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While I get that it's uncool to like Windows on HN, I really like Windows 10. With WSL, all of the CLI tools I need for development are here along with better hardware support (including suspend / resume, high DPI monitor support, latest GPU drivers / etc).

Plugging two 4K monitors into my laptop (which has a native 1080p display) is an awful experience when booted into Ubuntu. You either have to set the DPI to make the laptop display unusable or set it to make the 4K monitors look like $hit.

Plus... you know... games.

Windows isn't the best at multi-DPI in general though either. Only recently did Firefox on Windows get multi-DPI support - not sure if Chrome does yet because I gave up on it and went to dual 4K because the scaling was easier. If you want to see really good multi-DPI support, OSX is really good at it with most apps supporting it out of the box.

Multi-DPI is kind of a hack in general though and is likely to cause issues unless applications have been tested for it very thoroughly, it causes serious issues on major frameworks like Electron and Qt - though both of their support for it is improving slowly. If you want things to work smoothly for now, try to stick to 1 DPI setting.

I think you're confusing Windows DPI scaling availability vs lack of support from the apps you use.

It's not windows fault the apps don't take advantage of DPI. You can also disable dpi scaling for individual apps.

You're right, but even many builtin Microsoft apps - while they supported DPI scaling - did not support multi-DPI switching and rather than scaling properly just scaled pixels and looked blurry.

It's "not Windows fault", sure but it certainly makes it a worse experience than other platforms like OSX where multi-DPI is much more commonly supported.

I would much prefer the Windows behavior to what I see on Linux. Right now, if I open an app that doesn't support high DPI, it is just unusable because it is so tiny.

Couldn't you just manually reduce your screen resolution? Or is that too drastic to be worth it?

It's worth considering whether there is some flaw with windows multi dpi scaling such that apps don't use it. Firefox and Chrome have scaled properly on Mac for years now, while even Windows 10 ships with first party apps that don't scale right. (E.g. device manager.)

For sure that this has been an issue in the past with Windows. UWP helps make muli-DPI work by default in new applications.

Sure, but 99% of my Windows software isn't UWP. It's all good and well to say it's there, but that doesn't make the experience good for the user. Contrast to KDE and OS X where it just works for 99% of software.

I mean, I get it, same issue as Vista for Microsoft - people expect 100% backwards compatibility, but it turns out that terrible design decisions made many years ago tend to mean you need to break compatibility. Just like UAC, resolution scaling will be an issue that becomes less painful in Windows over time. Right now it's not great, however.

I mean, you say that, but on KDE, for example, every application except one on my system works with DPI scaling (the odd one out is Unity3D) - that's because at the QT level DPI scaling is built-in, so the toolkit supports it and the applications get it for free. Clearly this wasn't the case for the older Windows UI stuff, where they are literally just scaling the image of the window up (which means horrible looking text).

Actually, the really old windows stuff did support scaling - the 'Large fonts (120%)' option was there almost forever. I remember that original Delphi, circa 1995, supported it.

Just most apps chose to ignore it, the developers took the 'anyone uses 96 dpi anyway' attitude and at the end of 90's most applications started to suck at 120 dpi.

Yep, Windows API already had support for logical pixels in the 16 bit days and all good books always preached to convert between logical pixels and physical ones.

I guess people got lazy, as you say.

I think that the monitors stayed more or less the same later pixel density for a very long time. Is only been gradually increasing very slowly for 20 years, until a few years ago.

No point in spending time on logical pixels if it makes almost no relevant difference...


Anything running its own renderer doesn't get to benefit from component scaling since they don't use components.

That was my point - running KDE, this is extremely uncommon, running Windows, it's practically every application.

The problem isn't just scaling between two different resolutions, it's the inconsistencies (yes, apps don't take advantage but that's not the only issue). For example, if I want 200% 4k (my monitor) and 100% 1080p (my 2 side monitors), I have to choose between ultra-tiny text on my 4k with regular text or blurry text on my 1080ps.


Is that Windows 10? On my Windows 10 Ent desktop I'm able to set the scale factor of each display independently.


This is Windows 10. How do I enable that option?

Erm...click on the display you want to change (1,2,3) and simply drag the slider?

This month's Windows update fixes DPI scaling for old toolkits.

Yes, it's true that there are issues. It seems like most Microsoft apps handle multi-DPI well. By comparison, on Fedora 25 (the latest release), the only program I have found that handles multi-DPI is Terminal. Firefox doesn't do it.

Yeah, Windows support is better than Linux for it, but it's still pretty iffy. While IE and a few other things do, even stuff like Windows Explorer and OneNote doesn't handle multi-DPI well or even just runtime DPI changes in general, I'll RDP my box from a 100 DPI system and have my session screwed up when I come back to my system.

If you're making a decision about whether to make a purchase, don't make it unless you're prepared to do it all at once. Stick to ~100 DPI until you can make a commitment to go all at once.

Chrome hast had DPI scaling since 2015 on Windows. I remember having to report lots of initial bugs. Now it works fine.

DPI scaling yes, but not multi-DPI, when dragging from a 100 DPI monitor to a 300 DPI one text should remain sharp and not blurred by scaling pixels. Or even vice versa.

>While I get that it's uncool to like Windows on HN

That has not been my experience here at all. There is a rather active, and sometimes vocal, Windows fan base around here. Misconceptions about the current state of desktop Linux are commonly seen as it seems most people around here only use either Mac or Windows.

Agreed, while I see some MS/Windows hate... some of it technical, some political, and a mix of founded/fud... There's been a fair amount of counter to that.

I mostly use mac at work, mostly windows at home, and a bit of linux for servers, and my htpc (most of my casual browsing at home)... Each experience is fairly different. And they all have pluses and minuses. That said, more often than not, I prefer the Windows UI desktop/menu, but osx & unity app integration and linux/bash shell environment. I wish that Ubuntu/unity would integrate more of the menu/taskbar features found in windows. (And bring back natural scrolling checkbox)

Microsoft integrated Ubuntu instead.

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