MICROSOFT HAS told The INQUIRER that it is aware of a bug which has been causing users' default programs to switch to the bundled Microsoft options.
The saga began when a reader told us that, despite being a long time user of Irfanview as his primary photo app, he was greeted with a message saying: 'A default app has been reset,' only to discover that his new photo app was Photos, the bundled offering.
He traced the problem back to KB3135173, a cumulative update issued for February which was pushed out as an update last week. After deleting the update, he discovered the next day that Windows had reinstalled it, and reset the defaults again.
Now a Microsoft spokesman has told INQ, "We are aware of this issue that some customers are experiencing, and are actively working to resolve it." which at least rules out yet another 'we know what's good for you' decision.
Other users have reported similar problems with IE 11 being reset to Edge, and the stock video player being changed back despite the fact that it doesn't support some of the formats for which it is making it the default.
Some forum members have gone so far as to suggest that reinstalling Windows is the only solution at present, although most are hanging on in the hope that perhaps a fix will follow.
Our commenters have been vocal as always with one validly remarking, "In related news... Windows 7 is still running without issues on my computer... lol"
"One of my updates is CONSTANTLY resetting defaults NO MATTER how I attempt to fix them," another said. |I'm going to have to roll that one back. It makes the machine unusable."
Reddit users were even more angry, so apologies for the swears,
"Again? God fucking damnit Microsoft. This is exactly what makes me avoid using anything by Microsoft in the first place. Unfortunately there is no choice in the OS market or I wouldn't be stuck with this Windows shit."
The problem doesn't seem to be universal, but equally doesn't seem tied to any particular anti-malware or firewall software.
There are two issues here. Firstly, it highlights the ongoing problems users have with the lack of transparency Microsoft offers with Windows 10. This is the first month that Microsoft has published details of patches, despite assuring The INQUIRER in a recent interview that transparency is exactly what the company is striving for.
It's full of vague terms like 'fixed additional issues' and 'improved security' that don't really pin down what has been done, and there's nothing in the list to suggest what is causing the resets.
The most relevant appears to be 'Fixed additional issues with the Windows UX, Windows 10 Mobile, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, and taskbar.' But that, as all the entries are, is so broad that it's impossible to say with any confidence.
The second is that even knowing doesn't offer control. There are two settings for home users: all the updates or none of the updates. Microsoft has always maintained that this is to provide the simplicity that "we hear customers want". But it's quite clear from our readers' comments over the past six months that there are a growing number of people who want the granular control back.
Given that Microsoft now freely admits that it's going to start getting trigger happy when it comes to making people upgrade, this needs a fix and fast.
Which is a bugger because the one line response gave us no timescale. µ
Plus the cost of ambition as moonshots eat into the coffers
Spoiler alert: it's probably VeriSign
Did we say cuts off? We meant traps them inside their own home