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Webcams Fail After Windows 10 Update

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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Microsoft ‘drops the ball’, as anniversary update of Windows 10 causes webcam problem

Microsoft has acknowledged that its Anniversary Update of Windows 10 released earlier this month is causing problems for millions of webcams.

Soon after the Windows Update 1607 landed on PCs, reports started flooding in on the Microsoft support website that the update had caused people’s webcams to stop working properly.

Webcam Problem

The glitch affected USB-based webcams and either caused the camera to stop working, or images to be frozen. Even Microsoft based programs such as Skype or Lync have been affected.

To make matters worse, there is no fix at the moment, although Redmond is said to be working on the issue and a remedy should be available in September.

It seems as though the Anniversary update prevented webcams from using the MJPEG or H264 encoded streams. It only allows webcams to use YUY2 encoding. It stems from the way that Windows 10 handles video, so it can be used by multiple programs.

Microsoft Windows 10 IPEXPO (3)There is a workaround fix that users can employ, but it requires users to make changes to the system registry.

Mike M, a Microsoft engineer on the Windows Camera Team acknowledged on the support page that Redmond had dropped the ball on the matter.

“We dropped the ball on that front, so I’d like to offer my apologies to you all,” he wrote. “We’re working on getting better documentation out, to help answer any questions you may have. Of course, you can always reach out to us via these forums for specific issues, as we monitor them regularly, or file feedback using the Feedback Hub.”

Anniversary Update

Microsoft released a major overhaul of Windows 10, known as the Anniversary Update, on 2 August.

The update offered a more security platform with Windows Hello, and it also upgraded the personal assistance Cortana, rejigged the Start Menu and Action Centre, and delivered a number of other improvements as well.

Overall the operating system has been positively received, but Microsoft admitted that it will fail to reach its target installation on one billion devices by 2018.

Redmond also found itself in hot water over its questionable tactics to try and ‘encourage’ users to migrate to Windows 10.

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