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Upgrading to a new version of Windows is often a straightforward affair. But when something doesn’t go right, you’re left with vague errors that aren’t helpful. In the next version of Windows, Microsoft will try to solve that.

If you’ve ever encountered an error during Windows Setup, you’ve probably been left completely frustrated and wondering what to do. The message you see most likely didn’t have any description of the problem and just listed the letters KB followed by a string of numbers. If you tried to search, you were lead to dozens of entirely different entries that didn’t match up to your KB numbers and did nothing to clarify the situation.

Microsoft has started showing off new setup screens to directly tackle this issue in a recent Windows Insider Webinar, as spotted by WinFuture. Starting at just after the hour mark, Microsoft’s James Atkins and Julia Troxell laid out the problem clearly, and the steps they are taking to solve this problem going forward.

The Current Dialogs are Vague and Confusing

Windows Setup dialog with KB00000, back button and refresh button circled
Windows Insider Webinar

The problem at hand isn’t just limited to the vague error, but also to the lack of actions the users can take to mitigate the problem. With the current setup dialog, you have an error message but no link to more info to learn exactly what is wrong. You have “Back” and “Refresh” buttons, but neither of these buttons solves the problem—they’re only options available to the user. Usually, the solution is as simple as uninstalling and reinstalling or updating a program or disabling encryption, but Windows Setup currently does a terrible job of letting the user know.

The New Dialogs Provide More Information and Solutions

Windows 10 Setup dialog with uninstall buttons, links to error articles
Windows Insider Webinar

The new Setup dialogs present more information with direct links to error articles. If additional options are possible, such as upgrading a program instead of uninstalling, then you will be prompted to “learn more or update instead.”. Where possible, the dialog offers solutions; if it’s possible for Windows to handle an uninstall it will present that option, when it can’t (because the program isn’t in Add/Remove programs) then a manual installation is suggested.

The key point behind these new dialogs is to provide you with everything you need to know to complete the upgrade, or where it’s not possible to upgrade all the information you need to understand why. That should reduce frustration and help the Setup process go more smoothly.

Landing on over-informing users is usually the safest bet, and hopefully, Microsoft can bring this thinking to other areas like Crash Dialogs and Windows Update failure messages.

via Ars Technica

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code.
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