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:
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.
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.
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.
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!