Note: This post is not structured or well-reasoned, but serves only as a record of my thoughts at this point in time.
I have never been the biggest fan of Windows. Nothing about the culture or ecosystem has ever resonated with me. Like most people, however, I have largely just pushed my objections aside in order to retain access to the most ubiquitous operating system available and the benefits that come with it. As it does for many, this means games.
Pretty much every other piece of software I used to use on the Windows side has moved to either a multi-platform model, or much more likely, the cloud. Until Steam helped advance Linux as a viable platform, however, video games have remained a fairly large holdout. Looking today paints a very different story. Nearly half of my large collection of games is available on Linux. Considering how long it takes me to clear out even a single entry from my backlog, this number could easily keep me going for many years.
Until recently, the decision has always been the same: keep Windows for playing games and if I have the energy, dual-boot some Linux distro for everything else.
Since moving to Windows 10, the decision has become harder to stomach. Where some other versions of Windows have been “bad” for some definition of the word, I haven’t ever before felt as though the OS itself and its creators actively disliked users. This is a feeling I have daily now.
Every unkillable piece of fluff like Cortana, every time the OS ignores your explicit instructions and turns some service back on “for you”, and every time the OS decides on its own that it should restart makes me feel like Microsoft just programmed for the lowest common denominator. Everyone else be damned.
Software should facilitate a function for its users, not beat them over the head with it.
In light of Apple’s lackluster new offerings, and the “glory” of the new Surface, the running narrative is that Microsoft is the new Apple. I’m not sure I buy into this in any capacity, but I have a hard time imagining any Apple user singing the praises of Windows 10 regardless of how nice the hardware it runs on may be.
Twenty-seventeen may still not be the year of Linux on the desktop, but it’s certainly the year I get as much value as I can out of my Windows only games, and refuse to buy any more that aren’t cross-platform. And once I’ve gotten enough value, it’s the year I conclude my business with Microsoft.