Windows 10, revealed: You'll get more information from Microsoft in future updates

Microsoft's been maddeningly vague until now.

windows 10

For months, Microsoft has been somewhat secretive about what’s inside the cumulative “rollup” updates that it’s provided to release versions of Windows 10—even as it’s provided Windows Insiders beta testers fairly extensive detail about what effects those updates would have on their PCs.

With the 10586.104 update Microsoft released Tuesday, the two sides are on more equal ground. Microsoft now provides a “changelog” of what each Windows 10 rollup brings via a new Windows 10 Update History webpage. (Mary Jo Foley and others also noted that Microsoft has a specific update page dedicated to Windows 10 Mobile that it is also live.)

“We’re committed to our customers and strive to incorporate their feedback, both in how we deliver Windows as a service and the info we provide about Windows 10,” the company wrote. “In response to this feedback, we’re providing more details about the Windows 10 updates we deliver through Windows Update.”

Microsoft said it's currently delivering Windows updates on two distinct branches: the build 10240 that the company launched Windows 10 with, as well as build 10586, the “Threshold” release that most consumers have migrated to. (Customers who have bought or licensed Enterprise, Business, or Education versions of Windows 10 have the option of remaining on the older build 10240, up to 10 years for some customers.)

The language Microsoft has used to explain the releases for those builds has been rather vague. If you wanted to know what the Update for Windows 10 Version 1511 for x64-based Systems (KB3116278) released on Feb. 6 contained, for example, Microsoft’s support page for it revealed that it merely “improves the Windows 10 Version 1511 out-of-box experience (OOBE).”

As of today, however, the Windows 10 Update History page changes that. Specifically, here’s what the KB3116278 update includes :

    • Fixes issues with authentication, update installation, and operating system installation.

    • Fixes an issue with Microsoft Edge browser caching visited URLs while using InPrivate browsing.

    • Fixes an issue that didn’t allow simultaneous install of apps from the Windows Store and updates from Windows Update.

    • Fixes an issue that delayed the availability of songs added to the Groove Music app in Windows 10 Mobile.

    • Improves security in the Windows kernel.

    • Fixes security issues that could allow remote code execution when malware is run on a target system.

    • Fixes security issues in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 that could allow code from a malicious website to be installed and run on a device.

    • Fixes additional issues with the Windows UX, Windows 10 Mobile, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, and taskbar.

    • Fixes additional security issues with .NET Framework, Windows Journal, Active Directory Federation Services, NPS Radius Server, kernel-mode drivers, and WebDAV.

Why this matters: Let’s face it: Microsoft already has an image problem with some users, who fear that that company is siphoning all of their personal information for some nefarious purpose. Paranoia aside, we can all appreciate more transparency. But it’s also important that Microsoft reveal exactly what bugs the rollup fixes, because it creates a virtuous circle--encouraging users to report bugs that the company can then acknowledge by fixing them. That’s the attitude that helped engender so much goodwill toward Microsoft during the development phase of Windows 10, and can certainly benefit Microsoft again during its post-release stage.

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