Remember Chip’s Challenge? Jezzball? FreeCell? Minesweeper?
Well with Windows 10, Microsoft has a game it’s betting you’ll love just as much as those old classics: Candy Crush Saga. Wait, did I— That can’t be right. Hold on, I think there must be some sort of mistake here…
Nope. Candy Crush Saga, the game that’s enslaved millions of people’s attention on phones, will come pre-installed on Windows 10, regardless of whether you upgrade or do a clean install. From Microsoft’s official announcement:
“Solitaire. Hearts. Minesweeper. These are games that have been played millions of times over the years in Windows. And they are coming back in Windows 10…In addition to these games, we’re also working with partners to bring some of their great games to Windows 10 too. And we’re excited to be able to announce today that King will bring their game, Candy Crush Saga, to Windows 10. Candy Crush Saga will be automatically installed for customers that upgrade to or download Windows 10 during the launch!”
It’s that exclamation point at the end that really gets me. “Are you not entertained?” Microsoft asks, holding a gun to your head. “You wanted DirectX 12? Well you can have DirectX 12, as soon as you play Candy Crush Saga. Look how good Candy Crush Saga looks running on DirectX 12, you ungrateful little—“
Listen, I’m sure there will be some people excited by this news. Candy Crush Saga has millions of users for a reason, and that reason is that it exploits your easily-exploitable human psychology and tricks you into wanting to play it. (And buy those in-app purchases, of course.) Nevertheless, people like it! And that’s good for Microsoft!
But it’s the “pre-installed” bit that sticks in my craw. It’s a staggering reversal from Windows 8, where even first-party apps like Solitaire and Minesweeper were banished to the Windows Store—the correct move, in 2015.
For anyone who doesn’t want to play Candy Crush Saga, this is bloatware plain and simple. Third-party bloatware. To have it included in clean installs of Windows 10 because of, what, a revenue-sharing deal? Disgusting. OEMs already stick enough garbage on computers without Microsoft aiding them at the operating system level.
We’ll update you as soon as we hear what other fun surprises Microsoft is embedding in Windows 10. If we’re lucky, maybe each copy of Windows 10 will also ship with Superfish.