MVP Summit Travelogue Day 3: Serious Feedback -- Seriously!!

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  1.    06 Mar 2018 #1

    MVP Summit Travelogue Day 2: Serious Feedback -- Seriously!!


    Today was the first real content day at the Microsoft MVP Summit here in Bellevue (and Redmond). Instead of hanging at the downtown Hyatt, this morning we boarded buses for various destinations on the Microsoft campus. My itinerary took me to building 83 (home of the Windows 10 marketing team) and 86 (home of the Surface design team). I can't say I feel too constrained by the NDA stuff today because much of what we heard was neither earth-shattering nor terribly exciting.

    I did, however, come away with some interesting insights on Microsoft telemetry. It seems that those who turn telemetry off are hurting themselves more than anyone else. Microsoft uses telemetry in the aggregate and keeps track of problems, bugs, and issues by comparing user feedback from the feedback hub against the logs and traces that the hub sends back to Microsoft when feedback is reported. They prioritize the things that need fixing based on the items that appear most often in that log/telemetry data that goes along with user reports. The more feedback they get on some specific topic, the higher the priority for addressing that topic becomes.

    What does this really tell us about turning telemetry off or not providing user feedback? It tells us that those who turn telemetry off lose the biggest chance they have to provide the very data that Microsoft needs to fix such problems or issues as they many encounter on their Windows 10 PCs. It also tells us that those who want to steer Windows in a different direction, or to see problems or issues fixed, should provide feedback to improve the odds that those things will be addressed or fixed.

    I was sitting at the bar a few minutes ago, talking to a new MVP friend name Janne from Finland. We agreed that if you don't ask the right questions you can't possibly get the right answers, either. This suggests very strongly to me that providing MS with telemetry only helps to make things better for Windows in the long run -- and thus for us, who use Windows, too.

    The best way to give feedback, according to those who run the program at MS is to do the following:
    1. Give your feedback a clear and descriptive title
    2. Provide as detailed an explanation of what you observed, what you tried, and what happened to prompt a feedback report
    3. Stick to one issue per feedback report: if you multiple items or issues to report, great! Just file one report for each issue (this helps greatly with distribution, analysis, and handling of such reports)
    4. Because feedback reports depend in large part on telemetry used to tied human descriptions of problems (which usually focus on symptoms, where the telemetry includes information about errors, failures, and events, which point more toward causes) it's best to leave telemetry turned on. This goes double or perhaps even triple for Insiders, who are essentially participating in the program for the primary purpose of providing telemetry for the express purpose of improving the next, upcoming production version of the operating system.

    'Nuff said.

    --Ed--

    #MVPSummit, #MVPBuzz
    Last edited by EdTittel; 07 Mar 2018 at 18:30. Reason: Day 2 not Day 3
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  2.    06 Mar 2018 #2

    I think Microsoft really need to push out exactly what they collect. There's a lot of misconception regarding this.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3. Dude's Avatar
    Posts : 12,552
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       06 Mar 2018 #3

    Thanks for sharing Ed
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    07 Mar 2018 #4

    Agreed that MS needs to disclose more about what they're collecting and how they use the data. And you're very welcome, Dude!
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  5. essenbe's Avatar
    Posts : 11,599
    Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Pro Insider
       07 Mar 2018 #5

    Thanks Ed.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  6.    07 Mar 2018 #6

    EdTittel said: View Post
    Agreed that MS needs to disclose more about what they're collecting and how they use the data. And you're very welcome, Dude!
    --Ed--
    Windows 10 has been reported to be in violation with privacy law in France, and, even though that issue appears to have been cleared more than half a year ago, a similar report has occurred in The Netherlands not too long after that. Once bitten, twice shy, so I am keeping Telemetry disabled because doing that appears to be the only way to let Microsoft know about the fact that I don't want Microsoft to tell us they are taking our privacy seriously, but that, instead, I want Microsoft to take our privacy seriously.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    07 Mar 2018 #7

    Good point. I'm pretty sure they're aware of this already, and are deep in preparation for GDPR.
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  8.    08 Mar 2018 #8

    A ZDNET article - Windows 10 and telemetry: Time for a simple network analysis (Feb 2016) - used Wireshark to try to analyze the amount of data being uploaded to Microsoft servers, including telemetry. The article reported that the initial 30 minute 'baseline' test showed 98 KB of telemetry uploaded. The article concluded that:
    Without unencrypting the telemetry packets Microsoft receives, we're not going to know exactly what data it receives. But they're small and relatively infrequent, so are unlikely to be packed with your personal data.

    We know the data is encrypted... but let's just assume that it's also compressed to save bandwidth. If anyone's interested I've attached a zipped plain text file - 98KB test file.zip. If you unzip it, it expands into a 16,224 KB file. If you open it in something like Word then you'll see that that equates to a lot of pages:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	98KB file.png 
Views:	1 
Size:	79.0 KB 
ID:	179974
    (In comparison, the first published edition of 'War and Peace' is 1,225 pages.)

    Seriously... the equivalent of over 4,000 pages uploaded in just 30 minutes?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    08 Mar 2018 #9

    I'm working with Ms to arrange an interview on this topic for next wwek. I'll report here, of course, and plan a full-length article on telemetry for TechTarget, too.
    --Ed--
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  10.    08 Mar 2018 #10

    with the other millions of users unknowingly providing data as to OS issues.. My data is not needed..
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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