Pet Peeves Redux

DAN SHAPPIR on July 29, 2014 | 1046

I left my laptop on and connected last night. When I came in this morning I found that it had rebooted. With some trepidation and logged in and got a message from the systray that Microsoft had installed an important patch onto my laptop that required a restart. OK, I can understand that some security related patches are really important and urgent. I can also understand why some patches may require a restart (though I’m hard pressed to think of the last time I installed a Windows patch that did not require a restart),. But what if I had an important unsaved document open (luckily I didn’t – I’ve already learnt that lesson),? Performing an automatic restart on a computer that has running, visible applications is unacceptable IMO. The proper behavior is to display a large, bright and informative message that requests a restart ASAP.

Also, how is it that after all this time Microsoft has not figured out a way to perform the restart in such a way that when it is done you are exactly where you were before: logged in with the same applications and documents open (at least for the Microsoft applications),. I’m not an expert in the internal workings of the Windows logon process, but it seems to me that existing Single Sign On technology should be able to support this.

The worse part was that I had Outlook open. Yes, I’ve already blogged about this – Outlook doesn’t like to be interrupted by anyone, including Windows. When I started Outlook up again I got this reassuring message, which stayed on my screen for 15 minutes. Admittedly I have a large inbox, but this is still way too much. During that time I was unable to use Outlook as well as many other applications thanks to the thrashing my HD was receiving. Fortunately everything appeared to be OK when Outlook finally did open (and all my stuff is backed up anyway),. Obviously all the messages I had open are not open anymore. Hopefully I’ll remember which ones I haven’t acted on yet.

No software is perfect, and I freely admit that Microsoft is generally excellent at making Good Enough software. But if Microsoft wants to continue owning my desktop they need to shape-up. Quickly.

Author | 180 Blog Posts

Dan Shappir

Dan Shappir is responsible for all aspects of product design, software development and maintenance of the Ericom's product lines. | Ericom Software

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