The many follies of Windows 10

By Klax Zlubzecon

Translated by George Hyde

So… Windows 10 happened, didn’t it.

Who even needs computers, anyway? That’s the wonder of having a hive mind, like we slugs do. It’s totally organic, and healthier than sitting at a desk looking at a screen all day. And you get more information out of it.

But nope, you humans skipped that stage of evolution, I guess. And that’s why you need to rely on clunky electronic boxes with screens to get your information.

Actually, that’s where Microsoft came in with their Windows 10 keynote. Apparently holograms are the future! No touch, no keyboards, just a bunch of holograms.

Well, as long as you wear a goofy headband. And that’s why Microsoft’s HoloLens – as they call it – will never catch on.

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You may remember that Google tried the same kind of thing with a product known as Google Glass. If anything, Google Glass was less intrusive; it looked like a normal pair of glasses with a tiny box attached on it. But that didn’t stop wearers and testers from getting constantly harassed.

Google’s vision of a Glass wearer walking down the street and pulling up Facebook with nothing but his dulcet tones ended up not panning out all that well. Even with the tiny, low-footprint appearance of it, it was still enough to make wearers look like a total dork. And the public’s reaction showed that.

Microsoft, meanwhle, wants to one-up that with a giant band going around the user’s head. Yes, it’s not exactly built for out-of-home or out-of-work use. But it still looks really stupid! Imagine walking around an office with that thing on your head! You may as well be wearing a Virtual Boy!

I don’t care how awesome the tech looks from behind the lens. If you have to wear a clunky headset to use it, it won’t catch on. Think about it: the smartphone became popular when it became a small slab that could fit in your pocket and be checked easily with the press of a button.

As I’ve stated in the past, consumers are lazy beasts. The less effort a new piece of technology takes, the more popular it becomes. It’s an easy curve to understand. And making consumers wear a gigantic ring around their heads takes too much effort. Wearing a special pair of Google glasses took too much effort. That’s why it failed.

But moving on. That wasn’t the only announcement in Microsoft’s keynote. In fact, it wasn’t even the strangest announcement.

Before the conference, George had read that Microsoft was making a new commitment to PC gaming with Windows 10. And it made him excited! For years, Microsoft’s gaming strategy has involved the Xbox and little else. Valve and Steam have been picking up the slack on the PC front, and now that they’re slowly but surely moving to Linux, Microsoft needs to sell their next OS to a group of consumers that continues to see little value in their brand. So what did they do?
You can now stream Xbox One games to your Windows 10 PC!

Wait, what?

Why? What’s the point? Why would George want to stream games from a weaker machine to his more powerful rig? Why would he want to stream console games over to his desk, where he’s sitting way close to the screen? Wouldn’t he want to play controller-based games on a comfy couch, eight feet away from the television, instead of a foot away from a monitor? Why?


The only way this can make sense at all is if you have one of the Windows tablets running the OS, but at that point, it’s all about getting the consumer to buy their product. It’s a feature specifically designed for people who throw money to buy peripherals from Microsoft. You need a $400 Xbox in the first place, then a $500 tablet to stream to. That’s $900 to basically play console-grade games on a small screen, probably in bed. Plus, there’s the typical $60 for Xbox Live.

For comparison, George can do that with his existing laptop and gaming PC for free, with games that look and play far better, with more flexible control schemes, on any operating system he sees fit for his laptop.

This new OS has no point! This is an OS seemingly designed exclusively for tablets and phones, with actual computers as something of an afterthought. And even then, if you buy a tablet, you get a better experience with something like Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android, both of which have more apps and a smoother touch experience.

On the bright side, they’re offering it for free for the first year, but the point is, who would want it? It’s a baffling decision, and I can’t see myself or George moving onto it anytime soon.

Hell, I have a cool hive mind, so I don’t need any OS. But still, any opportunity to make fun of humanity’s stupid decisions is a good one indeed.