I Hate Windows

I hate Windows so much. It isn’t even funny.

This might require a little bit of background. I’ve been an active Windows user since Windows since XP–arguably even longer, since I had one of those Hot Wheels computers, as well as whatever brand of computer I had after that which ran 98. I’ve been using computers for a long time, and I’ve also been what some might call a “power user” for a long time (though I don’t care for that term). I remember when I was young and had to remove malware from family computers because I was dumb child and tried to play games I found online on them.

After doing that A Few Times™, I would end up getting a laptop in middle school. It was a piece of garbage running Windows XP and it had some Intel Core 2 processor that got so hot that it would literally melt the tip of the charger and render the entire charger useless. (It was a fun party trick: I even melted my mom’s charger once, since her charger was compatible with my laptop–she thought it was really funny and cool.)

I remember modifying a Windows 7 installation ISO so I could install Windows 7 on that laptop using a hex editor, ImageBurn, and a guide I found online. Despite its measly 512MB of RAM, it actually was capable of running Windows 7. It ran like hot garbage, mind you, but it ran. I think I probably reinstalled Windows XP after trying out 7 for a short stint. My mom tried to get me more RAM for this laptop but, if memory serves, it was incompatible.

I also remember getting creative: we didn’t have a wireless router, and I think at the time we didn’t really have money to drop on a decent one, so I used a USB wifi adapter to make an ad-hoc wireless network on our home PC. That was absolute jank but it worked like a DSL dream–shoutouts to AT&T for supporting DSL for far longer than any human would have the patience to use it for.

Then I got a laptop that was actually compatible with Windows 7 when I was going into high school (if I remember correctly, it had a whopping 2GBs RAM). After that, I was off to the races. I used to have to manually reinstall Windows 7 on my own computer at least once per year because I would install all sorts of tools for web design, locally serving my own webpages, running an FTP server, VPN software like Hamachi, and all sorts of similar stuff. By this point I think I’d already been writing my own HTML webpages from scratch for a year or two and testing it between Firefox and Chrome.

All this being said, I remember when Windows would do what you told it to do. That hasn’t been the case in a long while.

Windows 7 was, I’m pretty certain, the last time I actually had fun using a Windows computer. It didn’t come with all of the garbage that Microsoft currently decides to bundle into their OS, it had far less telemetry, and you could actually tell your computer what to do in a lot of ways. On top of that, it remains my favorite-looking OS that I’ve ever used. Nothing comes even remotely close.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows when you consider that, after a year or so of heavy use for “power user” tasks, your registry would essentially wreck itself until you did a fresh reinstallation of the OS, or worse. But it was a fun OS to mess around on, it was able to automatically download drivers for a lot of devices, and in my opinion it did many things better than the versions that would follow.

Windows 8 was horrendous. It was primarily designed for tablet and other touch-screen interfaces, and it showed–particularly on all of the computers that didn’t ship with touch screens (meaning, well over 90% of all computers that used it at the time). Windows 8.1 was much the same, but they fixed a few UI issues because most people did not, in fact have a touch screen, and it was a little bit of a nightmare to navigate even for those that did. It was a bandage for a trainwreck. I hated both of them.

Then came Windows 10, which was… an improvement, I guess. It improved on the UI from Windows 8/8.1, but it still pales in comparison to 7. Everything is dark in color (and light mode is even worse), the visual effects are a lot less impressive and interesting, and it’s an overall downgrade from 7–though it’s still an improvement on the whole from 8. The real problem is that it’s a nightmare to use when it comes to almost everything else.

It introduced this stupid “Settings” app, which streamlines a handful of things at the expense of making me want to never give Microsoft money. It made Windows Defender a staple of the operating system, which is fine if you could turn it off like any other normal component. Instead you need, at minimum, a Pro license so you can use Group Policy Editor/gpedit.msc to turn it off (which should be possible without jumping through obtuse, inane, and idiotic hoops, Microsoft).

That’s right: gpedit doesn’t come with Windows 10 Home. You’d need to download a copy of it online if you want to use it, which is hilariously unsafe for anyone that needs to make a quick edit of something they don’t like about Windows 10–and there’s so much to dislike! Alternatively, they could just get a copy from an installation of Windows 10 Pro, but if they don’t have Pro then I don’t see how they’d have access to it. Fun fact: I’m nearly positive you used to be able to disable Defender in RegEdit, but that magically stopped working after a Windows 10 update (with the change still applied). Thanks, Microsoft.

On top of that, Windows 10 comes with all sorts of pre-bundled garbage. OneDrive, OneNote, Edge, Xbox programs(?), Cooking Fever(??), Candy Crush(???), TikTok(????)… GET THIS GARBAGE OFF OF MY COMPUTER, MICROSOFT. You can’t even fully remove Edge, which is fun. You have to break it by renaming either it or the name of its parent folder–I don’t even remember which at this point–which still doesn’t fix the issue of Microsoft harassing you about your default browser (it just shows Edge as a broken shortcut in the list). At least with previous versions of Windows, you had the option to get rid of IE if you didn’t want it, and they didn’t harass you to change your default browser once you’d already changed it.

The part that’s really cool about Edge is that it legitimately made life harder for people who have impaired eyesight, or were blind, who needed text-to-speech software. One particular case I remember was that the user legitimately could not open links directly from their email, or Windows would harass them about setting Edge as default, which their TTS software couldn’t read, and they had to have someone else help them navigate through it.

Microsoft Store is more garbage I don’t want, and I can’t do anything about it at this point. I normally just run W4RH4WK’s debloat scripts, but uncommenting the line for Microsoft Store didn’t remove it. Running Get-AppxPackage *WindowsStore* | Remove-AppxPackage as recommended by Microsoft’s independent advisors does nothing. I tried doing the alternate method through gpedit, but I don’t know if that’s going to do anything.

If that’s not enough, Microsoft even decided to be a pain during the Windows 10 install procedure. If you connect to Wi-Fi, they force you to use an online Microsoft account instead of allowing you to use a local account.

And I haven’t even yet mentioned how many computer parts, and entire computers, that Windows 10 has killed along the way. I remember reading articles about how Windows 10 wrote keys to the BIOS and bricked a lot of users’ motherboards. There were all sorts of issues with computers that installed KB4541335 early. One of my friends even left his room to go eat, heard his computer (running Windows 10) restart from the room adjacent, and then went back to his room to find his computer no longer working–Windows 10 updates quite literally killed his power supply. We bought a replacement PSU and it ran fine.

Microsoft, please, for the love of all that is holy, stop it already. I might be using your operating system, but it’s my computer. Let me use it how I want. I know that’ll never happen, so I have to go other routes, but this is just ridiculous.

Everything about this operating system is awful and painful to use. I’d be happier running Windows 10 Ameliorated, but it’s currently over a year out of date as of writing this post.

I’m not even going to look at installing Windows 11. It’ll drive me nuts. I installed it for laughs on a VM and it came with TikTok and Facebook Messenger preinstalled. I hate how it looks. With all of the rounded corners and the centered taskbar (which you can probably change), it looks like babby’s first computer. I can’t handle an operating system that ridiculous. I just can’t do it.

I’d rather run a decent Linux distro, but every single one I’ve used has died in under 6 months on my hardware (Alienware Area-51m R2, 10700/2070 Super). First I ran Pop!_OS which lasted a month or so–apt upgrade somehow killed the DE, and I could hardly get anything to run to back up all of my data (but I did manage to get it all backed up). After that, I ran Debian for another 5 months or so, and I’m not certain what killed this install–it legitimately just stopped working mid-boot one day. After that, I ran Artix with Arch repositories for a record-setting 1 day–no joke, it died within 24 hours, thank you Nvidia drivers. Then, I used Fedora for another around(?) 2 months, and I’m not even sure what did this install in, some of my VM software just started acting up (KVM/GNOME Boxes stand out in my memory as not working properly). Finally, I used Linux Mint for something like 2-3 weeks when it started taking over 5 minutes to boot for seemingly no reason, despite being on a recent-gen i7 with an NVMe SSD.

At this point, I’ve just run out of any patience for troubleshooting or setting up any further Linux installations. I don’t want to do the work. I’m not incapable, and I have all the time I need to if I wanted to do so–I just really don’t want to. I also really don’t want to use Windows, given it’s a trash heap of an operating system, but I think it’ll be (very slightly) less of a pain to deal with Windows in the mid-to-longer term. Once Microsoft drops support for 10 in October 2025, I guess I’ll just have to part with any hardware I have that’ll make Linux painful to use. I look forward to using Linux for any of my homelab stuff and for the Steam Deck, but I have no desire to try them again on this computer.

In short, once Windows 10 is no longer supported, I have no plans to ever use any Windows products ever again. I’m not going to further sink my time or money into a company that goes out of their way to take away the choices and privacy of their users. Here’s to hoping Microsoft becomes insolvent before that happens, though I’m sure it’s unlikely.