straight face.

I mean, I'm a long time linux user and think windows has been steadily getting worse too, but in reference to your linked comment complaining about "inclusively designed" being a meaningless buzzword - I was confused what it meant too, but reading the actual article the full sentence is:

>We’re proud that Windows 11 is the most inclusively designed version of Windows, built with and for people with disabilities.

so that just means it's designed to be more accessible to people with disabilities. I don't really think that's the problem, and it is a concern that is directly related to product quality. Seems like you just have a bone to pick

It is a meaningless buzzword, and has taken on an almost doublespeak connotation.

Remember when Windows let you adjust the sizes, colours, and fonts of every single UI element? Windows 3.x had that.

They removed that 3 versions back (Win8).

Then they removed some more in Windows 10, and in Windows 11, even stopped you from moving the taskbar to a different edge of the screen; and then, they have the gall to say it's "most inclusively designed".

"Actions speak louder than words."

Well, I can't comment on their effectiveness in having made the operating system more accessible since I haven't (properly) used it in a decade and a half and I'm not disabled, I'm just saying the phrase does have meaning, and relevance to usability, as they used it. Whether their description is accurate is another question

> They removed that 3 versions back (Win8).

With Windows 11 still in the future, isn't Win8 just one version back?

Windows is not accesible even to people without disdabilities. I have to carefully select the background color or else i will end up with a light text colour on light background or dark text colour on dark background. Or to search half of hour for the cursor in a Word document because Microsoft decided that blinking the cursor is so 80s and the cursor is hidden.

Add to that the horrible icon only interface that they are perpetrating in Windows 11. Just horrible UX.

Doesn't Windows have a high contrast mode?

What if you want your own colors and your own level of medium contrast that works well on your specific display and lighting conditions?

Use an alternative Windows DE, I guess (are those still around?). Or just use Linux.

No OS is as flexible as Linux and it can't be, since desktop Linux frequently doesn't offer support so you can do whatever you want to it but it's on you to fix it.

Yes it does.

Internally, Microsoft is chock full of super pissed-off people. Everyone's pissed at everyone else, since everyone there is constantly bombarded by angry friends' and relatives' complaints. A decade under Ballmer of firing anyone who wasn't good enough at weaseling ("unregretted attrition") has resulted in a company full of people who literally don't work at all 90% of the time.

The company does an insane amount of spying ("telemetry") on its users, but all I've ever seen ANY of that data used for was weaseling out of things. "Oh, only 5% of users use that feature" or "Oh, that bug only happens 0.1% of the time". Of course, if you use a product with 1000 bugs and each one of them has a 0.1% chance of occurring on any given month, you're going to run into bugs all the time

From an outside Windows user and admin perspective, I find it weird to blame Balmer here. I recall the era under Balmer as one where Microsoft made a lot of stupid moves, sure, but they were generally still pretty responsive to user feedback and I distinctly recall receiving our paid support on SQL issues from actual Microsoft-employed SQL engineers. Today all our paid support issues seem to go through clueless third party companies, and Microsoft very much seems to actively despise Windows users.

>you're going to run into bugs all the time

yet it doesn't reflect reality

> That one employee he noticed seemed to have concluded his comment with a rather sarcastic thanks directed toward someone who might be one of the responsible?

Presumably, that's "Thanks, <my username>@" as a signature, since the name matches.

I heard the issue is that there no longer are "people responsible". Since Windows was moved under E&D, there is literally no one claiming ownership of Windows. So divisions like WebXT (the folks shoving advertisement in the OS, forcing Edge usage, etc.) are doing as they please with no oversight.

Windows is no longer a 1st class product at MS, it's 3+ layers below the CEO, same tier as Teams, or OneDrive... so no wonder it's going down the shitter.

Pretty strange if you ask me.

PS. This is 2nd hand info from friends that are MSFTers.

I don’t think conflating inclusivity and/or diversity action with specific product issues is helpful or comes off well here.

A team that ignores product quality will soon run out of money to spend on solving social etc. issues. Effort follows attention, so attention should be weighted appropriately across issues, but it's not uncommon for companies and causes to over-index on just a few issues and sacrifice other aspects of team dynamics and product quality as a result.

You might as well say that the team that enjoys a beer and meets up to watch the game on a Sunday is ignoring product quality.

You’ve no basis to point to social causes or anything else and say “something is causing a stink round here and it’s that!”.

Software is built by people. People have viewpoints. There will inevitably be overlap in those viewpoints. There’s no reason to think any of this has anything to do with the thread.

I'm not the OP. They linked to a prior comment of theirs that makes their case in this specific instance. Their take may or may not be an overreaction.

However, commenting generally (with all the caveats that implies), it's abundantly clear from personal experience and the commentary of others that there are certain causes which have a habit of absorbing all the air in the room. You claim there is no basis for this observation. This Feedback Hub discussion gives us one example, where a "zero negative feedback!" mandate takes the air from things that would be more beneficial to (in this case) product quality.

In the OP's example, redefining words to have meaning contrary to their prior accepted usage is an example of air (or energy or attention or whatever you want to call it) being spent disproportionately, with quality suffering as a result.

To borrow an old metaphor, a falling tide grounds all boats. A cause, any cause, whether it's a zero negative feedback mandate or whatever, that lifts some boats while lowering the tide overall, will eventually leave every boat stranded, including the ones the cause is trying to save.

Former MSFTy, don’t bother wasting your time giving feedback. Nobody cares, those that cared left. Microsoft has a weird culture, very top down, very passive aggressive between departments. For a brief while I would diligently prepare bugs for the dog food software. I would even walk over to visit people responsible for it and chat about it. Even for software where ‘zero bugs’ was important they’d just delete a whole bunch of bugs and see if any bounce (come back). Eventually people get sick of refilling so they get to zero bug bounce by exhausting the very people trying to help them.

Enough social media pressure may end up risking a line item in a PMs yearly goals. So that might get looked at.

Even the some of the most backward laggards (e.g. government departments) are sick to death of Microsoft and have long been introducing policies that all new software has to be web only.

Those pointing to Azure as the future should known that they have very aggressive sales who often vastly oversell to customers. Customers aren’t renewing at the same level. Plus I don’t see them being able to compete with Amazon long term. You can only buy Skype for the bundled government customer so many times.

> Even for software where ‘zero bugs’ was important they’d just delete a whole bunch of bugs and see if any bounce (come back). Eventually people get sick of refilling so they get to zero but bounce by exhausting the very people eying time help them.

The open-source equivalent of this behaviour is "stale bots" that close or lock issues with no activity. Or "moving discussion to a separate tracker", with all bugs getting closed and a polite request to re-open them. Or a "locking bugs older than X months, please open a new one if still applicable".

Sure, opening it again isn't a big deal. Re-opening all bugs ever opened by all humans is just pointless work for no obvious benefit.

Having zero open issues should never be a goal, any mature project has open issues. Trying to reach zero is chasing a number that won't make a product better; it's just a number.

Those bots drive me insane; it punishes the most helpful the most. I would much rather they leave it open. I often find myself digging around closed issues to find people with similar problems.

My favorite thing about stalebots: using the reaction emojis doesn't count (afaict) so me-tooing is encouraged.

Until some maintainer writes "Please stop replying with +1 etc, we know the issue. Use reaction emojis instead.". Bonus points if the issue also gets limited to contributors only.

Has anyone made a bot yet to automatically reply to stalebot so issues aren't closed?

> Has anyone made a bot yet to automatically reply to stalebot so issues aren't closed?

stalebots serve a purpose but they can be extremely annoying also.

I literally have 10+ issues bookmarked on Github I have to keep responding on to prevent the stalebots from wiping the issue out.

They are all issues affecting my software, and I don't want them closed by a bot just because nobody has gotten around to fixing them.

Maybe I should just go in there and submit a PR, if only I could find the time.

Agree, but forever open issues doesn’t give any value too. Because you don’t know if this issue still applicable for latest version of app/library. I think stalled issue should be closed, especially minor one.

It’s the opposite. The older the bug, the less likely it will be fixed. Those old bugs are one of the most reliable sources of information how the software behaves.

There is a huge difference between forever and 7 days of inactivity.

Especially when it’s the developer that is inactive. Like, we’ve ignored you for 7 days and now we have committed to ignoring you forever. If I find this I won’t even bother filing a report. I get that we’re not owed attention, but they’re not owed bug reports. As a dev I have won’t fixed issues due to lack of dev time. I think the problem is when it’s paid software, or an open source project connected to paid software. There seems to be a push of testing onto the users which is disastrous when combined with a policy of ignoring them. Microsoft went through a period of aiming for two testers for each dev. Post my tenure it seems that devs are supposed to the test themselves.

I would rather have a bug report basically ignored than actually modified. There is a big difference between ignored and modified because it speaks to not only we are going to ignore this but no one will respect the content of the forum.

I remember when an admin for reddit changed a bunch of comments and it was controversial when he did it an they introduced a policy that would disallow engineers to have that kind of access to the database [1]

Totally agree, beyond the pale. My experience predates the Feedback Hub, but I’ve only heard it has gotten worse after my tenure. I assume bugs would still get copied into a separate internal bug tracking which has an edit history. I assume it was an overzealous contractor with a cultural misunderstanding.

> Microsoft has a weird culture, […] very passive aggressive between departments.


> Former MSFTy, don’t bother wasting your time giving feedback. Nobody cares, those that cared left.

What you're describing does not comport with my experience there.

Personally, I ensured that every issue filed on GitHub was triaged (read, replied if necessary, de-duped if necessary, labeled appropriately, assigned a severity/priority) and that all feedback items from the Visual Studio feedback system that applied to my product area was either (a) de-duped to GitHub and given the same treatment, or (b) dealt with in that system because it might have had some info that could constitute private data being leaked (sometimes I'd create a representative issue on GitHub and de-dupe to that one if appropriate).

What I'm describing is actually routine for most PMs and engineers in the group I was in, and that's still the case today. I won't claim that it's perfect or that everyone who files an issue will have their bugs dealt with immediately, but I've had several community members give positive feedback about the whole thing and talk about how it's like night and day compared to previous eras at the company.

> Even for software where ‘zero bugs’ was important they’d just delete a whole bunch of bugs and see if any bounce (come back). Eventually people get sick of refilling so they get to zero but bounce by exhausting the very people eying time help them.

This is ridiculous and I sincerely hope it's not happening outside of small groups (who should stop right now). I never saw this happen. We'd deprecate some older things and then close associated bugs as not applicable, but declaring bankruptcy on a bunch of legit bugs would be unheard of in the group I worked with. If you were caught doing that you'd be in some deep shit, since it's a violation of the trust your community places in you to be a responsible caretaker of the software they rely on.

> Enough social media pressure may end up risking a line item in a PMs yearly goals.

Social media pressure is a thing, sadly, but also not that much of a thing. Only in rare cases did something exploding on twitter or whatever cause action on our end. I'm also curious where in Microsoft a single PM's line items are treated with that much relative importance. This whole notion of "PMs dictate and devs make it happen" is bizarre to me because figuring out what to do next was always a collaboration and careful evaluation of tradeoffs across both disciplines. Again, it wasn't perfect and there's much I wish was different, but fundamentally it was sound and constructive. Any of my line items as a PM wouldn't somehow get re-prioritized just because someone yelled about it on social media.

Anyways, I'm sorry you had a bad time with what seems like it may have been a bad group. If what you're saying is true, I hope that changes for the group you were with.

Hi Phillip, you are a very unusual PM in a very unusual group that is able to derive a lot of value from user feedback who are usually very technical experts. I'm not sure how much your personal experience generalizes. Same could be said for my experience I guess so that is a fair point. I definitely had a bad time at a bad group. In the Steves era there were a lot of bad groups. I predate your tenure by quite a bit but I do keep in touch with former colleagues and exert soft influence to get the things I need built. I also think there is a selection criteria bias on the type of PM to be on HackerNews. Why does it happen to be you posting here out of such a large company. Also I thought you left - I would have counted you as one of the ones who cared leaving? I know others who also care haven't left but I think it's safe to say that on average they care less. You will be missed. You also started at MSFT right? I think you're taking things from Microsoft on face value that perhaps you shouldn't be.

Eh, not too unusual! Not everyone is the same, but the care factor is high for my previous peers, most of whom are still there. I can also appreciate that for consumer tech things are different. There is a higher degree of "it just needs to work" because it's unlikely the average user can articulate what's wrong, and they shouldn't need to anyways.

One thing I'll say is that it really does feel like the worst decisions about software there were made during the Steve Ballmer era. In my case, trying to keep compatibility with absolutely insane software behavior where it tries to do way more than it reasonably should made up the bulk of my toil and issues customers had.

A former coworker described to me that it was a very different time then. People believed they were the best engineers in the world, building software nobody else could make. In some small cases maybe that was true, but generally it was not. The combination of arrogance and willingness to try to bolt on as many capabilities and unbound extensibility features as possible led to a severe problem for people (sometimes the same people!) later on in life. It's actually been cool seeing how that complexity was methodically tamed. But it also makes me fear for any future company where a similar level of arrogance is practiced.

Again, you were in a very unusual group. I agree you have peers that do care a lot, my statement was hyperbole, I didn't literally mean that no-one cares. One must also weigh the caring by those with the ability to effect change. Microsoft is still a very top down org so you have to look a Julia Liuson and Scott Guthrie to get an idea of what will happen. AFAIK both of them respect Don Syme enough to provide political coverage for you and your colleagues so that you all could focus more on your jobs instead of office politics. But I feel that neither will fund F# enough to unleash it's potential. Visual Studio has stupid F# bugs and AFAIK they won't get fixed. And really, leaning on the constantly breaking 3rd party open source plugin Ionide for F# VS Code support. I know people on the F# team (again an unusual team) care about it but Microsoft as an org doesn't care enough. And not to mention the dogs breakfast that is Win11.

This is my experience as well. I am a PM in Edge team and we take user feedback in our app extremely seriously. There are entire teams which parse the user feedback and add bugs for them. All top feedback is expected to be fixed under a specific SLA and these metrics are often tracked at leadership level.

In fact, for a lot of feature teams fixing the top user feedback issues is often part of their OKRs.

So yeah, I don't know if there are groups in MS which really don't consider their users' feedback, but from what I know that isn't the common behavior.

MS has its faults - every megacorp will have its own share of warts, but this specific one, i am not sure I can believe.

Excuse me for the (unusually for me) negative attitude and ranting, but I for one would never even think about posting feedback to edge as it so aggressively user-hostile that I would never believe UX matter at all to anyone on board. Even the most common use case - downloading chrome - is a painful experience, which the browser serving you with tears all the way. Opening edge for the first time throws chain of undesired bold messages and then the NSFW msn.com.

Sometimes I have to open edge on multiple costumer servers, with new user profile in each of them and with no customization of the defaults in place. Terrible experience, multiple clicks to do what you came for in the first place, and then again serving you the delightful and stylish MSN homepage,

As someone _making_ those user feedbacks as an employee of MSFT, I've never felt heard nor taken seriously. Apathy from users is unfortunately earned by experiences. I'm glad your experiences have been better, and don't mean to generalize my experiences. I am however providing another datapoint.

I guess the difference is that Microsoft actually has to compete for people to use Edge, whereas other products people are just forced to use by their employer like that dumpster fire that is Teams.

Issues filed on GitHub != process that goes through the Windows Feedback Hub. The latter is a completely opaque process and product team engagement varies wildly from feature area to feature area.

It appears that you are speaking in the past tense and therefore fit in the category of "those that cared left".

Perhaps I didn't make it clear, but "those that care" are mostly still there.

Not my experience, I reported a typo in a minor Git sub-dialog in VS, and it was triaged, fixed and released in VS2022. Happy days!

VS Code and GitHub will hard carry Azure if need be

Shouldn't that be the other way around? What good is it for a company if the only products people end up using are the ones given for free?

I'm sure other software companies faced similar fates (no one paying for services, only using freely available services) but I can't think of any ATM.

I’m thinking vertical integration where you write your code on VS, host it and collaborate on GitHub, and deploy to Azure. I always thought GitHub was a hedge for Azure against the other cloud providers.

> What good is it for a company if the only products people end up using are the ones given for free?

I think Facebook helps answer that question a bit: just because someone is a user doesn't mean they're not the product.

Giving out one product if it helps other ulterior motives is still profit. Vertical integration also plays a part in this. Especially if the paid product re-invents something in a non-standard way, and then the free product only supports than.

That's fair but I thought we were talking about in the sense of software companies? Facebook makes a large majority of their money through advertising, not the amount of installs they get from pytorch or react.

What sort of advertising can you honestly inject into something like VS Code to keep users from leaving?

I do agree about vertical integration, another user mentioned using VS Code and Github as a means to introduce Azure. That makes more sense to me and I neglected the thought.

Azure is vastly bigger than VS Code and GitHub. In my opinion the monetization needed for a hard carry would risk their popularity. There is potential for interesting synergies but there has always been potential, just ask Ray Ozzie how that went.

Given enough time, they all will rot.

They don't need to compete with amazon they just need to be profitable. Their AAD integrations are nice and their portal+ux(including api+powershell) and Defender ATP for E5 customers make them much better than GCP and in some cases AWS. The big three are here to stay.

They need large amounts of exponential growth, it’s baked into their current value which they need to justify their investments. Microsoft has reoriented itself around Azure and if Azure was merely just profitable Microsoft would have to jettison a lot of what they do. Without another money printer it would be a blood bath.

I think that like Auditing companies there might be a bit of a rotation, or risk spreading among the big providers. Maybe it could help get a discount from Amazon if you could show that you could move to Azure for a little while.

My main worry that their sales will run out of wealthy suckers, and efficiency gains from CPUs may slow down a bit in time.

My point was Azure can't compete with aws on small/medium size orgs but for large corps who can afford E5 and more it has tremenduous value. Existing windows IT likes azure better. Their main income as a company is still licenses and support which extends to Azure.

Their prices are targeted towards large corps, I think that by leaving room at the small/medium orgs you're allowing competition to improve to a point where they will go after your large corp customers as well. It also becomes difficult to lower prices because you'd lose more from your existing customers than you'd gain from new customers, so you kind of get stuck at a high price point and slowly bleed out customers who are on the margins. You can make lots of the money in the process and doing this could be a perfectly legitimate strategy. The value adds may be enough to prevent this. I don't know. My datapoint was that it seemed that initial purchases were based on vast overestimates of provisioning and renewals tend to come with significant reductions. This is something that can stay hidden during a period of high grown where there is a lot of onboarding but I would expect to show up in the numbers quite quickly if growth slows with a ~3 year lag.

It seems Feedback Hub is a way to give people the feeling that they have somewhere to be heard, without them actually making any difference.

It's a bit like with online petitions: most people feel they have done something after signing a petition, but the vast majority of petitions don't change anything.

A big give away is they now mark your feedback as 'we have seen this, thanks' less than a minute after you post.

The link "what we do with your feedback" I'm sure is just Rick Astley

I've heard the tool's internal frontend (OCV) is equally frustrating to use by employees; and because of the huge amount of useless replies (that the author mentioned) in most teams it's only used for sentiment analysis on keywords ('people generally hate/love the new FooBar feature').

A friend working for MS in Office mentioned they're actually trying to gather customer feedback out of the random bottomless well there, but slim pickings.

From the perspective of someone not at Microsoft, it feels like part of the reason it's such a mess is because it's obviously really badly curated, to the point that the Feedback Hub app encourages it. Older versions of the Feedback Hub had categorization on the left so you would naturally browse into a category, but then they changed it to not very visible drop-downs and auto-suggested categories. The result is feedback goes to random categories and is never moved to the correct ones, nor is there a way to report miscategorized feedback. There is also still old feedback for bugs that were fixed in the Windows 10 pre-RTM previews, and even some that are just complete gibberish random characters.

Also, at one point they decided that upvoting problems would no longer be allowed. Instead, you were supposed to file your own report with your own logs. Good intention, except that it meant that everyone either filed their bugs as suggestions instead, or flooded the category with tons of dupes of the same bug.

Running a feedback system is hard, and there's value in having a feedback path that's more accessible to users than a bug database. However, Feedback Hub feels like users dumping feedback into a landfill, and the team then trying to sift through that landfill.

I wonder if they’d get better replies if it didn’t seem like an effort to silo feedback into a tool they control so they can ignore it and keep negative feedback that gains traction out of the spotlight.

Based on my experience I call it the “Fuck-Off Hub” because that’s where they send you so you can feel like you’re submitting feedback, but they really just want you to fuck off and stop bugging them. It’s like whispering into the Grand Canyon. No one that matters is ever going to hear your feedback, so why bother?

> W11 taskbar is missing several key pieces of functionality which have incentivised new users to get into Feedback Hub and cast votes. By far the biggest and most controversial submission is about having multiple documents open in the same app.

Actually the same reason for me to give feedback during W11 beta. Liked the beta as it gave me access to WSLg, but the productivity loss of the taskbar being useless made me roll back to Win10 last week. "Just give it time", even 6 months and I still missed the taskbar actually functioning. Same reason I gave up my Mac (or, one of them).

It's different (IMHO better) on Mac, even though it looks superficially similar.

On Mac, there is conceptually a two-level hierarchy of apps and windows. Every app maintains its own stack of windows. You can switch between apps with a single click (or keyboard command) and then switch between windows in that app's window stack if you want to bring a different one to the top. So a single click och keypress lets you switch between any pair of windows that are topmost in their respective apps. (There is also a keyboard shortcut to switch windows within an app.)

On Windows, you can't switch to apps (only to windows) but the windows are grouped by app into a hierarchical menu, so every time you switch window from the taskbar it takes two clicks and you are forced to hunt through a list of thumbnails.

You sound like you know what you’re talking about, so perhaps you could explain something that I just can’t figure out.

I use multiple desktops and run almost every app in full screen. Oftentimes when I focus a window on a secondary desktop that isn’t fullscreen (like a Finder window), then click on the Dock icon of a full screen app, MacOS will focus the primary desktop instead of the desktop with the full screen app.

Do you ever experience this behavior? Is there a better way to switch between apps?

The last version I used was 10.4, which didn't have full screen apps, so I don't know. Sorry.

> Mac

We have to use Macs at my new job, for compliance reasons. What a shitshow of UX. How on earth is anyone supposed to know to use snowflake-click to switch between app instances? That isn't "strictly [better] than Win 11" (per the article), because at least the method in Win 11 is discoverable (there's also the well behaving alt+tab, and win-number). You have to use snowflake-C + snowflake-V, unlike every other OS in existence. This not only screws with muscle memory, but it's genuinely uncomfortable for such a common action (especially on their keyboard).

Windows 10 was the peak. After that, Microsoft seems to have joined Apple's race to the bottom. The Linux desktop is the last bastion of sanity.

MacOS has a very powerful built-in shortcut changing system that appears to date all the way back to NextStep based on some of the names of prefs and plists to change.

But, every Electron app and productivity website hard-codes the old Mac shortcuts based on naive platform detection instead of using native OS inputs, so the muscle memory conflict is even worse.

To anyone who just "doesn't get" this complaint, which is a lot of people I have met, it's like riding a bike your whole life to the point of being able to do downhill mountain terrain races, and then switching to a bike with the steering reversed, while wearing image distorting glasses. Except it's worse, because it feels more like someone chopped off your fingers and reattached them in random places.

It is literally nauseating, because when you are so deeply familiar with a complex tool it becomes an extension of your proprioception, and the tool misbehaving feels like you've been poisoned.

I agree with nitrogen. And why would I want the OS level copy/paste to conflict with my terminal commands? Zamalek I think you are not realizing how much worse of a UX that would be when the terminal wants to use Ctrl & the GUI apps can use "snowflake" as you put it lol. Separates out the duties perfectly well.

Also to free up Win key combos more you can either disable it entirely via regedit, which I do not recommend - or explicitly disable certain letters individually by putting them into a string in regedit. This then frees it up for better remapping under any remapper, including mine kinto.sh.

``` Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced] "DisabledHotkeys"="B"

``` restart explorer.

I did know about this, but I can't get any terminal to respect the modifier key switch (including Apple's own). The modifier key confusion is now following me into Windows and Linux. I deeply hate MacOS.

Wait, that doesn't sound right. You can't have multiple Word documents open at the same time in Windows 11?

You can, but there is just one icon to represent the group of windows of that given app. It's visually hard to tell when there's more than one and impossible to tell how many (there is a little border suggesting there's more).

But it gets worse. If you have only 1 window with some app open (browser, terminal..), and this window has two tabs inside, clicking on the taskbar icon representing this window won't bring the window up. It will first bring up these small previews above the taskbar for every tab that you then have to click again (pick any) and then finally you get the window brought up. This is horrible because when you have tabs side by side in the window (terminal example), it doesn't matter which tab you choose as the same window pops up showing both tabs anyway. However you have to click twice (or hover for a bit to get the previews and then click again).

Congratulations to "Windows" version where switching "windows" is painful.

FWIW, I'm a Microsoft employee (not in Windows org) and I complain about "never combine" in any feedback forms we get. Maybe it will make a difference somewhere. (opinions are my own)

YIKES! This is literally the one and only setting I change right when I install Windows. I'm glad I found out it's totally unsupported before I went and took the plunge on 11. I guess I'll either skip 11 or wait for the update that fixes some of this jank.

The new design philosophy is ‘more familiar to on those unfamiliar with Windows’ I.e. Apple users. It also means they’re not interested in hearing how it used to work as you’re the exact opposite of who they’re trying to target.

> The new design philosophy is ‘more familiar to on those unfamiliar with Windows’ I.e. Apple users.

If they really wanted to that then:

* too bad they only copied one superficial aspect without the others needed for it to make sense

* there is actually no reason to remove the option for the sane behavior, only the default has to be kind of Mac like

This sounds similar to the behaviour of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 (which always felt weird). If you have two tabs open in IE, they appear as two separate windows when clicking the icon in the taskbar. Edge behaves as expected where two tabs -> one window -> one click but it seems like they just regressed as a whole for Windows 11.

Edge on Windows 10 shows up once per window in the taskbar, but once per tab in the Alt-Tab switcher.

Probably referring to this behavior from TFA:

> Previously you could choose to “never combine” apps so you had one-click access to each document. Now you are required to use two mouse actions to open each.

If you have "foo.txt" and "bar.txt" open in, say, notepad, you get one notepad icon on your taskbar that you click on once to open the list of windows and then once more to actually switch. Previously you could tell windows to never combine the taskbar icons so you'd have two separate icons you could change to in one click.

In windows 10, in a multimonitor setup with "never combined" enabled. If foo.txt is on the left monitor and bar.txt is on the right, the two icons in the taskbar almost always has opposite sort order compared to the the monitor layout.

Clicking the left icon bring up the document on the right monitor and clicking the icon to the right brings up the document on the left. You very often end up picking the wrong document and must do over. That pretty annoying.

Haven't seen this, perhaps because there's a setting in 10 to only show icons on the taskbar where the item is open, which I enable.

You can in "applications" you cannot in "apps." For example there's no way of opening multiple Settings windows and Teams is still extremely limited.

I don’t think you can have multiple excel documents open with the same file name, that’s been around for decades if I remember correctly.

Can't you replace the desktop environment anymore? I remember there used to be explorer replacements and Microsoft even told you how to go back to progman.exe.

As of Windows 10, UWP apps aren’t usable without explorer.exe actively running; window contents don’t update to match frame size changes. So the answer is surprisingly kind of no, unless you want to commit to never using “modern” apps, or manually opening file explorer every time you do.

Of course some would say that not being able to use UWP apps is an enhancement, not a bug.

The fact that the text is 'Hello there'.

I wonder if a MSFT employee was typing a response to you, but accidentally clicked edit on your comment and it overwrote your content before they realised what they have done, then panicked and just hit submit.

(author here) I like the thinking but I have never once seen a MSFT rep reply directly to a comment on Feedback Hub. Not once. You're lucky if the submission-level response makes sense. I don't think it explains this case.

I got a few personal responses for issues I reported. It’s not just automated ones.

It smells like the developer is in charge of the component and he didn’t want the report posted there publicly.

I think Hanlon's Razor can be applied here - i.e. never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Particularly considering his comments were just echoing all the other comments in the thread - and the message "hello there" is strange and doesn't really make sense to me (if they have the power to edit a post, they probably have the power to delete it outright, which would have been less suspicious and not generated this post).

I think this is a logical explanation - that they have a huge team going through answers here and that one of them made a fuck-up.

The logical explanation is:

-There are no MS Employees there (but professional Call/Text Centers)

-MS gives a *it about your opinion (as every big IT Company)

-But MS wants you to feel that your part of the family (inclusive developers developers!!)

Microsoft has always had the likes of Accenture or HCL moderating their forums and feedback sites.

You're better off shouting into the void than expecting to get anything useful out of those channels.

At least a void gives often a echo...Microsoft gives you Win 11...after telling you Win 10 is the last windows ever...also some kind of an echo from the past (same *ssholes as ever) ;)

Hehe good call, “Never attribute to malice…”…

The Feedback hub... A few things are completely a dog's breakfast in the Windows 10 world - and their beyond hideous XBox with Windows App Store is one of them. I tried to file some feedback about the experience using the Hub but it felt like a wholly inappropriate tool for the job.

How do you tell someone they just need to delete everything they've done and start afresh? Because that's the only thing that could fix their Xbox game delivery experience.

I got their Ultimate sub to play FS2020, and also Forza with my son, but I've lost count on how many times it gets into a broken state, a never ending rabbit hole of repairing the Windows store installers and such.

Simply put, the games - or "Experience" service - get stuck in one invalid update state or another, and you just have to try over and over again, until you either give up, or you somehow get it back. This involves both the XBox App, as well as Windows Store - the difference of responsibility between the two not quite clear to me, but both are involved, and absolutely _Windows 10_ services that have no business being coupled to game delivery. And by the time you might have figured it out, your play time budget will be solidly wiped out.

I absolutely hate it. It's in shambles, the dev managers - and engineers - should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves given the access they've got to resources to make it right. Why can't they just do what Steam, Epic, Ubisoft or even Blizzard can do - make their installers simply work, without a dependence on a scaffold of playing cards held together by children's snot?

I'm saying this as someone who loves the WSL2/Win10 desktop Dev experience equally as much as I detest their Xbox gaming store.

(Now that I've voiced this, I'll unsubscribe my Ultimate sub, just stick to DCS, and find other games to play with son.)

Agreed. I've run into more issues trying to get Minecraft running due to the disaster that is the windows store and related services. if you look at the gaming service, it's nothing but 1 star reviews with similar issues. I'm a technician person and I have no idea how non technical people manage to use Windows today.

They buy an iPad because it's slightly less horrible.

Install Windows 10 LTSC. Minimal bloatware, no MS edge, no xbox game store, no windows store, no bullshit. Its the version everyone deserved but only hospitals etc got.

Companies do this sort of thing all the time. Leave a bad review on the Google play store. It won't be edited immediately but it might become impossible to find or vanish quickly under lots of good ones.

Image management is a lot easier when you own the platform it needs to be managed on. Microsoft used to have a User Voice board. I wrote a complaint at length about Teams being a steaming hot pile of <Unicode poo emoji>. Lots of other people did too. They're retiring it now and have "ended their partnership" with user voice

Deleting comments (i.e. censorship) is one thing; but misattribution and effectively "putting words into someone's mouth" by editing their content to say what they did not, goes well beyond what I think even those who are proponents of strong moderation and censorship would deem acceptable. I suspect proponents of copyright and other IP laws would also be against it.

> somebody at Microsoft edited a critical comment that I made earlier this week to simply read “hello there”, still under my name

Moderators on web forums everywhere need to learn that this kind of editing, when done without a publicly visible indication that the post was edited against the nominal author's will, is unacceptable. I've gotten into this argument on Stack Exchange in the past (although fortunately on Stack Overflow at least the mods already have a policy against this - they can delete a comment or leave it standing but may not put words into someone's mouth). It's especially bad when, as is the case here, the edited comment reflects poorly on the author.

It's not just discourteous, it's a tort in at least the UK where I live (namely a violation of the "moral right" against "false attribution") and likely many other jurisdictions too. Do this enough and eventually somebody sufficiently litigious will sue you, and you'll deserve it.

I'm surprised it didn't kill Reddit when Steve Huffman pulled that stunt on the site: https://old.reddit.com/r/announcements/comments/5frg1n/tifu_...

Oh hey, it's the event that made me leave reddit:) Yeah, I'm not sure why that didn't prompt a mass exodus. One thing that I've discovered by talking to people in real life is that apparently a lot of people just don't know that it happened.

I dunno man, in that context it just felt like friendly internet trolling

TheDonald users were trolling the crap out of spez by pinging his name repeatedly, so he trolled them back by obviously editing in TheDonald mods' names.

Then TheDonald users responded like a bunch of angry children about it

That said, it's good to get the word out that Reddit's always been complete BS through and through. The site was all sock puppets initially, and nowadays every sub with more than 100k users or so is extremely heavily censored and moderated in a completely non-transparent way.

If it is against trump, it doesn't matter, it must be 'good', is an actual sentiment, felt by many, including the people drooling here.

Is that StackOverflow policy officially in writing somewhere? I had one of my answers edited by a mod not too long ago without any warning. Wasn't too happy about it.

Stackoverflow.com -> help -> search "editing" -> top hit: https://stackoverflow.com/help/editing

See the itemization of reasons to edit a post for. It also explicitly mentions that the meaning of the post may not be changed. You can, as the owner, also always roll back edits. Another option is to take it to the meta site and voice your complaint. One of the reject reasons in the review queue (note that moderator's edits don't go through the review queue) is if the edit changes the meaning of the post; the edit system is really meant (as the page says) for fixing typos and on occasion updating/adding information like if the post became outdated or to consolidate info from comments.

Everyone can also see the revisions of any (non-deleted) answers and questions, so if someone changed the meaning, it clearly says "person x edited this post" (right next to the original author's name) and you can click that link and see who actually said what.

Editing of answers is fine - by anybody, not just mods. That's because there's a clearly shown "edited" section displayed at the bottom of the answer, along with the editor's name, right next to the "answered" section showing the original author's name, indicating to anyone who reads the answer that it's a jointly-authored post that isn't entirely the original author's work. You can also look at the revision history to see exactly who wrote what. There's no false attribution there.

Comments don't have this history or indication of being edited by a third party, though, which is why only moderators have the power to edit them and most such edits are considered unacceptable and banned by policy.

It's unacceptable, but it is totally possible and allowed by the platform.

I think the solution is platforms which make this sort of editing impossible by using cryptographic signatures and user accounts backed by private keys.

You would think that suggestions for the Azure site would at least get a better treatment. It's not Windows, it's supposed to be Microsoft's cash cow, right?

But no.

During the last year, a Microsoft PM called Gloridel Morales has thoroughly gone through hundreds of Developer Community suggestion for Azure Devops, and closed each and every one of them. Quite rudely. Just check out each and every link in [0]

Some were suggestion from fellow Microsoft people.

She did it using the following eyebrow-raising text, quoted below, suggesting either that Gloridel Morales and her team have no idea how to manage themselves by prioritizing a backlog of requests, or that her paycheck/review depends on having a clean backlog.

   Thank you for taking the time to share your feature suggestion. Due to the high volume of suggestions in our queue, we are not able to respond personally to every suggestion. As a result, we depend on the community to validate the request via votes and comments. Suggestions that the community doesn't prioritize, we close out in order to maintain a manageable list of suggestions. It is our policy to close suggestions that are inactive in the community based on no change to customer comments or votes in the last 90+ days. We love your enthusiasm for our product and hope you will continue submitting ideas for the community to validate. [1]
That's just one example, it's the same for almost all requests in [0].

The bit about "suggestions that are inactive for 90 days" might have looked good on Github with its somewhat primitive but sensible community around issue discussions, but the developercommunity site is inundated with garbage issues, making it almost impossible to search for proper issues.

That's just for Azure though. I must say that a couple of bugs I opened there for the Microsoft C++ compiler actually got prioritized and fixed in the last couple of years. Others were ignored.

[0] https://www.google.com/search?q=+Gloridel+Morales+%5BMSFT%5D...

[1] https://developercommunity.visualstudio.com/t/add-previous-b...

Windows 11 is so obviously a no go, games and office was Microsoft's last redoubt for relevance on personal hardware. Here's a prediction: in ten years this company will be smaller and called "Azure"...

I distro hop with my home laptops and use Windows at $JOB

I've decided to install Windows 11 preview around June 2021 and have been using it ever since, so I could eventually help my coworkers, validate our workflows etc...

I am curious on why people in HN dislike Win 11 so much. For me the upgrade was basically about minor UI changes, which I got used to in 1-2 weeks. I am a sysadmin / cloud whatever and it broke none of my stuff, I use the same workflows I used in Win 10.

We still haven't migrated our users to Win 11 out of pragmatism , but honestly there is nothing I hate about it. Maybe my expectations for MS are too low already, IDK.

The UI changes are very disruptive to other people. As an example, think all the people who for decades placed the taskbar on the side.

Also, the bullshit minimum requirements are obviously about pushing DRM.

Minimum requirements were about pushing TPM (massive boost to chain of trust and security based on internal metrics) and hardware sales.

Source: I’m an insider.

Not much hardware sales as OEM licenses sales from MS point of view. The problem is that by doing so they redefined "forever" to only mean 6 years for them, and did that at a time when the hardware started to progress again + in a middle of chips shortage. So I actually highly doubt they will get more sales for it - while they get a bad reputation and fork their user base (+ it is actually nearly impossible to actually use the extra req they pushed before at least years, and they could have obtained the same effect for new hardware through reqs of the Windows logo)

Edit: And don't even get me started about trying to incite people to replace perfetcly good computers with new ones at a time we should avoid wasting resources before all.

I would love to see something I missed showing that it is actually a good idea, but for now however I take it it seems a terrible move.

The minimum requirements were/are about pushing new HW sales and nothing else.

A large portion of devices that were arbitrarily blocked, had no issues running the previews even with all the new security stuff. And on top of that none of the supposedly "new" security stuff is actually new. Its all been in Windows 10 for a while.

Shell extensions are hidden under an additional click. Shell extensions have been a part of windows since at least windows 95.

Right click -> "Open with 7-Zip" is no longer an option. Now it's right click -> more options -> "Open with 7-Zip". It's stupid.

Annoying, but can apparently be fixed with a registry setting: https://www.elevenforum.com/t/disable-show-more-options-cont...

That reminds me, one small thing they changed that disproportionately annoys me. They moved copy/cut/paste in the right click menu from near the middle as three textual menu items to a single row of icon buttons at the bottom of the menu. Took me several minutes to figure out that’s what they did.

Why do that? It makes a smaller click/tap target for touchscreens, it’s genuinely hard to find and hides the discoverability of the keyboard shortcut, it’s inconsistent with in-app right click menu patterns, and it’s just inane for how many other little details could have been fixed instead.

Fortunately, there is a registry setting to fix this nonsense.

Unfortunately, I'm a side-taskbar user and there is no equivalent registry fix. I had to pay for a 3rd party tool.

People hate Windows 11 because Microsoft have decided that most hardware, including many powerful workstations, are not eligible to upgrade.

I will have to agree that's by far the most legit reason to hate Win 11.

it was such a relief when i got the notification that my laptop was not eligible for a Windows 11 upgrade.

for a long time i have been debating whether i should try a MacBook M1 for my hobby projects or not. i don't use Windows for anything else. and migrating my projects would be a pain, but not a huge one.

they made the decision for me. (and other people like me, who had only one or two reasons to remain on Windows.)

Yet if you do install Windows 11 on said hardware, it gives no warning that it's "unsupported"

People have been predicting the demise of Microsoft for going on twenty years now. Gets old frankly.

They are incredibly diversified. If anything, they themselves no longer see Windows as the crown jewel, which would explain more than a few HN gripes

People have been predicting "The Year of the Linux Desktop" forever now, too. Truth is, for some that'll never happen, and for others (like me) it happened many years ago.

No one cares about the desktop any more, and linux won the mobile race, in some fashion.

Linux did not win the mobile race in any sense that matters.

Should have said Is it the year of GNU/Linux on the desktop, d'oh

Microsoft is more diversified than any of the other big tech companies, except for Amazon.


The previous poster is probably 10+ years behind the news.

Have to agree.

In fact the clusterfuck going on with desktop frameworks seems to be related to WinDev not knowing where to go.

Most likely it isn't any accident that many key figures that are still at Microsoft have now moved into Azure division, where I also have to acknowledge, POSIX has won on the cloud space (aka timesharing rebranded).

Very bold prediction, I think you underestimate how vigorously a monopoly will fight to keep it. How can any company convince any even moderately sized corporate to switch away from Windows/Office? Teams is so big not because it's the best product, but because of the existing relationships Microsoft has with its large customers.

Just want to say how much of a pleasure it is to use any ol' minimal gnu distro compared to this mess.

Not as polished as Win95 or 2000, but at least everything is consensual.

(author here) IMO KDE is the most authentic expression of Windows XP-era UI productivity that exists today. Their dedication to user-configurable settings is an absolute blessing.

And in KDE when you use the bug report tools, someone actually technical ends up reading and acting upon those reports. ;)

This is one of the great joys of open source software. Provide a reasonable bug report and who knows, maybe even the main developer directly responds to it (and thanks you for your input). For Microsoft Windows you can only hope that you have a big enough Twitter following to elecit a response from someone meant to contain the outrage.

Alternatively you might even be able to fix the bug yourself

Having recently switched to Fedora KDE, I agree. It is an excellent desktop experience and I think it's a great first stop for anyone interested in switching to Linux.

I had a good experience with Mint Cinnamon too, but the system seems overall better-integrated in Fedora KDE.

KDE is a great first desktop for anyone coming from Windows, but Mac users might be more comfortable with some of the more "Mac-like" desktop offerings available on Linux. But in that there ability you have one of Linux-based operating systems' great strengths. You can easily customize things to fit your preferred workflow. :)

I generally agree that KDE is pretty decent.

Since Microsoft continues to treat Windows and its users like garbage, I'm fairly certain a Linux Desktop will be the lesser of two evils in my near future so I'm spending a lot more time working out how to live with it for my workflows. I discovered I really like Silverblue. Immutable OS with Flatpak focus and Toolbox cover a lot of what I want, even if the implementations are somewhat less than ideal.

Unfortuantely, Kinoite (the KDE spin of Silverblue) is hot garbage. Half of the things don't work including Flatpak icons (until a reboot) and running a GTK app in Toolbox causes it to inexplicably pause for several seconds at a time. I can't even report the latter issue (several of the former have 2 month+ open issues already) because the login for the bug tracker is busted. So I'm stuck with GNOME, a 'desktop' that desperately wishes it were running on a phone.

KDE is great though I really do have to configure it a bit to get it to be the way I like. I think I like cinnamon's out of the box experience the best, but I've also started using mate on a laptop of mine. Some things could use a little polish (like the way to move a task bar from one place to another is pretty much impossible to figure out without googling) but it's quite nice too, and it has the best file browser of them all IMO (cinnamon uses a nautilus 3 fork, but was forked after the point where they broke some things like type-to-search in folders behaviour)

To me, TDE ... a fork of KDE2, is even more so this.

A very active community, too, and so far, no real change. I don't want change, managing my windows, my open programs, is a decades old solved problem.

I don't want the new sexy, the flashy this and that. I don't want new styles, changing methods to interact. My Window Manager is not something I want to notice, or spent 10 seconds on.. for the next 20 years.

It needs to be in the background, while I do real work, or enjoy other apps. If I have to do things, configure it constantly, modify it due to new versions, it has failed in its task.

Anyone trying to vastly change, or improve this, is bananas. It needs no massive change, for 1000s of years.

Trinity is a fork of KDE3.

Hmm. So it is.


Aye, I found myself compiling some stuff on windows 10 the other day, not having used it at all, and other windows versions in years. It really felt downright hostile, with advertisements in the start menu, popups prodding me to make a microsoft account, and I only used the damn thing for like 2 hours. I returned to linux with a newfound appreciation for how it just does what I want it to, and isn't trying to sell me anything

> It really felt downright hostile, with advertisements in the start menu, popups prodding me to make a microsoft account, and I only used the damn thing for like 2 hours.

I really wish tech companies would look at users as customers who are willing to spend more for better and more useful software, instead of looking at users as commodities ripe for monetization.

When I use Windows I feel like I'm living in a refugee campl and I've entered a digital flea market where the PA announces every 10 minutes you have to get your parking ticket stamped, and you can get a no-admission charge get pass for $10 per month. The market has everything... there are some deals to be had, but you have to lookout for pickpockets and scammers at every turn. The camp? Well, I have to pay for protection (hi antivirus and antimalware industry) and I have to teach my family how to stay safe. It also feels like the host-state for the camp can change the rules at any moment.

When I use a Mac, I feel like I'm living in an apartment and I've walked into the company-run Super Target. The apartment is really nice, but there are lots of little rules. The store? it's a clean, modern place. The prices are higher than down the street, and the products on the shelf are a little different. It certainly feels a lot safer than the flea market. As long as I like the inventory and can afford the extra cost, the experience is great. The painful part is the apartment rules. Sometimes I want to do things Apple doesn't want me to, and well, the apartment isn't mine.

When I use Linux, I feel like I'm in my own home. It's safe. I own it. No one tells me what I'm allowed to do.

Don’t forget about the shady dive bar next to the Super Target, homebrew. It’s got everything you actually need, from suspicious sources.

I’ve done contract work for Microsoft, Amazon and Google.

Microsoft is remarkably terrible. Riddled with the hierarchies and politics of IBM or Oracle, but the lack the self awareness that they are slow and terrible. And Azure solutions are not good at all. They have truly bizarre backwards apis and SDK. Imagine you do not have admin access to the company DC. Now, your Azure k8s cluster pods need rw access to an azure keyvault that you created.

It is entirely possible to do this, but enjoy the hell ride there.

My hats off to you if you manage to figure it out in 1 workday.

Combining same files to taskbar is a productivity killer for both technical and non technical people. In many chats when someone presents something on screen I see people struggling to find the proper document when they have few open. Same for people who do "real" work: eg budget with 10 spreadsheets opened, or few word documents... the system hibders ability yo switch between them fast. It feels as if it was designed by people who dont do a real office job.

Why do the program managers even allow to remove such basic functionality? Windows is supposed to be the productivity system and it kills productivity now.

> Why do the program managers even allow to remove such basic functionality?

This is the question that is burning a hole through my brain. At a certain point, Microsoft is going have to admit they are fucking over their internal operations, unless they have some secret copy of non-shit windows that is exclusively used internally...

To me, ever since Windows introduced virtual desktops, that’s basically my main way to switch between documents. That and having multiple screens to show most of my windows all the time. The taskbar mainly becomes an app launcher. I’m surprised so many people here complaint about using the taskbar like in Windows XP.

You know why browsers sprouted tabs? Because the DEs never handled multiple instances nicely. Great to see MS is regressing in this area.

A DE is what, now?

Thanks for letting me know Windows 11 removed the option of removing grouping of documents under one app. Its one of these basic things I do on a fresh copy of Windows. I work with many documents on a daily basis and grouping makes zero sense for me and would only slow me down. Just another reason not to downgrade to Windows 11. And so far I haven't seen a single reason ta make me switch.

Microsoft has recently been pushing a new centralized web based feedback portal: https://feedbackportal.microsoft.com/feedback/

It looks like they have imported feedback from other places such as the feedback hub.


Since Win10 is a pretty much perfectly working and a very functional OS, we might as well stay on it till the EOS,and then upgrade to this 10S kadaver-renamed-11.

I don't like it, and I don't think it's "right" (whatever importance that has here), but it makes sense why they'd want to delete a link to a third party Windows mod. Hell, I think it might be better of them to do it. Hopefully other hypotheses about this being an accidental early submission are right, but it would also be good to get notified if your comments are edited are removed.

My experience was bit different. I find there are caring Microsoft employees who would address the feedback/request in the best way they possibly can. I always got a reasonable reply and willingness to help.

Having worked in a large organization I know that the more hops this information has to go through to get processed, the more likely it will end in limbo. Granted, so far limbo happened in 100% of my opened cases but I could clearly see an employee willing to help and probably being limited by the internal org structure which is not optimized for reacting to user feedback (sadly same goes for most other big tech companies).

I wouldn't be surprised if this is all about ExplorerPatch - this 3rd-party solution allows user to revert the "experience" of newest W11 taskbar and it's most likely an offence to Microsoft. Some devoted mod noticed comment done by Thomas and decided to act fast so no other people had a chance to test out valinet's workaround.

I expect that at some point in future, perhaps included within some W11 build that changes users workflow once again, the "never combine" taskbar feature will be added back and presented as a breakthrough.

I'm really really tired of the Windows issue with their Xbox aka Game Pass App and Microsoft Teams.

I can't wait for the day I'll never have to use a Microsoft service again in my life

Wait how can they even edit comments?

No sane system should allow that.

Censoring (umm moderating) a comment, sure.

Visible blacking out part of an comment, jikes but maybe ok.

But editing a comment?

Absolutely no go.

The Microsoft employee basically committed identity theft!

I work with a specific limited functionality on a big ecommerce site. The site has a review section where you can review products. Often there is feedback there on the site itself. As a development team it is completely impossible to keep up with such feedback. Our backlog is prioritized by other more quantitive metrics, A/B-tests etc

from the text, it seems that the author mentioned ExplorerPatcher in the comment and got censored

Nice to see the super dimensional fortress is still chugging along <3

> to simply read “hello there”

General.. Kenobi.

Feedback Hub indeed seems to be useless - because it is designed to act as a sink hole.

Yet the topic the author of this article and apparently hundreds of others are describing as a show-stopping miss of Windows 11: The ability to see open documents ungrouped on the task bar. That's not a "bug" which needs to be addressed directly by developers.

And really? That alone is a reason to go through a harrowing downgrade process to an earlier OS version?

Not a regular Windows user, but I found that feature to be almost toxic UX - the open documents on the task bar all looked the same, and not different enough from the app icon, to make it a time / click-saving feature. I ended up clicking on each one until the correct window was in front.

It surely was worse UX than simply cycling through all open windows by the keyboard shortcut. Which isn't exactly power-user knowledge.

(author here) Each "button" on the taskbar shows as a label the name of the document. This is the key differentiator that makes W10- so convenient - they don't look the same because they have text showing exactly what you're getting!

Strange, on the PC I sometimes use, there are only icons, no text. I have to hover of each one to see the name, but it already breaks down for long names.

When individual windows are ungrouped their application name is displayed, so you can just look for the name of the document or window you're looking for. I miss this feature too.

I think Microsoft's preferred window navigation method is the Windows+tab combo, and from there you just click on the app/document you want.

That said, it's had that sort of functionality forever, and I personally still never use it.

Windows key+tab user checking in to say yes this is how I find myself in a sea of combined Windows or alt+tab to just cycle until I find it. It isn’t ideal but it’s my default method ever since combining windows was introduced in 7, or 8, or Vista or wherever it began..

Completely agree, Microsoft seems more focused on UI polishing than addressing fundamental usability issues hampering productivity with Windows 11. Presenting grouped application windows and trying to parse which one is which, when they all look the same. It's bananas! Unbearable to use. Must be due to bad management decisions, the release was premature and they are still rolling out fixes interminably.

Apple has a polished UI. MS seems more focused on changing the control panel / settings program in each version without ever finishing the migration and keeping unrefreshed UIs from all era and branches of Windows. That, and the start menu + windows decoration / transparency effect (except here too : not on all windows...)

"Polishing" is very generous. "Shitting all over it" would be a more appropriate way to describe Microsoft's UI efforts since Windows 7.

"We are listening to your feedback" is corporate speech for "we don't give a shit about your opinion" especially when Microsoft is involved.

I completely agree - and have similar thoughts about "we look forward to continuing the conversation" as a way to close down a discussion (possible translation: "it's lunch time and it's mac and cheese today! see ya").

However, assuming good intent: how would you determine whether they are listening? (or continuing the conversation, in the latter case)

Anything which gets responses of empty platitudes usually means they aren’t listening.

I am a small developer who makes apps and puts them on the App Store and play store (Hacker news client HACK for example). I often get emails from users on how to add a feature or fix a bug etc. I email them and instead of just saying “thanks for your feedback”, I address the real problem/feature.

Example- few days ago someone asked me to integrate the Orion browser support in my app.

I wasn’t aware of this browser so I googled it, found it that it’s currently in closed beta and I signed up for a beta. I replied back to the user that currently I can’t add it in because I don’t have access to the beta yet, however I have signed up and when I do get access to it, I will test and add it in unless the user can get me a piece of code from the developers of Orion browser which tells me what identifier to use to launch their browser on iOS.

The user contacted the developers of Orion and got me the info I needed. Today I added it in but since I still don’t have access to the beta, I sent the app update and informed the user that for now, I have added the functionality acting blindly and I think it should work but if it doesn’t, then they will have to wait for me to get the beta. User is happy.

Another example- someone recently contacted me for a feature in another one of my apps which I have no intention of adding. I replied back that I will be honest with them and inform them that I don’t intend on adding it in and here’s my reasons. I gave them an alternative app which has that feature in case they want to try. User was happy and gave me a 5 star review.

Basically, even if you have bad news for the customer, tell them the news and they will be just fine. I try to put myself in the customers shoes and think about what I would think of got the typical cookie cutter response “we are listening to your feedback” with no further details on what they intend on doing with what they are hearing.

This doesn’t scale. If your app reaches any level of success, you don’t get one email per night, you get 100. When my app was small I responded individually, but after I hit a threshold I had to use a template response for feature requests just to stay productive.

It can scale, and I'd wager that it will. There is -- or should in future be -- a far larger number of software developers than the number of components that are required to compose the functionality that everyone needs and desires, at high quality and with ever-reducing negative externalities.

That's a good thing: it'll provide more time for review, apprenticeship, mentoring and mastery of individual technical areas, and for mobility and communication between communities.

That's not to say there can't also be pure-enjoyment and hobby software projects; but those won't have the same support demands (or expectations).

Small (or solo) teams maintaining systems with massive inbound demand, significant risk during changes, and limited ability to receive community feedback feels like the less-scalable approach, to me.

That said I'm willing to concede that both approaches appear to work under different circumstances (and may be able to learn from each other).

You have a fair point but I disagree. However I also recognize that I can only be proven right or wrong when I am in those shoes at some very large scale. For now, I do get about 5-10 emails a day for all my apps combined and it’s been easily manageable.

However, the article we are talking about here is about Microsoft, a trillion dollar company treating some basic user feedback with zero value.

Amazon, another trillion dollar company has been outstanding to me whenever I reach out to their customer support chat (I have done that many times over the years). I get to chat to a human within a minute and they help me either resolve the issue or tell me why they can’t resolve the issue. If Amazon can do it, then there’s no reason why Microsoft can’t do it for basic user feedback.

Also are you really being productive if you are sending template response? A robot could do that.

Founder of Orion Browser here. Thanks for adding the support. Please email me (info in profile) if you need to test the integration to skip the waitlist.

Btw I am in the same basket as you - not only reacting on every piece of user feedback, but actively seeking it, like in this case. (using excellent f5bot.com). It may not be infinetely scalable but will do it for as long as I can.

Thanks for responding! Just sent an email.

Btw, question on this search engine of yours.


It says "Entire hardware stack used to run Teclis costs about $200/month."

Would you mind sharing what hardware stack you use?

It was a typo - it is $1,200/month and I added more info on the page.

Product release. For instance there is for years issue with C#'s GUI frameworks mainly the lack of a multiplateform one. Microsoft disregarded developer feedback on UWP (it was stupid to propose a Windows 10 only framework at a time Win7 was still dominant and tie it to a mean of delivery - the Windows store). About a decade later Microsoft remembered with dotnet 5 and 6 that WPF and WinForms are the frameworks people are actually using and they got some improvements.

Yep. Kind of like "we value your privacy" means "we don't give a shit about your privacy". I guess the only way to uncover a platitude is to test it. The problem with "We are listening to your feedback" is that "listening" is hard to disprove. It doesn't require any action - they're just "listening". It sounds good but doesn't mean anything useful. If, instead, it was "We will respond to your feedback within 48 hours" - well, that's testable. That sounds like a real, honest, useful commitment. Is it just too expensive to do that? Even for a billion dollar business?

> Is it just too expensive to do that? Even for a billion dollar business?

It's not about the size of the business, but whether this is a good way for them to spend money or not.

Coffee shops will often not get back to you within 48 hours depending on the comment you make and how busy they are. It's really a judgement call, as large number of comments are basically spam, but you can't reply with "this is a silly comment" or "this is an unreasonable request on our time", so it's best to just ignore.

For a big business, where individual judgement is replaced with a set of procedures and institutions that try to encode judgement, they most surely will offer some level of support with an SLA that guarantees someone will get back to you in a well-defined period of time.

But you usually have to pay extra for that, and that's a pretty sensible system, since leaving comments is free and there is no way to know how serious you are about the comment and how badly you want it responded to. E.g. worth paying, say, $10? $5? $1? There is some intersection of supply and demand for real support at which a certain price results in you getting answers, but in those situations where that price is not zero, it's not the size of the business that matters, but the shape of those supply and demand curves. And the size of the business, in my experience, will tend to shift the supply curve farther away from "free", because that answer will be an official answer of the business and it may take a lot of time for the poor support guy to track someone down and get an official answer, and in some cases it may be a lot of work to get that answer if the bureaucracy is complex and knowledge is stovepiped. This is why you see tiers in support, and the time required to get someone knowledgeable is often much longer as you climb that support chain and escalate your question. All of that ends up costing quite a bit to a big firm.

Thanks. That was a really good explanation and covered all the bases. Makes you wonder if there's a business case for implementing a one-off payment mechanism for response time. For instance, 'free' means "we're listening but probably won't respond" while '$1' means "we're listening and will respond within a week". Just a thought.

It would be an interesting experiment, but there are also big upfront costs. I think it might be more useful as a poll to let firms know if they should offer support, rather than an actual a la carte model, because the costs of support are include large fixed costs.

I've been on the other side of this, advocating for our internal support team to handle questions about a service we were releasing. Today there is great temptation to rely on social media, etc, and not have a real support service.

For me, it took over a year of lobbying, meetings, etc, just to get the go ahead. Here are the things I had to do:

- gather data on how important it is to provide support by giving examples of customer issues that need support to resolve. - lobby multiple managers - get this into planning docs so it can be funded - create a dialogue tree for support to handle, with triggers for escalating - find actual devs (other than me) to do tier 3 support when support can't help - do regular training sessions for the support staff - build internal tooling for them to use to help look up answers - hold regular meetings that I came to believe were nothing more than reassuring the support staff that we hadn't abandoned them.

And still, after all this, they ended up cancelling the project after a few years in operation when support got new leadership that didn't favor supporting the service. At that point I was too exhausted to go back and fight the battle again.

It is expensive to have someone provide you with answers. I mean, really expensive. And no one wants to do it, because the downside -- publicly embarrassing the company, setting wrong expectations about what the person on the other end of the line can help you with, etc, are all pointed at the person in charge of support, whereas the upsides -- "helping customers" -- is not something anyone in the company uses as a KPI. It rarely gets noticed in terms of an individual's career path.

After that experience, I really understood the moat of luxury brands. Being able to be a company that excels in non-tangible things such as quality that goes above what the rest of the market can provide or great personalized service is incredibly hard and beyond most companies. There is a whole infrastructure behind you that must be maintained and great vigilance is required to keep that customer experience high. It's something that has to be in the corporate DNA, in the sense that leadership is imbued with this as a motivating factor that colors most of their decision making. That's just not gonna be the case for a very big company, and certainly not a monopoly or market hegemon.

I sort of agree. Sometimes that is nothing but a polite yet empty response. But people also tend think that they aren’t being listened to when they don’t get what they ask for, which isn’t always the case.

I have to deal with this pretty frequently: Someone gives feedback about a thing and requests a change. I listen, understand the request, explain that I can’t do this right now because it lands too low on the priority list and there are a thousand critical and urgent things that I need to get done first. Then the person complains (to me, my manager, their manager, in a different context, whatever) that they aren’t being listened to.

Listening doesn’t mean agreeing, nor does it mean solving for a request right now (or possibly ever). Making people feel heard without doing what they ask is a hard thing. It’s extremely hard to do at scale and I don’t envy those trying to satisfy UI change requests from millions of people.

Also I work at Microsoft so I’m probably biased here.

They are listening --- as in someone will probably read what you wrote --- but they never said they would do anything about it.

and in recent years, sadly Dropbox.

My rule is to never work as a QA for free.

Why do people, especially developers, give Microsoft the time of day with this? Life is to short to give a shit about them, their crappy software, and their bad moderation policies?

Vote with your wallet and get the fuck off Windows and all the attendant bullshit that comes with it as soon as possible.

My $JOB (>10,000 employees) mandates use of MS Office. I can't just vote with my wallet ... I never gave them money in the first place.

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