Windows 10 will soon be 5 years old. During this time, the system has come a long way – the Edge browser has been reborn, support for Windows Subsystem for Linux and HDR has appeared, convenient features such as the cloud clipboard and timeline have been added, and even more than a hundred different changes. Actually, now few people will say that the system has not changed in 5 years – at least it has become more stable and functional. However, there are still global problems in it, which Microsoft is in no hurry to solve, and we will talk about them today.
Scaling – the scourge of ultrabooks and 4K monitors
A long time ago, back in the days of Windows 9x, the interface was nailed to 96 DPI. On the one hand, it made life easier for programmers, because they did not need to redraw graphics for different pixel densities. On the other hand, there was no scaling problem at that time – the vast majority of monitors had a DPI of no higher than a hundred, so the text on them looked quite large.
However, time passed, and already in the days of Windows XP, various tablets and laptops began to appear, the pixel density of which was significantly higher than a hundred, which made the text on them very small. How did Microsoft solve this problem? That’s right, having come up with scaling, and the first implementations of it worked as simply as possible: all elements on the screen became 25-50% larger. Yes, of course, this increased the size of the text, only now it became blurry, because “pulling” fonts like a picture is a bad idea.
Later, of course, steeper versions of scaling began to appear, which adjusted the sizes of text and elements of the graphical interface to the scale selected in the system. And in Windows 10, theoretically, there should be no problems at all – there is support for excellent scaling, which can adjust on the fly to different scales on different monitors. There is only one drawback here – not all even system software can work with it: you just need to open the same group policy editor or task scheduler to see a blurry graphical interface.
Of course, more or less popular programs can work with Hi-DPI, but it is worth digging a little deeper, as we see all the same blurry fonts, inscriptions leaving the window borders and other delights of the “classic” stretched 96 DPI. Moreover, there are no such problems either in macOS or Linux, and it is not close – only Microsoft cannot do normal scaling that will work on the fly in any software.
An issue with Windows 10 that gamers are regularly facing is: Discord won’t download on Windows 10
Old out-of-the-box drivers
A lot of people (including me) praise Windows 10 for the fact that the system immediately after installation finds drivers for all or almost all components, even in the case of not the newest PCs or laptops, thereby making life easier for the user. However, there are also pitfalls here.
The main problem is that the drivers installed by the system are rarely the latest – they are often three to four years old. And, as we know, when updating Windows 10, it is critical to have fresh drivers – take at least the May update (2004), which can cause BSOD due to drivers for Nvidia video cards that are only three years old (358.00 and older). Moreover, the system often puts the drivers in isolation from the software needed to configure them: for example, without the same GeForce Exeprience or Intel Graphics Control Center, which can update them and thereby save the user from potential problems with system updates.
The situation is even worse with drivers for network devices – since in theory there is driver compatibility between Windows 7, 8 and 10, and Wi-Fi adapters often live on the market for years, the system can put the driver of the year 2012 on them. Yes, he will work, but it may not take into account some features of the latest version of the OS from Microsoft and, for example, lose the network after waking up from sleep, or even cause blue screens of death, as it was with the old drivers for Intel adapters.
Why is this happening? Windows 10 has a huge zoo of devices, and keeping track of the latest drivers for all hardware is difficult. But it would still be possible to notify the user that some drivers are too old and may cause problems, so they should be updated manually. But, alas, there is no such thing, so you should not rejoice if after installing Windows 10 there are no devices with exclamation marks in the manager – it is still better to go over the official websites of manufacturers of critical equipment and install the drivers yourself, and do this process before each major system update …
Battle of interfaces
From time to time, any company changes the external interface of the system, making it more modern. There is nothing wrong with that: for example, if you are now looking at iOS 6, then you are likely to be unpleasantly surprised by bold fonts and overly shiny icons. Microsoft, on the other hand, decided to update the “skewform” interface, which we remember from Windows Vista, in Windows 8, which is not the most popular among users. And if the same Apple was able to transfer everyone to a new “flat-and-colored” interface in just one version of macOS, then even in Windows 10, eight years later, the process is far from complete.
Judge for yourself – Windows 10 has a “new” Settings app, but some of the settings are still available in the old Control Panel, which isn’t easy to find in the system. Some of the context menus are new, in the “metro” -style, but in the same conductor it seems to come from the 90s. There are still many utilities in the system that have not externally changed, not only for years or decades. This includes Registry Editor and Disk Management – they all have a “classic” gray interface from the times of Windows 9x.
Bottom line: the system is definitely better, but there are enough problems
Over the past 5 years, Microsoft has done a great job making Windows 10 better. But, alas, it still has a sufficient number of serious problems that need to be addressed, and the company is in no hurry to do so. As a result, there is a nonzero chance that for a decade of the system we will still see most of the problems described above – but of course, in this case, I would be glad to be wrong.