I feel like Microsoft hates me. It’s not just that it doesn’t care – it is going out of its way to keep me off its operating system, its ecosystem, everything it owns or controls.
A few weeks ago I decided to accept the inevitable and “upgrade” from Windows 7 to Windows 10. I know about all the privacy problems and the forced automatic updates, but I figured might as well get used to it, in a couple of years there will be no old-school Windows to use.
With that (pretty good) mindset I upgraded the OS. At first I thought it looked pretty nice, considering how terrible Windows 8 was. They realised people do still want to use a keyboard and mouse, and put some effort into making them work properly.
I saw the automatic updates too, kind of annoying that they can’t be turned off but I was going to accept the future so I accepted that. I tried to play some games, most of them didn’t work, but again, I was trying to accept the future.
Then I started playing Batman Arkham City. I would get to where I kick Mr Fries’s ass and the game would crash. Weird, old game, or something… but I tracked the problem down to the video driver. The newer video drivers are incompatible with this older game.
Nvidia knew about it but decided not to fix the problem, which I understand, their job must be incredibly difficult and it’s awesome that they are as good as they are with compatibility. I found an older Nvidia driver, uninstalled the new one, installed the old one, and played the game – good times.
At some point I noticed (the screen flickered) that my video driver got updated… eh.. I downgraded it on purpose, but I guess I knew Windows 10 does that. I managed to finish playing the game, the driver bug only affected that one place.
Then I played the game again from the start and of course ran into this problem again. I already had the old driver handy, knew what to do, uninstalled the new one, rebooted, all good.
Went back to the game and I shit you not – Windows downloaded and upgraded my video driver while I was in the middle of playing a game. Not only does that suck generally (the game will crash when the video driver is modified), but in this particular case it caused more than a minor inconvenience – Windows prevented me from doing the only thing that I needed Windows for in the first place!
What am I supposed to do now? I found a tutorial to disable driver updates – but it said right at the top it may not work (it didn’t). What other options are there? Screw around with random registry keys? Pull out the network cable and reinstall windows? Go back to Windows 7? Stop using Windows altogether?
I’m so annoyed I may go for the last option. I did my best and gave Microsoft an honest chance, and they fucked it up. Even my legendary patience has limits. Maybe I’ll buy a console, as long as I can find one that doesn’t require online activation of games that I bought and are supposed to be mine for as long as I keep the disks.