At the start of the week, we reported on some rather odd notifications that many Windows 10 users were receiving through the Microsoft News app. The popup notifications all referenced “My Movie” and included text like “this is a test notification” and “this test notification.”
The misspelling on the latter notification led many to believe that these weren’t legitimate notifications from Microsoft, but the result of some unknown malware. The fact that clicking on the notifications resulted in an error message only worsened the alarm bells ringing in users’ head.
However, one redditor, Lemmingsnake, wrote, “Could be a mistake on a back-end notification system and not something malicious but I'm not ruling it out.”
As it turns out, the above statement was closer to the truth. A Microsoft support engineer joined in on an existing reddit thread to explain that a “configuration error” was the source of the problematic (and misspelled) notifications:
Due to a configuration error in the Windows 10 News app notifications (English edition), some customers reported seeing test notifications. This issue was resolved on March 29th via a configuration update for existing versions. We have also released a new version of the app that addresses the issue. The notification does not affect the application or use, and this issue should now be resolved.
The good news is that Microsoft’s internal systems and end-user systems were in no way compromised. So those that were worried about viruses or malware can sleep soundly now and not worry about having to go through the arduous task of wiping their systems clean and starting from scratch. The disconcerting news, however, is how something like this could slip through; especially with the embarrassing typos that really raised suspicions.
What’s even more surprising is that it took Microsoft 5 days to make a public comment about an issue that was undoubtedly troubling to users. With that being said, Microsoft might want to start hunkering down and making sure that all of its t’s are crossed and i’s dotted now that the Windows 10 April 2019 Update is nearly at our doorstep. The last thing that Microsoft needs is a repeat of the October 2018 Update.