Windows 10 Professional - Not professional at all

akugami

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Feb 14, 2005
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That's it. We're done with Windows. The company I work for has already started moving to Android. We produce software and systems for other businesses, so it's nothing an end-user would see, and I'm not here to shill anything.

Our problems started with Windows started with Windows 10. Specifically, the Windows 10 Professional version not being able to disable automatic Windows Updates. There has been more than one occasion where forced updates has caused issues with hardware peripherals. Some catastrophically since some of these devices do not have drivers compatible with the latest version of W10, such as kiosk touchscreens not working due to a forced Windows Update. And many industry specific devices still don't. Not to mention complaints of unprofessional looking systems with games being automatically downloaded to Windows 10 Professional systems.

We're sort of in that "in between" stage where we're not big enough to have our own custom systems, but large enough where we've lost untold hours doing manual labor cleaning up Windows and configuring it for what our customers want. Windows 7 was never this problematic. We could go with embedded versions of Windows 10, but those dramatically increase our costs, because they usually require purchasing very vendor specific hardware.

We've lost untold support hours troubleshooting and fixing issues caused by forced Windows Updates. The latest fiasco caused our software to crash and have printing issues. Hopefully fixed with Update KB5001649. But it should NEVER have come to this. We purchase systems with W10 Pro for a reason dammit. Not to mention I've left some work open, only to come back the next day and greeted by a reboot due to Windows Updates. You win Microsoft. We give up. We're leaving your house.
 
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mxnerd

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Your IT dept is not doing its job. As @UsandThem pointed out, use Group Policy to stop automatic updates or use a different version (LTSC) of Windows.

==

So what Android devices your company are going to use?
 
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akugami

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My understanding is, with all methods, even using gpedit, it's only delaying the updates and not stopping the updates. We've had to do things such as replace older, but perfectly usable peripherals, with newer models, just because it does not work with the current version of W10 Pro. This is a delaying tactic, which we've used, but ultimately, not a solution. Short of blocking the IP addresses, which we don't want to do. Basically we are not against Windows Updates, just in a controlled manner and at our choosing.

Windows 10 does come in an Enterprise/Embedded version, but now we run the added headache of dealing with W10 installation if we purchase computer and Windows separately, or costing us more money per system deploy if we get systems already with W10 Enterprise. It's cheaper to purchase a system such as Dell's Optiplex line vs buying systems already with W10 Enterprise. So yes, this is a solution, but now we add from about $200+ per station deploy vs a standard "off the shelf" computer meant for business use.

@mxnerd, We're still in the exploratory phase, but using a ChromeOS and/or Android device may suffice in our product mix. You can largely use an unmodified Android app on ChromeOS these days, which is great. Linux was considered, but comes with its own challenges along with spotty peripheral support, and MacOS was a definite no-no due to an extreme lack of peripheral support.
 

JackMDS

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On the other hand if your customers would not be pleased with limited flexibility of the "other solution", then you are back to square one, and might be losing customers.

:cool:
 

mxnerd

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See if the following posts help.


 

Steltek

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Mar 29, 2001
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Unless Microsoft has changed it, one simple potential workaround is to set your network connection (either Ethernet or WiFi, whichever you use on your internal network) as being a metered connection. Then, under Windows Update advanced options, make sure the setting for "Download updates over metered connections (charges may apply)" is turned off.

This will permanently stop Windows from downloading any updates unless you manually tell it to do so. There is one exception for this, which is updates Microsoft deems too urgent to be delayed for an unmetered connection, but in my experience it is rarely used (mainly for Defender antimalware updates and things like Flash updates - which aren't an issue anymore since Flash is gone).

Do be aware that doing this can affect bluetooth connectivity (Windows won't download bluetooth drivers when set to metered); however, there is (or at least was) a workaround for it.
 
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akugami

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Sorry for the late response, and thank you for those that have constructive suggestions. I've been super bombed with life in general and work, so did not get a chance to respond. Partially due to lack of energy with how busy I've been, and still am. When you're working 12-15 hour days, and you come home and still have to do stuff for/with the kids, you're just too tired to come to a forum to post anything, even on your day off.

We deploy systems to customers, and setting the connection to metered doesn't help since we'd have to do this on a case-by-case basis for every client. It's unfeasible from a time perspective to have to do it on every deployment as most of our clients are extremely non-technical. There are also occasions when we want/need to update files and drivers to make our software work or needed for some hardware peripheral. We experimented with various ways, including setting the network connection to metered and it just created other hassles for our clients that made it unfeasible from a time investment standpoint.

As for having a Windows expert on hand, unfortunately (and I'm sure many will appreciate this) but the bean counters don't justify us having a full time Windows expert. It's mainly a hodgepodge of the programmers as well as us on second level support that research Windows issues as they come. It is what it is.

And we've had more Windows issues with updates messing up many printers such as Zebra label printers and Star Micronics thermal printers, which seems to happen due to our specific use-case, which is creating a 2ndary Windows standard user account with limited access. So on the one hand, we do that for security, on the other hand, something in the latest Windows updates has screwed up the printer, and Star Micronic's only suggestion at the moment is to uninstall, reinstall, and pray. Even Epson thermal printers have had issues as of late.

With that said, I've been highly intrigued with Windows 11 and its baked in Android support. I'm actually disappointed that the initial previews don't include Android support or I'd be testing it now. My one wish is that they please allow the permanent pausing of Windows Updates on any Windows Professional and Windows Enterprise versions.
 
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mxnerd

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Have dealt with thermal printers on Windows many years back.

Actually the machines that equipped with thermal printers are absolutely critical for every company which owns them. Because those printers usually for printing invoices and any downtime causes extreme headache.

So from now on your company will equip each client company with one Android system or ask the client to buy one?

Why not Linux? The thermal printer drivers support is poor?
 
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akugami

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We're transitioning our software to Android and moving away from Windows. There are pros and cons to this, and part of the cons is we have to rebuild our applications from scratch. But this is also a pro as our devs can cut away years and years of accumulated crud.

Thermal printer support is actually not bad on Linux, though it wasn't great when we first started. However, we still have a lot of industry specific peripherals with very poor Linux support. Many of these have started to support Android, so it seemed like a good time to move. Especially since some peripherals even have a proprietary flavor of Android as its OS.

New clients use the new version which is Android only. Any existing clients who want new features must use the new version of our application, and must buy new Android based systems. They're always free to stay on the old version if they can't/won't pay for new hardware. We make nearly zero on hardware since it's all about the support fees.
 
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Feb 4, 2009
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I am guessing your business is pretty small and possibly using bestbuy off the shelf equipment am I correct?
Because as previously stated IT can set policies for updates even in windows 10 but you have to actually have skilled IT people not some unpaid college intern and you need to buy an actual copy of Windows server and such no random bestbuy/Newegg/amazon random home stuff that you use in the office.
 

akugami

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I am guessing your business is pretty small and possibly using bestbuy off the shelf equipment am I correct?

Because as previously stated IT can set policies for updates even in windows 10 but you have to actually have skilled IT people not some unpaid college intern and you need to buy an actual copy of Windows server and such no random bestbuy/Newegg/amazon random home stuff that you use in the office.
The business I work for has a few offices, and systems deployed across the USA.

I feel you're overly critical without knowing the nature of our business. You're projecting that we use bottom of the barrel computers you find at Best Buys. I do admit that's partially my fault as I'm trying to skate around what we do, because I don't feel comfortable shilling what I do or make it seem like I'm advertising the company I work for.

And I get it. I understand the "you should hire the correct professionals for the job" mentality. But in the real world, it's always balancing a set of trade-offs. The nature of our business means Windows is only a means of loading our software and as a means of communicating with device peripherals. Ideally, our clients themselves would never even know what OS it is running on. And yes, most of our clients don't know or care what the OS is.

For our business, it just doesn't make financial sense from a monetary and time perspective to set up our own custom image for deployment on hardware vs buying a Dell Optiplex line with an i5 processor and an ELO touchscreen monitor (our primary system purchases, not something off Best Buys as you posited). The alternative is to pay the same amount of money for an all in one touchscreen system with an Intel Atom processor, but has embedded Windows. You'll just have to take my word for it that we crunched the numbers. There are larger players in our space who also operate similar to how we do, and only the largest players have their own custom branded/built systems.

With that said, we were at a crossroads. Due to growth, we would have needed to look into what you said, which was invest more heavily into a custom Windows deployment with our own activation and comes with its own set of challenges, or just move to Android, and avoid many hassles. And many players in our industry is moving to Android as well. Some of the support tools that we use and rely on to support our clients has improved drastically on Android.

Either way, the gripe is with Windows 10 removing control in an OS that is marketed and priced as the Professional version. The latest issues the company I worked for was entirely avoidable if they just gave Windows 10 Professional users more control over the OS.
 
Feb 4, 2009
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The business I work for has a few offices, and systems deployed across the USA.

I feel you're overly critical without knowing the nature of our business. You're projecting that we use bottom of the barrel computers you find at Best Buys. I do admit that's partially my fault as I'm trying to skate around what we do, because I don't feel comfortable shilling what I do or make it seem like I'm advertising the company I work for.

And I get it. I understand the "you should hire the correct professionals for the job" mentality. But in the real world, it's always balancing a set of trade-offs. The nature of our business means Windows is only a means of loading our software and as a means of communicating with device peripherals. Ideally, our clients themselves would never even know what OS it is running on. And yes, most of our clients don't know or care what the OS is.

For our business, it just doesn't make financial sense from a monetary and time perspective to set up our own custom image for deployment on hardware vs buying a Dell Optiplex line with an i5 processor and an ELO touchscreen monitor (our primary system purchases, not something off Best Buys as you posited). The alternative is to pay the same amount of money for an all in one touchscreen system with an Intel Atom processor, but has embedded Windows. You'll just have to take my word for it that we crunched the numbers. There are larger players in our space who also operate similar to how we do, and only the largest players have their own custom branded/built systems.

With that said, we were at a crossroads. Due to growth, we would have needed to look into what you said, which was invest more heavily into a custom Windows deployment with our own activation and comes with its own set of challenges, or just move to Android, and avoid many hassles. And many players in our industry is moving to Android as well. Some of the support tools that we use and rely on to support our clients has improved drastically on Android.

Either way, the gripe is with Windows 10 removing control in an OS that is marketed and priced as the Professional version. The latest issues the company I worked for was entirely avoidable if they just gave Windows 10 Professional users more control over the OS.
Really my point is if windows non image or policy version is auto updating and causing problems the fact is you are not deploying windows in a manner that the business needs. Yes the business likes the low cost of what has been done but with that low cost comes the downside. Off the shelf consumer systems are just that. To me it is not fair to say there is something wrong with windows 10 when it is being used in a manner it was not intended to be used.
I have heard a lot of scary things when I worked at a VAR, one mid sized business I dealt with was (I am being intentionally vague because they ultimately addressed the problem) they needed to store communications/voice recordings. These recordings had a chance of being requested by States as evidence. They had a good number of employees. They had an acceptable income.
They were storing the backup on usb spiking hard drives purchased from bestbuy or amazon or Newegg whoever had the cheapest price for 1TB. Business files that had a chance of being required for states evidence on consumer usb hard drives as backup and stored on site. IT guy said he was terrified of a fire or break in. The overall stinginess of that companies upper management was mind boggling. Some or most of their files only had ONE copy stored on a random usb hard drive sitting in a closet.
The Gay porn company that ordered a small nas from me took data storage more seriously because at minimum they were storing their stuff at two different locations and they had a realistic recovery plan unlike usb hard drive guys who could take weeks to recover all their data.
 

mxnerd

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Jul 6, 2007
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It's hard to control what PC/OS your customer uses. Customer's business type range is very different from one company to another. In many cases the business has no admin, has no domain controller, has no Pro versions of Windows, only Home editions, you can't set Group Policies. What can you do with that? Most customers are reluctant to spendany money to upgrade HDD, memory, CPU, OS version, since these small business made very little money.

Like UPS Worldship software(only for printing UPS labels) I worked with many, many years back used MS SQL server as the database, it's extremely slow to work with on client's Windows machine. Did the clients want to upgrade its system? They didn't.
 
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akugami

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@Fanatical Meat

Fair points. I agree with many of them, and your customer experience story lines up with my experiences.

I don't mind Win10. I have no issues with it. But Windows 10 did represent a step backwards, and a huge loss of control on the point of not being able to disable or permanently delay Windows updates. This is something we've been able to do from at least Windows XP onwards (I was a Mac guy prior to this). I can understand losing some control with the home version of Windows, but unacceptable on the professional version.

You can argue that that's what you get with "off the shelf" systems. There is some merit to that line of thought. But the fact is that the company I work for specifically buys systems marketed for business use and which comes with the professional version of Windows. Most of our systems are either industry specific all-in-ones, or the Dell Optiplex line which is advertised for business use. Hell, the Wikipedia the first sentence in the entry for the Dell Optiplex line is "OptiPlex is a line of business-oriented desktop computers from Dell Technologies aimed at corporate enterprises, healthcare, government, and education markets." So while we're trying to be "cheap", we're also not fishing the bottom of the barrel. And from my standpoint, we're being treated like 2nd class citizens even though we pay more for the professional version.

And just as a note, I highly recommend the Dell Optiplex line. We've gotten a few lemons, but over many years and thousands of systems, the only failing major point has been the hard drive. HDD quality has gone to hell in the last 5'ish years. Get a Dell Optiplex with an SSD and these are solid systems that will last years and years. And don't forget the 3 year on location warranty. That's been a major major lifesaver. Worth the extra cost for peace of mind.
 
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Oyeve

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@Fanatical Meat

And just as a note, I highly recommend the Dell Optiplex line. We've gotten a few lemons, but over many years and thousands of systems, the only failing major point has been the hard drive. HDD quality has gone to hell in the last 5'ish years. Get a Dell Optiplex with an SSD and these are solid systems that will last years and years. And don't forget the 3 year on location warranty. That's been a major major lifesaver. Worth the extra cost for peace of mind.
I disagree. Dell sucks if you actually need to use their support service. Their service is all overseas and you will struggle to get anyone who actually cares about your issues. For desktops they may be ok if you are like me and just replace parts (HDs, etc.) but for workstations and servers I recommend HP. Their business level service is US based and you don't have to deal with VARS to get parts. Comes directly from HP. I have HP servers at my locations that are dusty old warehouses and these babies are still running after 8 years. The Dell servers BIOS batteries die very fast and can destroy your RAID setup if you decide to change the battery. I am done with Dell.
 

Super Spartan

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Aug 1, 2020
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That's it. We're done with Windows. The company I work for has already started moving to Android. We produce software and systems for other businesses, so it's nothing an end-user would see, and I'm not here to shill anything.

Our problems started with Windows started with Windows 10. Specifically, the Windows 10 Professional version not being able to disable automatic Windows Updates. There has been more than one occasion where forced updates has caused issues with hardware peripherals. Some catastrophically since some of these devices do not have drivers compatible with the latest version of W10, such as kiosk touchscreens not working due to a forced Windows Update. And many industry specific devices still don't. Not to mention complaints of unprofessional looking systems with games being automatically downloaded to Windows 10 Professional systems.

We're sort of in that "in between" stage where we're not big enough to have our own custom systems, but large enough where we've lost untold hours doing manual labor cleaning up Windows and configuring it for what our customers want. Windows 7 was never this problematic. We could go with embedded versions of Windows 10, but those dramatically increase our costs, because they usually require purchasing very vendor specific hardware.

We've lost untold support hours troubleshooting and fixing issues caused by forced Windows Updates. The latest fiasco caused our software to crash and have printing issues. Hopefully fixed with Update KB5001649. But it should NEVER have come to this. We purchase systems with W10 Pro for a reason dammit. Not to mention I've left some work open, only to come back the next day and greeted by a reboot due to Windows Updates. You win Microsoft. We give up. We're leaving your house.
An entire IT department can't simply run a small tool that would permanently disable Windows updates.... right... There are tens of them all over the web all they had to do is Google it and be done with updates for good.


Windows Update Blocker
 

akugami

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Feb 14, 2005
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I disagree. Dell sucks if you actually need to use their support service. Their service is all overseas and you will struggle to get anyone who actually cares about your issues. For desktops they may be ok if you are like me and just replace parts (HDs, etc.) but for workstations and servers I recommend HP. Their business level service is US based and you don't have to deal with VARS to get parts. Comes directly from HP. I have HP servers at my locations that are dusty old warehouses and these babies are still running after 8 years. The Dell servers BIOS batteries die very fast and can destroy your RAID setup if you decide to change the battery. I am done with Dell.
The last post was almost a year old, but that's OK.

I've had no issues with Dell's business support, which is what the Dell Optiplex falls under. Onsite repair response has been relatively decent. For common parts like a mobo repair or a HDD repair, it's usually next day if your call in was in the morning or every early afternoon.

But the best warranty is one you don't need.

We've had a much higher failure rate with HP hardware over the years as opposed to Dell hardware failures.
 

akugami

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An entire IT department can't simply run a small tool that would permanently disable Windows updates.... right... There are tens of them all over the web all they had to do is Google it and be done with updates for good.


Windows Update Blocker
No can do. We have to make sure our systems are running approved and certified software and devices. Our software has some sensitive data stored on it. You can't just randomly throw in some 3rd party software on it. Although I've seen some resellers of ours do this, or resellers of competing products do this. Compliance rules require anything installed on there be vetted.

With that said, we usually skip that process for something like Microsoft Office, or for things like a thermal printer driver, but we can't just drop in some random piece of software on there.
 

Shmee

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It seems like moving your business office computers to desktop Linux would make the most sense. Otherwise, everyone would have to do work on phones? That doesn't sound very productive. Unless I am missing something here?
 

akugami

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@Shmee Moving to Android. It comes with its own set of problems, but the OS is lightweight, and mostly gets out of the way. There are some basic things I took for granted in Windows that require a 3rd party application on Android to get going, such as basic network troubleshooting using ping or traceroute commands.
 

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