Unhelpful app install error message on the Windows Store
Unhelpful app install error message on the Windows Store
This is an open call for Microsoft to begin being more descriptive with their error messages in Windows.
First, a quick history. Back in the old days of command line computing, errors had to be short and to the point. Most error messages were fragmented sentences but were short and concise. Example: “File not found”, “Internal Stack Failure”, “Invalid file name or file not found”, “Write protect error”, etc

These types of short error messages continued on to the early graphical operating systems, including Windows 3.1. Here’s a Windows 3.1 error message that showed up as a pop up. “Insufficient memory or disk space.”
setup_error 3.1
But with more computers using GUI, errors became more descriptive, but still useful. They also remained formal. Here’s an example of a more descriptive error message in Windows 98.
Windows 98 Error Frontier

With Windows Vista, error messages became more informal, but they remained useful. They made it easier for novice users to understand and troubleshoot problems. Many errors even had a link for further information that linked to a help article, with guides for troubleshooting the problem. For me, the Windows Vista error messages were the sweet spot. Here’s an example of such error message.

In this example, you can see a link to learn more about the problem.
In this example, you can see a link to learn more about the problem.

However, starting with Windows 8, Microsoft decided that most users are not smart enough to handle descriptive error messages. As such, Microsoft started to dumb down error messages. They were no longer always descriptive. Many times they just let you know that a problem occurred. However, such message did not say what problem occurred or what can be done to solve them. Here’s an example of a Windows 8 error message.

In this example, the message tells you that Windows Explorer had a problem, but we are not told what the problem was. Was it a disk error, process error, or something else?
In this example, the message tells you that Windows Explorer had a problem, but we are not told what the problem was. Was it a disk error, process error, or something else?

In Windows 10, the error messages are so dumbed down that they are laughably useless. Here are two Windows 10 error messages.

Windows 10 Setup Error
Windows 10 Setup Error

This is a setup error

Unhelpful app install error message on the Windows Store
Unhelpful app install error message on the Windows Store
As you can see from above, the messages in Windows 10 are completely useless. Not only do they frustrate knowledgeable users who are trying to troubleshoot the problem, it is even difficult for novice users. If a computer novice friend or family member comes to you and says I need help, but all he or she can tell you that “something happened”, you may not be in the best position to help that person because you are not sure what the problem is. These kind of error messages are bringing the Windows experience down, and they need to be fixed.
Please support this change by up voting this feedback in the Windows feedback app. The link below should open the feedback app and bring you to the proper place so you can vote up.
Windows-Feedback:?contextid=156&feedbackid=c1884f0a-aadc-405b-a9d6-231b61774899&form=1&src=2