Part One: Resisting Windows 10?

Windows-10-Logo-Released-Game-CompatibilityIf so, my first question would be, “Are you a gamer?” Since you’re reading this site, I would assume so, and my reply would be “Resistance is futile.” Now that my one-on-one conversation is over, complete with pop-culture reference, you should probably just give up and go upgrade to Windows 10. Also, don’t think this article being about switching to Windows 10, while using a quote popularized by a collective drone mind wasn’t a fully intentional thing.

I know. It’s a hassle. It’s especially annoying if you don’t want to take the direct upgrade, and instead do a full format and clean install. Which, by the way, I would recommend. I did the direct upgrade last summer, and, at first, everything was hunky-dory. However, over the months, I began noticing little hiccups here and there, which culminated in my computer going on the fritz last weekend. Turns out I had some corrupted Windows 10 files which finally caused enough havoc to send my machine into a coma.

So, why am I persuading you to upgrade? Yesterday, Microsoft ended support for Windows 8, and Internet Explorer x thru 10. If you’ve upgraded to Windows 8.1, which I hope you did ages ago, then you’re safe and will still be getting updates for years to come (2023). If you’re using IE11, likewise, you’re also fine. So, let’s say you’re using IE11 on your Windows 8.1 machine and scoffing at me, “Well, I’m fine then. No Windows 10 for me!” Technically, you’re not wrong, and if, for whatever reason, you’ve grown exceptionally fond of W8.1, by all means, enjoy yourself. There are still plenty of users who swear by Windows 7 and probably won’t ever upgrade to 10. That’s fine, too. So far, however, it seems Windows 10 is still seeing very healthy adoption, as Steam reports 31-32% of users are now using the platform. That’s only 2-3 percent behind the ever popular Windows 7. Strangely enough, it seems Windows XP grew by 0.01%… good for you Windows XP, you’ll forever live on in our memories.

Steam-Windows-10-W10-Adoption-Growth-RateWindows XP growth aside, I expect Microsoft is planning an ambush. As a company, it’s important that they migrate everyone they can over to Windows 10, as soon as possible. DirectX 12 is already going to be out of your reach, if you don’t upgrade, and I suspect other “features” will soon be W10 only. In particular, I’m expecting Xbox One to get some bells and whistles that only W10 users can take full advantage of.

If this kind of corporate “bullying” aggravates you, you’re definitely not alone. Despite my enjoyment of W10, it’s easy to let this kind of behavior from any company get under my skin. The problem is that there are no good solutions. Microsoft has a kind of monopoly in the Operating System arena. Of course, it’s not a complete monopoly, after all Macs are still as popular as ever, and Linux/Unix systems will always have their niche users and areas of operation. But… if you’re a PC gamer, you’re pretty much stuck with the Borg Microsoft, at least for the foreseeable future. And yes, I know Macs and Linux systems have become more gaming friendly over the years, but don’t kid yourself, they’re nowhere near as user friendly and simple as a Windows system to game on. If you want to deal with the hurdles the other two platforms represent, great! Go for it! I love Linux as an Operating System, and for gamers and non-gamers alike I highly recommend looking into one of the more commercial distributions. I routinely dual-boot into Ubuntu or Fedora when working. It’s a fantastic change of pace, but when it’s time to game, whether it be for pleasure or work, I’m back in Windows 10… for better or worse.

windows-10-w10-upgrade-borg-pc-gamingThis all brings me back to why “Resistance is futile.” Today’s current trends in marketing, combined with the new collective corporate push for even more product homogenization (which isn’t always a bad thing), pretty much guarantees that, at some point in the near future, the W10 upgrade will be mandatory (without being mandatory). If Windows 10 was an unmitigated disaster, this would, of course, be a much more infuriating prospect. However, Windows 10, true to Microsoft’s bizarre cyclical nature, turned out to be a pretty good OS, and from a gaming standpoint, a solid upgrade to Windows 7. As far as gilded cages go, W10 could be a heck of a lot worse.

In Part Two of this post, I’m going to dive into some of the more worrying “features” of Windows 10, and, hopefully, help you steer clear of the more shady aspects present in Microsoft’s flagship OS. As well as point out some tweaks to help you get the best gaming performance possible.

Discuss your take on Windows 10 and more on the forums!

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