Windows 10, the longest-supported version of the Windows operating system, is nearing the end of its life. After launching in 2015, it has powered countless devices and innovations, shaping the way we work, learn, and play. We’ve heard the EU’s focus shifting towards Microsoft now that it has implemented strict regulations on Apple (which is a good move from them because now we have Type-C charging port for our beloved Apple devices).
Rumours and leaks have suggested we might be seeing Windows 12 probably next year, possibly now with more leniency towards user’s control over the operating system as we once had before Windows 11. As we approach our dear Windows 10’s retirement in 2025, perhaps it is time to reflect on the significant impact Windows 10 has had on the world that Windows 11 can never outmatch.
Functionality over Aesthetics
Think about it — Windows 10 might just be the modern Windows 7 we knew and love (jokes aside; Windows 7 has and always will be the legacy that Windows 10 can never surpass). It offers a myriad of functionalities and features that a lot of the users that switched over to Windows found versatile and intriguing. Sure, it had some hiccups when it was first launched for the public to use back in 2015 or so, but it started getting better.
A lot of features were added in to make Windows 10 convenient for all (except for the infamous Cortana). The shortcut to a screen snap Windows + Shift + S and clipboard shortcut Windows + V were some of the best shortcuts you can use on an everyday basis if you’re having classes, or meetings, and haven’t enough time to jot down notes shown on the slides. Windows 11 does have these features, but they are mostly just carried over.
Not to mention that Windows 10 feels snappier, too. Everything pops up almost instantaneously if you need to open up applications, run programmes, or move windows around the screen. I noticed that Windows 11 took slightly longer than Windows 10 when launching a programme (most noticeably heavier ones such as Premiere Pro or Epic Games launcher).
Besides, who thinks it’s a good idea to have multiple context menus when you right click on the screen just to open up the control panel for your proprietary graphics card anyway?
Windows 11 focuses on aesthetics and minimalistic design so much that it looks appealing when the users first try it, but it eventually grows irritating to navigate around.
Support for Endless Programmes
Just throw anything (not literally) at Windows 10, it can handle the programme just fine. Even retro games run under emulators can run just fine. Old games that are no longer available on the video game marketplace are also running perfectly fine even if it’s Torrent-ed from the Internet.
There are noticeable crashes (or straight-up inoperable) for the same programmes or games if we run them on Windows 11 operating system. It’s not good; for an operating system that is basically
imported built from its predecessor, Windows 10, these programmes should be able to run without issues.
Windows 10’s massive compatibility with all applications we are familiar with opened up to so many possibilities.
It was the first Windows operating system to introduce cloud computing, where Microsoft’s integration with cloud services like OneDrive and Azure has paved the way for the adoption of cloud-based storage, collaboration, and productivity tools. Even video games started to utilise this technology ever since then, too. Since it was first introduced, GeForce Now was in the prospective until the moment it was finally released to the public — cloud gaming has opened up the possibilities of computers to operate even if the programmes are not within their compatibility range.
Now, we have games such as Fortnite and Hitman 3 utilising cloud-computing technologies to render real-time updates as they play the games.
Windows 10 was indeed revolutionary for many when it comes to both productivity and gaming, thanks to its massive compatibility that suits all types of needs.
Windows 10 Paves the Way for Many Open-source Options
\Ever since Windows 10 was introduced, the users were unsurprisingly met with the ads and bloatware that came with it. Windows 7 was absent from these; it was made with pure functionalities — bloatware was not a thing back then, and even if so, the programmes back then were substantially core programmes. Windows 10 is just full of unused programmes that take up space.
As bad as it sounds, that’s when the other operating systems started to stand out and sounded appealing. Of course, not many can get used to the learning curve of Linux operating systems, but as it becomes more and more user-friendly (together with the increased compatibility with most programmes used on Windows), there are some that have switched to Linux to completely replace Windows. But, Linux still has a long way to go.
This is also the moment where users start appreciating the fact that Windows 10 has been integrated with them so deeply that it’s not easy to detach themselves from it.
Linux have compatibility issues with certain, if not most, games. There tends to be graphical glitches should they run them, if crashes or errors don’t find their ways first. Still, Linux eventually does catch up with Windows in terms of gaming, in some ways. Steam started introducing Vulkan compatibility to allow installation of games through Steam on Linux operating systems.
MacOS can barely run any games in general; the operating system was not made for gaming, before the introduction of the latest macOS Sonoma in late 2023.
Now, even macOS has kept up with Windows to cater to the younger audiences that wish to play games on Apple devices. Of course, both macOS and Linux OS still have a long way to go, and there are improvements that need to be made for all of the operating systems in general.
Regardless, Windows 10’s compatibility has driven the other operating systems to start keeping up to ensure that they can tend to most users’ needs and wants. Sometimes, the bad can inspire others to do good things, too.
Windows 10 does stain the reputation of Microsoft because of the choice of adding in bloatware and unnecessary ads in the operating system while the operating system could have been cleaner and faster as they once did in Windows 7. But, with all the elements and features Windows 10 had brought, it did introduce a massive change in the world of computing, and how we regulate work in everyday life.
With hope and light shed from European Union (EU)’s regulation on Microsoft, hopefully they will make a change for once, in Windows 12, as leaks and rumours suggest. May the functionalities of Windows 10 and user-centric elements in Windows 7 live within Windows 12.