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Recently I discovered that Microsoft has no public way of reporting on bugs regarding the Windows operating system. The only current alternative is the Microsoft Community, which is not really a bug reporting platform, but more of a help desk targeted at laymen. There is an overall strong dissatisfaction with the 'support engineers' present there.

Given that Microsoft seems to resist setting up a community to this end, and given the power of the community as showcased by Stack Exchange, I am certain as a community a better service can be provided than the one currently established by Microsoft Community. We do not need Microsoft to verify how common certain issues are, in which circumstances they can be reproduced, and to find plausible workarounds.

To some degree it seems bug reports are already welcome here. Regardless, given that this topic was not yet raised on Meta (or please redirect me), I would like to initiate a discussion regarding experienced bugs in Windows as reported here on superuser.

  • First off, are they welcome?
  • What is a suitable format (e.g., which tags to use) for these types of 'questions'?
  • And thinking ahead, could superuser act as a replacement to the Microsoft Community to apply pressure on Microsoft to raise common experienced problems? If so, how should this be structured/communicated?
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    This isn't worth submitting an answer, bugs reported to us as a community, won't be fix. So unless the question asks for a solution, to the problem generated by the bug, a question simply reporting the bug wouldn't be constructive. Besides there actually is a way to report bugs that exist within Windows. – Ramhound Aug 6 '16 at 20:08
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Super User is a question-and-answer site. As such, questions on it should be specific questions or problems that need to be solved.

If you were going to post a bug report here, you would absolutely have to frame it as a question. Just saying "this is a bug triggered by X and Y" isn't really a question. Rather, you could ask something like "when I do X or Y, bad thing Z happens - how do I make it not?" With that kind of question, it doesn't matter whether the cause is actually a bug or not; the focus is on making your computer do the thing you want. Answers to these questions should address the problem, presenting a fix or workaround. Answering with simply "it's a bug" is only helpful when it has supporting evidence (i.e. isn't just speculation) and specifies the circumstances in which it appears. A thorough explanation of the internal machinations that trigger it would be great.

There shouldn't be a tag for bug reports. Rather, questions stemming from suspected bugs should just be tagged as normal (with the OS, for instance).

Stack Exchange sites aren't bug trackers, so I'm not sure that we could "pressure" any company into fixing anything. The count of upvotes on a question does indicate its usefulness, though. Also, I have already found some answers to baffling, commonly-asked-around-Microsoft-forums questions only located on Super User, so we seem to be doing a pretty good job of filling in documentation gaps already.

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    The only thing here I would disagree with would be that answering that it is a bug isn't helpful. It isn't helpful in alerting Microsoft or putting pressure on them, but it is helpful to people who come here with that problem who are looking for solutions. Yes, it should be framed as a proper question, with the bug documentation offered as an answer. If someone has a workaround, that would be a much better answer (and that isn't precluded). But in the absence of a workaround, documentation that it's a bug is useful. (cont'd) – fixer1234 Aug 7 '16 at 17:13
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    Without this information, the OP will spend endless time trying unsuccessfully to diagnose the problem, and readers will volunteer useless answers containing ineffective things to try. But answering that it's a bug shouldn't be just speculation. It should cite documentation or at least include a way to replicate it so that the "bugness" is verifiable. – fixer1234 Aug 7 '16 at 17:13
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    @fixer1234 That makes sense. I've adjusted my answer slightly. – Ben N Aug 7 '16 at 17:16
  • Just to clarify, when I said "the only thing I would disagree with...", I was referring to the thread in general. Your answer framed it right, so I posted the comment here as a supplementary thought, not as a critique of what you had written. But the edit makes it even better. :-) – fixer1234 Aug 7 '16 at 17:30
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There is an official way to report bugs in Windows 10. It is called Windows Feedback and can be accessed through the Start Menu (I just typed feedback into the search box).

Screenshot of Windows feedback

There is an interesting blog article detailing how the Microsoft engineers track and filter this feedback. It is too long to fully quote here.

  • Interesting, I wasn't aware about this. I'll give it a shot! (also weird Microsoft Community doesn't redirect more people there :/) – Steven Jeuris Aug 6 '16 at 22:15
  • I'll leave it up to you to actually also post this as an answer here: superuser.com/q/67131/91613 ;p Might be relevant to add when this got added since this seems to be an old question, but is high up in google results regardless. – Steven Jeuris Aug 6 '16 at 22:34
  • @StevenJeuris the question you linked specifically references Windows 7 rather than Windows 10. Perhaps you should ask this on the main site... – Burgi Aug 6 '16 at 22:40
  • Given that I encountered this specific link before which lead me to believe there was no alternative in Windows 10, regardless of version number, it might be worthwhile to post it there regardless. It seems very much like a duplicate otherwise. Personally, I see no benefit in re-asking the same question for a different version number. That said, I had a quick look at the Windows Feedback 'app' (which does not seem to be accessible from the web) and am terribly disappointed. The original question here on Meta remains, and I feel we can do a better job at superuser. – Steven Jeuris Aug 6 '16 at 22:46
  • As to why I am disappointed, you posted a quite appropriate screenshot. ;p – Steven Jeuris Aug 6 '16 at 22:51

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