Editorial

Hey Microsoft, fix the upvote counts in your Feedback Hub

Windows 11 logo white on top of a fractal variant of the Windows 11 default wallpaper

Earlier this month, we published a piece highlighting the top 10 changes that people are requesting from Microsoft when it comes to Windows 11, based on the upvote counts in the Feedback Hub. The article sparked some interesting discussions in our comments section as well, but some of our readers noted that Microsoft keeps "deleting" some upvotes so the actual number of supporters for a change request is much higher.

At that time, I ignored those comments because I do not use the Feedback Hub regularly enough to validate those claims. However, since then, I've been occasionally looking at the upvote counts and they do appear to be on a downward trend, for some reason. At this point, I'm not saying that Microsoft is deleting upvote counts per se - as I have no hard proof for that -, but if it's a bug, it's certainly noticeable. Indeed, at least one of our readers noted that the upvote count fluctuates in both directions for them, so it could be due to a bug, but for me, it always decreases significantly for some pieces of feedback within a couple of days. It's important to note that you cannot downvote items in the Feedback Hub, so the decrease in upvotes is definitely not a user-triggered event.

Check out the comparison between the numbers I reported on December 3 versus the upvote counts I see now on December 24:

  1. Bring back the ability to move the taskbar to the top and sides of the screen on Windows 11 - 16,098 upvotes now versus 25,732 upvotes previously (37% decrease)
  2. Bring back right-click for Task Manager option on taskbar in Windows 11 - 16,646 upvotes now versus 16,439 upvotes previously (1% increase)
  3. Update the Windows 11 Start menu to support putting pinned apps into groups / folders - 6,694 upvotes now versus 11,115 upvotes previously (40% decrease)
  4. Update the Windows 11 taskbar to support dragging and dropping files onto the app icons to open them in / transfer them to that app - 7,137 upvotes now versus 10,855 upvotes previously (34% decrease)
  5. Update the Windows 11 taskbar to support never combining app icons and showing labels - 10,442 now versus 10,064 upvotes previously (4% increase)
  6. Update the Windows 11 taskbar to support using small icons option that Windows 10 had - 8,949 upvotes now versus 8,797 upvotes previously (2% increase)
  7. I want the taskbar clock in Windows 11 to be available on all my monitors and not just my primary monitor - 5,635 upvotes now versus 8,436 upvotes previously (33% decrease)
  8. Remove the TPM requirement in determining Windows 11 eligibility - 7,843 upvotes now versus 7,802 upvotes previously (0.5% increase)
  9. I would like to be able to turn off the Recommended section in the Start menu and have the whole area disappear in Windows 11 - 7,935 upvotes now versus 7,787 upvotes previously (2% increase)
  10. I want to have the option to turn off news in Widgets so they no longer display there - 4,631 upvotes now versus 7,481 upvotes previously (38% decrease)

As you can see above, we have decreases in upvote counts as high as 40% for some pieces of feedback. While there are increases for a couple as well, they are not as significant as the downward spikes.

A Windows 11 Start screen with a search box at the top of the apps

Given that some readers have noticed fluctuations in both directions and that we see small upward spikes for some pieces of feedback too, I'm more inclined to believe that this is a visual bug rather than intentionally malicious behavior from Microsoft. That said, it's not excusable, especially given that people have been complaining about their upvotes being "deleted" for quite some time.

I know that some Microsoft engineers are quite responsive on Twitter, but at the end of the day, the Feedback Hub is supposed to be the primary and formal channel of communication between Windows consumers and Microsoft, so it's essential for the company to sort out issues like these to maintain a respectable level of trust. "File it in the Feedback Hub so Microsoft can ignore you" has become a sort of a meme in the years since the rollout of this channel of communication and Microsoft isn't doing itself any favors by seemingly "deleting" upvote counts on popular pieces of feedback.


What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you use or monitor the Feedback Hub regularly enough to be bothered by discrepancies like these? Let us know in the comments section below!

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