There are some that think of technology as a necessary entity, while others are passionate about computing and relish every moment. And consequently the latter type usually have their favorite technology products, including operating systems.

As of right now, users can install four flavors of Windows — XP, Vista, 7 and 8.

For the most part, newer versions of the operating system come with improved and enhanced features, though they also remove certain fan favorite options. Then there is the issue of compatibility, with the old versions usually offering compatibility with legacy software.

Things, however, are about to change for Windows users. At least the substantial amount of them that are still running Windows XP on their computers, home or office, one reason or another.

On April 8, 2014 Microsoft will stop providing technical assistance, updates, and more importantly security patches for Windows XP— an operating system that has been at the heart of computers and devices ever since it launched back in October 2001.

With mere months remaining in retirement, and Windows 8.1 now out in the open for all to use, no better time than now to reflect on which version is the fan favorite.

But before the final showdown, here is the briefest of rundown of each OS:

Windows XP

The most striking difference between Windows XP was its radically improved user interface over previous versions like Windows 95/98. But there were countless other improvements that made it one of the most beloved versions of the OS.

In fact, even now, for many it is the only operating system they ever used.

Old as it is, most software programs run perfectly fine on Windows XP (this side of the Metro apps), and performance is breezy, even on older machines. But with the looming retirement, users and businesses still on Windows XP are now left to consider what they should do when Microsoft stops supporting it.

Windows Vista

One version you can be sure of that these users will not be upgrading to, is Windows Vista. An ambitious project that did not play out as well as Microsoft hoped, this version of Windows was dogged by a lack of compatible drivers upon release — those horrifying messages about lack of digitally signed drivers!

Sure, the situation is well under control these days, and most hardware devices play nicely with Windows Vista. It also offers splendid support for multiple users (and parental controls). The only catch is that it is a few paces behind in performance, and lags notably behind Windows 7.

Windows 7

Which brings us to the most popular operating system in the world, by far. Thanks to the support for new technologies and optimizations Windows 7 (and Windows 8) users enjoy better performance than the two previous flavors of Windows.

Smartly designed, Windows 7 is everything that Windows Vista was conceived to be, and then some. For many users that were hesitantly coming from Windows XP, 7 become and instant and immediate favorite. So much so that they never looked back.

Windows 8

But many of these users looked forward, and Windows 8 was the next logical evolution of the platform. Some would say dictated by time — apps and touch proof enough of the way of the future. This version just recently received its first update in the form of Windows 8.1.

And while Windows 8 has so far failed to convince many Windows XP, Vista or 7 users to upgrade, people in the market for a new operating system are the ones that are the most interested in this shiny new version of Microsoft’s operating platform.

Ultimately, the choice of a favorite also comes down to usage habits and application compatibility and hardware matches. Windows Vista and Windows 8 still lack behind in this department, as not all printers, cameras and other peripherals are compatible with these new platforms.

But enough chitchat — this place is for you to voice your thoughts.

Take to the comments below and debate on what version of Windows is the best ever? And vitally, why that Windows OS is your favorite? Technically, the choice can be anything from Windows 1.0, 2.0, 3.1, 95, 98, Me, XP, Vista, 7 and 8.

Over to you guys and gals. Let’s hear it!

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  1. Windows 7 professional – I would have paid for the Preview version that’s how much I liked it from the very begining

  2. Windows 8 RT is my favorite. Clean, Efficient, light weight, Potential to be the very best.

  3. I would have to say Windows RT 8.1. It is a joy to use.
    Though my enjoyment of it is directly tied to the Surface 2 tablet. So both deserve credit in my choice of the favorite OS. The perfect combination of software running on premium hardware allow for a fantastic experience.

  4. I like windows 8.1 pro the best.

  5. Personally, Windows 8.1. Professionally, Windows 7 Pro.

    • I’m with you here. 🙂 Running both at the moment.

      • At work, I have it on my PC and a handful of workstations. Had to downgrade to 7 on our AutoCAD machines as only AutoCAD LT 2014 was cleared for Windows 8/8.1. 8.1 is also spawning off multiple copies of Windows Backup on a single machine and I am close to rebuilding it or downgrading it to 7. I like 8.1 but it has had some quirks.

        • Yeah, they’ll be sorted out in time. Only Windows 7 was a smooth launch in recent memory, but that was because most of its potential quirks were taken care of due to Vista.

          • Thats cause every second windows is good. 98 good me sucked xp good vista sucked.they push out to soon then fix.

          • Fair point, but one would imagine Microsoft gets enough of a foundation to build upon, that is one reason why every other (major) version of Windows is better received.

            Thanks for commenting!

  6. Windows 7 Professional with Windows 8.1 in second place.

  7. Dominico-James Black Eagle Hod / January 6, 2014 at 6:37 pm /Reply

    Windows 8.1 professional

  8. First windows xp pro because windows xp pro gave huge experience to all beginners… And second ; windows 7 ultimate because it’s more stable compare to xp and use’s less ram and have less hangs compare to vista…. But xp is legend….

  9. I like windows 8.1 with Start8….except for them removing the f*cking wifi manager. That is the only regard that Windows 7 is superior in

    • I’ve seen many in do that. Where Microsoft dropped the ball, third party developers picked it up. Start Screen should have stayed, but the same can be said for the Start Menu. At least until Windows 9 or something.

      But nice to hear your thoughts!

  10. Windows 8.1RT for sure. Among 8.1 Po, iOS7 and RT, I am using my surface RT the most now.

  11. I like Windows 8.1 and windows 7

  12. Not having a touchscreen computer I prefer Windows 7 Pro by far. I have installed 8 Pro and 8.1 Pro and they are very interesting and I would jump back to 8.1 the instant I upgrade to a touchscreen device. Also, there are many options that my computer is just too old to take advantage of, they are not compatible. All of you techies out there please pray, send good wishes, hope, or whatever you can that I can upgrade to a top of the line touchscreen device that I can use for website development and creating apps with! (sending me money or a top of the line device with Quad Core or higher cpu and 16GB or more Ram would be wonderful. Then you could add an external Touchscreen to go with it! 🙂 … I don’t ask for much, really!) My dream computer would be Dual 8 Core Intel Processors that are coming out soon with the motherboard that can utilize them and 64GB of the newest Ram, Dual NVidia Graphics cards, Blu-Ray player with DVD Burner. A Solid State 512GB HD and two 10,000rpm Raptor HD. Finally a top of the line Sound Card(I haven’t paid attention to what is out there now days for Audio) and a liquid cooling system. I don’t care about the see through case but I would like a wireless AC Networking card and all the normal SD card readers and USB 3.0(until they come out with something like Apple’s Thunderbolt!!) OR you could just send the highest build of the 27″ iMac!!

  13. I could never go back to pre-Windows 7. But at home I find myself using my 8.1 laptop more than my 7 desktop, and I really don’t like using laptops.

  14. Darlington Jones / January 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm /Reply

    Windows 8.1

  15. Windows 8.1
    I really like the new interface. I use a few of the apps and have been pleased.
    I have it on my desktop without a touchscreen and haven’t found anything that can’t be done with a mouse and keyboard.

  16. 1. Xp

    Still looks good today. Functional and logical ( to windows users anyway ) Well vetted over time. Workplace still uses this OS and this a very large company. Only complaint I have is

    no multi desktop support natively.

    2. Windows 8+

    This OS has been very smooth and stable for me. I enjoy” the flat look” of ui

    Multi window support is a very nice feature, almost as good as multi desktop views.

    More secure. I also think this OS design lends itself very well to business management/deployment. The Modern pc settings just seem more organized and

    simple. Better memory management. Sky drive integration. Recovery managment.

    Horizontal scrolling aside, I really enjoy this one. I would make it nos.1 , except I think more could have been done in the XP

    in the underpinnings and features using that design. So this leaves me looking forward to Win 8 Improvements. This will end up being my favorite in the end, I Hope.

    3.Windows 7

    Solid and boring.

    4. I have used them all, inc. Vista. I did not have the issues many have. I ws ok MSFT at least tried moving forward.

    • Nice overview of the strengths of each OS. Oh, and Windows 7 may seem boring now, but it was shiny new when it first came out. Then again Metro and Windows 8 apps can make all previous operating systems seem a bit bland.

      Love the detailed comment, keep them coming!

  17. I like Windows pro 8.1 the best

  18. well ive said it before windows 7 is by far the best system produced yet, but as previously commented by me and others that drew on the strengths and weaknesses of the other systems and in time windows 8 will be sorted by either 9 or 10 but that now depends on Microsoft as to what they do for their future. which could be an interesting situation, due to the competition that’s opening up now.

  19. Christos Katsogiannos / January 8, 2014 at 12:37 am /Reply

    I think Windows 7 first, Windows 8.1 second. But linux with compiz fusion debian is my all time favorite os

  20. I vote for Windows 8.1 Pro, its a joy to use it compared to XP and Vista.

  21. I really like some of the features of Win 8.1 Pro. It has drives for every piece of equipment we use. It’s smooth and relatively trouble-free. If we had to go back to WIn 7 Ultimate, it wouldn’t be such a hardship, however. I do miss Bob, though!

  22. I am a home user only and I prefer windows 7. I made the mistake of buying a Windows Surface 2 with 8.1RT and found out after buying it I can’t download anything on it.That really bugs me and the Flash games don’t even work on it.I should have done more research on it before buying but the price point was also a factor for me.It basically sits in it’s case unused as I also have an iPad.Probably couldn’t even sell it if I tried.

    • Well Surface 2 is still a fairly powerful device. Give it a little while, and maybe throw in Windows 9 onto it once it is released and take it for another spin. Though I can understand the limited functionality of the RT platform.

      Thanks for commenting, Windows 7 is s certified success, I agree.

  23. Windows xp was very stable, but by far the best windows out now for desktop/regular laptop is 7. 8.1 good for tablets.

    • True, some would say the best operating system Microsoft released right out of the box. SP1 only makes Windows 7 even more stable and secure.

  24. Luis Anton Imperial / January 18, 2014 at 11:08 pm /Reply

    Windows 8.1

  25. Windows 7 Home Premium is (was?) a great value. Fast, stable and feature laden. It has a good set of system backup software and comes with Windows Media Center built in. Microsoft went and made all those things more work and expense to get to in Windows 8. Other than that I like Windows 8. I just don’t like having to pay at least $100 more to get Media Center.

  26. Looking over other comments, it looks like a tie between Windows 7 or 8.1. I remember running CP/M, DOS 1 to 6.2 then Windows versions 1, 2, 3.xx, NT 3.x, NT 4.x, 95, 98, 2000, ME(Dead OS if any), XP, Vista, 7 (Home, Pro, Ultimate), 8, 8.1 (all flavors). Right now my computer is running 8.1 Pro. (Over 30+ years using PC’s)

    Never use the Metro screen, just boot to Desktop. I repair computers has a hobby, so I have use XP or 7, but no Windows 8 machines. The XP screens look dated when compared to Windows 7 or 8.x. I still run some dos commands under CMD window, like copying large group of files. My favorite OS is Windows 8.1 for simple fact it works great and never a blue screen of death like 95 or 98.

  27. windows 8 best ever stable system

  28. Frankly, I am considering going back to a manual typewriter and the US Postal service. The costs alone of keeping your computer free from viruses and ever increasing advertising for stuff you either don’t need or threw away years ago is becoming just too opprobrious. Computers are like cocaine, they erode the membranes of your wallet.

  29. why not give free unlimited wifi to every one who buys a new computer , that would be a game changer in a big way :

  30. WinXP is far more useful and easy to use for me, I loathe Win8. I’m especially angry that you have to go online to do everything, even play games, that means to play my favourite card games I’m using up my downloads. Not right. Sick of having to sign into everything and so many passwords, it’s a pain.

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