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That amazing Microsoft software quality, part 97: Windows Phone update kills Outlook, Calendar

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

It's obvious

You haven't heard back because Outlook isn't working on their Windows phones.

GBE

As long is customers put up with it...

The quality of Microsoft's "produts" will continue to get worse for as long as the customers put up with it, and they show little sign of rebelling yet...

Version 1.0 Silver badge
Pint

Re: As long is customers put up with it...

We can all wring our hands over this and blame Microsoft but really, this is just the way the world works (or doesn't) these days - apps get upgraded and services depreciated all the time. Here today and gone tomorrow after an "upgrade" ... today it's Microsoft, tomorrow it will be Google, then Apple and so on down the line.

Nothing has worked as long as beer - it's the only user service that's been around for 4000 years and it does help you get over today's "upgrades"

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: As long is customers put up with it...

"Nothing has worked as long as beer "

You have obviously never heard of Watney's Red Barrel, which was a beer that, owing to its manufacture involving the very latest technology, didn't work.

Tomato Krill

Re: As long is customers put up with it...

OK I'm sure I'm not the only who just spent twenty minutes opening tabs in search of the story behind that statement - but to no joy - care to elaborate?

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: As long is customers put up with it...

re: Watney's Red Barrel

Google CAMRA, although they don't explicitly name check Watney's.

Watney's Red Barrel (and others) were a bit like the mass market US beers of the time: which were more caramelised water (as opposed to the sugared water of coke etc.) than beer.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: As long is customers put up with it...

You can also try looking for "Monty Python Watneys Red Barrel" on YouTube or similar

AndyMulhearn

Re: As long is customers put up with it...

There used to be a saying that you shouldn’t take the piss out of Watneys Red Barrel because all you’d have left is water...

It was a very bad rime when that kind of beer was popular. Britain was not a good place...

Voyna i Mor Silver badge

Re: As long is customers put up with it...

Beer making is by its normal nature a batch process. Details are readily available, I won't go into it.

The idea of WRB was to use a continuous flow process. The ingredients went in at the bottom of a (stainless steel?) tower. They gradually rose up and as they did so passed through horizontal screens and temperature zones until the final product was decanted from the top (as the ABV increases the density decreases, which is what the process depends on to work.)

The problem with a continuous process is quality control, because if something goes wrong you have a lot of stuff in the middle of a big tower that somehow has to be removed. So the product has to be absolutely lowest common denominator to have any chance of working.

I suspect that the Microsoft update pipeline is a bit like this, it's very difficult to stop the process and remove bad stuff.

DJV Silver badge

"very difficult to stop the process and remove bad stuff"

In Microsoft's case that sort of thing is for the official testers* to do!

* i.e. the users.

Teiwaz Silver badge

Re: As long is customers put up with it...

You have obviously never heard of Watney's Red Barrel,

Can't blame MS for Watneys Red Barrel - although as a mostly fashionable fizzy so-so (some quite liked it, some hated it with a passion) driven by a good Marketing machine for a while, Windows is actually quire similar.

Avatar of They
Thumb Up

Re: As long is customers put up with it...

Brilliant sketch, have an upvote for reminding me...

Dwarf Silver badge

What a bunch of cowboys

AMRone

Not affecting all users?

This issue isn't affecting the phones in my household (950XL and several 950s, US variants), all on OS build 15254.538, and we did receive the Mail and Calendar update recently to 20083.0. Perhaps it is a UK only issue?

That said, our phones have been acting even flakier than usual with the last couple of OS updates. I am beginning to look seriously at moving to Android, even though I hate G**gle. Ugh.

TheGreatCabbage

Re: Not affecting all users?

To remain Google-free you could flash Lineage OS, which incidentally gets regular security updates. Or you could just avoid signing in with any Google services.

In either case you can install apps from F-Droid (all open source), Aptoide and Apkmirror.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Not affecting all users?

Been getting worse since they put win 10 on the phones. I still have 950, but have ordered my replacement, not happy really as I don't like android, like the win phone interface, but just poor updates. I have had mail problems for about a month now. My google mail doesn't show unless I select it twice. Had another mail problem for don't know how long, pick the mail in the notification bar, doesn't go to it, shows the last mail viewed and says I have now read the one I picked in the notification.

Michael Habel Silver badge

Re: Not affecting all users?

Two things strike me about Lineage OS (Formerly known as CyanogenMod),

1) Its still Googles underlying Code (Android Open Source Project),

2) (A matter of personal preference sure), But, to make it useful you're going to want to install some GAPPs which again kinda moots the point.

Again the only real point in running this Software as such is if your OEM (coughing loudly), Samsung has decided to just feck off and, support the next device, (Insert any Tab/Plablet you like here), instead. then yes as long as your Device still has a Dev behind it may still continue to see the next OS version. Or as of late the latest Monthly Security Patch. Although in my experance that only turns up every so offten anyway. It might also explain why other People, like nVidia with the Shield TV, were reporting future monthly Security Updates (From Google...), but have thusfar been mostly silent for the past few Months. When the last update from them hit, they were actually looking like they would continue to actually do this. Which at the time kind of impressed me.

But, let us remember the Shield TV came out, back in 2015... So nobody shouldn't say that they haven't been supporting it.

As to third-party Appstores.... Is it just me are were they also very shady AF?! Aptodid, is a place to get pirated (e.g. hacked), *.apk's, and Apkmirror, is only useful if you want to let your Device, mine Coin for someone else. I think we're well past the days of such Malware, just spaming something as innocent as a Porn Website.

Now I grant you Google are NOT much better at protecting themselves, (or us for that matter!), as it comes to all that. But, they have a vested intrest to keep that knind of crap off the System. Those other Two? Naghh I don't think so.

JohnFen Silver badge

I am genuinely shocked

I'm genuinely shocked to learn that there are people still using Windows phones.

Terry 6 Silver badge

Re: I am genuinely shocked

I gave up my Winphone and lay down in front of Google's Android less than a year ago. I kept going with the Winphone because it was a nice phone to use (as well as not being Google's) and meant that my calendar was easily shared across to my desktop and PC. I kept with Outlook on my PC for the same reason. It was when things like the BBC apps stopped working, that I really needed, that I started to give in and accepted that I needed to jump ship.

I now keep my calendar in Outlook.com and Thunderbird with Lightning respectively. But that only syncs because of a third party addon for TB (TBsync). Otherwise I'd be stuffed. It's only when I found TBSync that I was fully able to make the switch.

So for MS to screw up that aspect of Winphone is to break the only part that would have kept me using it.

AegisPrime

Re: I am genuinely shocked

I'm still using my Lumia 520 'cause I haven't found anything cheap that can run Lineage OS yet - anyone got any recommendations for a Lineage-supported sub-£100 phone?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: I am genuinely shocked

I have an ageing Sammy S3 very happily running Lineage OS

Ledswinger Silver badge

Re: I am genuinely shocked

anyone got any recommendations for a Lineage-supported sub-£100 phone?

Sub £100 I can't comment, but a Xiaomi Mi A1 can be had new off Fleabay for a tad over £130, and I believe has Lineages support.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: I am genuinely shocked

"I'm genuinely shocked to learn that there are people still using Windows phones."

"I'm genuinely shocked to learn that there are people still using Windows ".

Ledswinger Silver badge

Re: I am genuinely shocked

Sub £100 I can't comment, but a Xiaomi Mi A1 can be had new off Fleabay for a tad over £130

Oops, I meant Mi A2 Lite. As Chinese phone followers will know, marginal differences in designation sometimes mean vast differences in spec, sometimes none at all. The Mi A1's lowest price is around £150, the Mi A2 Lite can be found as low as £120.

aje21
Thumb Up

Re: I am genuinely shocked

Will be very sad when my Lumia 1020 stops working - I was never that into having lots of apps but some of the fairly useful ones have fallen by the wayside over the last couple of years. However there are still quite a few which I use that are still working...

Tempted to give Sailfish a try at some point as I find Android to be very frustrating as a phone OS (the rest of the family have been using it for years and often can't work out how to do things which are really simple on Windows Phone - I help when I can, but just find it frustrating).

Def Silver badge

Re: I am genuinely shocked

I have a Lumia 950 and a (work issued) Huawai P20 Pro. I much prefer using the Windows phone *because* of the lack of apps. When I'm carrying the work phone, I catch myself wasting time with all kinds of shit apps that I really should know better than to use. (But they're there, and I don't.)

Unfortunately, I have to carry the Android these days because the one app that I really need (ticket app for public transport) doesn't work on Windows anymore. :(

Michael Habel Silver badge

Re: I am genuinely shocked

How about you have a look :HERE

and then take a look over :THERE (subheader: Shoping)

The First Link has the list of actvely supported Devices. going all the way back to the days of CyanogenMod. The other is of couse Google....

Michael Habel Silver badge

Re: I am genuinely shocked

To be far.. I never had problems getting something as basic as a Fingerprint Reader on my Lappy, to just work under Windows. On Linux Mint... After a fresh install. It can be quite the fiscking chore. That said, most of the stuff I like to use, primaraly being Darktable, and Gimp (i.e. Open Source versions of Lightroom, and Photoshop), are pretty much at home on Linux any how. And, I'm not about to touch anything less than Enterprise grade Windows X. But, good luck trying to get a personal Copy of Slurps latest. Hackentosh was kinda cool for Five minutes, back in 2009. So that leaves me with either FreeBSD, which I still havent tried, or Linux. Of which I'm more famillure with the Debian structure. So my go to Disto in that case would be Mint.

Mores the pitty that I can NOT seem to install it properly unless I cut my WiFi off compleatly. Which also kinda sucks major balls.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: I am genuinely shocked

"So for MS to screw up that aspect of Winphone is to break the only part that would have kept me using it."

Wouldn't surprise me if that's what they're trying to do - it's a dead platform for them, just a pit of money to throw money into - the sooner they can dissuade people from using it the cheaper it'll be for them.

I loved my Nokia 1020, best camera ever, and the interface was actually really nice. But I ditched it a long time ago due to the lack of a decent app ecosystem. I didn't want to be locked into a Microsoft only ecosystem for this very reason.

SVV Silver badge

The synergistic phone, slab and PC strategy reaches fruition

Windows 10 updates have managed to screw up every single one of them.

This post has been deleted by a moderator

bombastic bob Silver badge
Unhappy

How long before

some malware-maker pwns a network someplace, and forces people to "upgrade" their windows devices to a version that has even MORE built-in malware than the Micro-shaft version, which THEN spreads itself by taking over MORE networks (public wifi, whatever) until everyone's windows "device" has been "upgraded" to something that CANNOT BE REMOVED, etc...

and without the choice to turn it off, it "just loads the 'up'grade". And it "cleverly" marks itself with a newer revision than anything ELSE that might show up to overwrite it, hides itself, puts itself into the BIOS, etc. to keep it on the "device" forever and ever and ever...

It's bad enough when Micro-shaft totally SCREWS THE POOCH on their *LACK* of quality control. But this kind of "we forced you to accept something that broke what you had" mentality can ONLY end very, very, badly.

Tomato Krill

Re: How long before

How long until someone 'pwns' Microsoft's update server? Presumably after managing to develop a build of the OS close enough not to be obviously different, and steal the private key they use to sign the builds?

Not soon, I would stick my neck out and say...

DJV Silver badge

Re: How long before

Yeah, but would anyone notice?

FozzyBear Silver badge
IT Angle

Re: How long before

"upgrade" their windows devices to a version that has even MORE built-in malware than the Micro-shaft version,

Not Possible. What the malware-makers do through intention, Micro$lop achieves through complete incompetence and indifference. Plus they have more people to do this than the malware crews

hplasm Silver badge
Devil

Re: How long before

The dawn of Biglysoft!

Michael Habel Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: How long before

You mean this hasn't already happend MULTIPLE TIMES already with Windows X?!

Joe W

Meh, all part of a grand plan

They want to make people move from that platform...

Even as a long term (I guess 20 years is enough to qualify) Linux user I have to admit: I was really happy with my Windows 8 phone. Brilliant interface, responsive (even on poor hardware)...

Sandtitz Silver badge

Re: Meh, all part of a grand plan @Joe W

They want to make people move from that platform...

Why? MS has committed to maintain Win10 Phone until 12/2019. I'm not seeing MS gaining or losing anything even if people keep using the service until then. After that it is not Microsoft's problem, even if people continue to use phones that are not up-to-date. People still use pre-5S iPhones, Gingerbread Androids, and older Nokias happily even if they're considered obsolete by many.

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: Meh, all part of a grand plan

Indeed, it is as if Microsoft wants users to switch to Android. I agree WP8 was a huge advance over its successor! I switched last summer as a experiment (to the Samsung my son used to use - nowadays he get the latest tech, and me the second-hand :-)), but the WP10 Lumia phone has been sitting in my drawer as a backup. I guess better not switch it on, until MS fixes their latest fix.

vmistery

If they want people to update quickly then they need to ensure their updates are reliably not mucking up peoples devices. We live in an age that threats can be exploited very quickly so enterises and consumers need the confidence to be able to patch fast.

Thought About IT

Fixed

Microsoft seem to have fixed the problem this morning.

Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

Re: Fixed

Microsoft seem to have fixed the problem this morning.

More fun is coming to every M$-based platform and Orifice installation. Better disable or block windowsupdates until they got things sorted out properly.

Michael Habel Silver badge

Re: Fixed

More fun is coming to every M$-based platform and Orifice installation. Better disable or block windowsupdates until they got things sorted out properly.

But, I thought the whole point of Windows X was so that you HAD to take MicroSoft's Medicine, whether, or not it needed addional Chemo. As its not like you're on a Corporate Network any how? I thought that was the fun, adventurous part of running Windows X. Was to count the Days till the next or, after the next System-wide spectacular.

Michael Jarve

It’s a game...

Since the release of Windows 10, be it mobile or else which, Microsoft has been treating Windows as Bethesda treats an Elder Scrolls game- release it now, and we’ll fix it later. The difference, of course is that people rely on Windows operating correctly from day one (or at least reliably enough) whereas people playing Skyrim can wait 6 days or months for a mostly functioning version of the game through patches. It’s not really an important thing. This Windows as a service scheme is not suited to a consumer/semi-pro OS. It works for Linux, because Linux users tend to be more savy ( nevermind that many problems can be circumvented with config/command line mojo). Not to mention that most major Linux distros have a 3+ year LTS version with regular patches, but also have an army of user/developers who also contribute code, based on real-life scenarios and a now more polite overlord who demands the best (even if/when bugs get through), and MS’s new “throw it at the wall and see what sticks, we’ll fix it later” looks even more daft. Peter Bright, Microsoft apologist, recently wrote on another site about how MS’s OS’s were always crud out of the gate, and took a service pack or two to be considered good enough for deployment, and that the fix it as we go Windows 10 meant continual bugs improvements not seen in previous versions. What he failed to concede was that while, yes, the initial release was usually rubbish, the service pack, released a year or so later was solid enough to keep you going for 10 or more years, if you updated, because it was tested up the wazoo before release. The first version of anything is not as good as the later version. Companies learn from mistakes, and not only from the mistakes they made, but why those mistakes were made. Further, you could choose not to bork your system every 6 months with a service pack feature upgrade foisted upon you whether you want it or not.

a_yank_lurker Silver badge

Re: It’s a game...

"Microsoft has been treating Windows as Bethesda treats an Elder Scrolls game- release it now, and we’ll fix it later." - This does not work for any long term success for anyone. Burn customers enough and they will vote with their wallets. What Slurp has forgotten is customers do have options, not necessarily great options now, but real options.

Another issue for Slurp is the family IT department might get fed up with constantly fighting updates that bork systems. They might say enough and convert their families and friends to other OSes/devices for their personal sanity. Technical problems with many Linux distros are often much easier to solve and tend to stay solved.

Michael Habel Silver badge
Linux

Re: It’s a game...

And since this pile of excrament landed, there has been the.....

November Update

Anniversary Update

Creators Update

Fall Creators Update

April 2018 Update

October 2018 Update

So when do you recken enough of these Updates will have come, and gone again, before Windows X actually starts to get good again?

h4rm0ny Silver badge

So that's what happened. I noticed I couldn't open Calendar on my phone - it starts to open and then just shuts down.

I really like the Windows Phone OS. I'm pissed off with Microsoft for dropping it. They may not have had as much initial success with it as they liked but it is a solid OS and ceding the market entirely to Google and Apple is a huge mistake. I've stuck with it since because I like it, but I'm going to have to get an Android phone soon just because nobody writes software for WP anymore.

Sandtitz Silver badge
Holmes

"I'm pissed off with Microsoft for dropping it. They may not have had as much initial success with it as they liked but it is a solid OS and ceding the market entirely to Google and Apple is a huge mistake."

MS ceded the market to Google and Apple not because they wanted, but because they were too late in the market, and the poor management and poor technical decisions bungled it afterwards. Not gaining developer love had some part in their undoing as well.

MS could only have had a better chance with underhanded tactics, like hampering O365/Exchange connectivity from non-Windows devices. Similarly, Google didn't code a Youtube app for WinPhone (perfectly excusable), but Google did have a hissy fit when MS made their own Youtube app and blocked access. Well documented on El Reg site.

L05ER

BS

There is no such thing as being too late to market with a unique product.

The problem was that they didn't commit to the vision of winphone7... all the core things people did with their phones were super streamlined and built-in.

Winphone8 stopped that and forced everyone back to apps... with the thinking that they would get updates faster. Microsoft should have published (or heavily incentivized) themselves, since attracting devs was already a tall order for a small marketshare phone.

Basically they broke their own feet, and then put their head in a noose... it had nothing do with "being too late"... you trend whore.

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