Which Windows Version Is The Best Of All Time? [MakeUseOf Poll]

polls   Which Windows Version Is The Best Of All Time? [MakeUseOf Poll]Last week we asked what your plans are regarding Facebook shares. One thing is perfectly clear, if the guys at Facebook were counting on MakeUseOf readers to buy shares, they better think again!

Out of 215 readers who voted, a staggering 75% will not be buying shares, 11% plan on buying some in the future, 10% are still undecided and 4% already bought some shares. That’s the biggest majority for one vote we’ve seen in quite a while.

Full results and this week’s poll after the jump.

With three quarters of the voters not even thinking of buying, the results seem pretty definitive!

poll results june 2   Which Windows Version Is The Best Of All Time? [MakeUseOf Poll]

This week’s poll question is: Which Windows Version Is The Best Of All Times?

Sorry Mac and Linux users, this week’s poll is all about Windows, but even if you don’t currently use the most popular OS in the world, you’re bound to have an opinion in the matter. This week we want to find out which is your favorite Windows version of all times, and with your permission, the poll will start with Windows 95. Is Windows 2000 the best that ever was? Will Windows 8 be it? Tell us what you think!

Why is your favorite version the best? Is it stability? A certain feature? The interface? Share your opinions below.

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

If you have any questions related to what's mentioned in the article or need help with any computer issue, ask it on MakeUseOf Answers—We and our community will be more than happy to help.



No Windows Vista…

I see what you did there

Yaara Lancet

I clear forgot about Windows Vista! That just goes to show you…

Kyem Ghosh

yaara… You need to go on saying sorry to every1 for not adding vista…. :-)

Yaara Lancet

I try, I try. :) I can’t believe I forgot it!

Kyem Ghosh



where is windows vista? Clearly the best Windows OS of all time

Yaara Lancet

Yeah, sorry about that. :) I forgot about Vista, I hope you voted for none of the above anyway!

Dave Parrack

Windows 7 is phenomenal, but for the time it was released Windows XP takes some beating.

Davin Peterson

Windows ME was known as the “Mistake Edition”. Vista is just as bad. Windows 7 fixes Vista. When XP came out, it was the best, most stable version of Windows. Windows 7 is even better and has a cooler graphic interface

Bruce Epper

At that time there was a humorous graphic that was floating around about how MS was going to integrate all 3 of their then-current operating systems into one monolithic OS (sound familiar?); a combination of Compact Edition, Millennium Edition, and New Technology. It was to be called Windows CEMENT.

Just wondering if that graphic was just a bit more than a decade early.


I like 7, with XP second.

Alex Ozer

I chose ME… because I am in a sarcastic mood.

Yaara Lancet

Hey, you’re skewing the votes! :)


I’ll be stupid if I choose Vista or 8.

I think I’ll choose 7

Tug Ricks

For all the public hate, I never had an issue with Vista. Just throwing that out there.

Bruce Epper

I used Vista for more than 2 years and never had a problem with it either. I think that is due more to waiting nearly a year after its release before I installed it so the drivers were available for all of my hardware and disabling the Sidebar immediately (it was such a resource hog – even without any gadgets in it).

Yaara Lancet

Yeah, sorry for not including Vista guys. Not sure where that piece of history went to when I was remembering all the versions.

Antriksh Yadav

I loved Vista after having XP for years. The Aero theme won me over. Windows 7 is infinitely better but Vista was not bad at all.

Also, if it weren’t a resource hog, would standard home computers be slightly less powerful today? I mean, increasing the requirements for the base software included with 90% of the computers sold surely must have done something to the standard specs in computers.


I liked Vista too. After turning off UAC I never had any issue accept the incompatibility with some programs, but that’s mostly because the developers didn’t put an effort in implementing vista support.

To be honest, Win7 feels like a vista clone, some improvements though because it’s a upgrade.

Cliff Mccullar

Firstly i went old school with 98, best file system layout imho and they didnt (try)to stop you from changing all sorts of fun stuff like what your start bar actually said. anyway onto vista

The initial vista launch had a really bad rep for a number of reasons, most of which was NOT vistas fault.(re microsoft) Firstly they have since win98 said that developers needed to code to the registry correctly, that in XP they would enforce it. since almost no developers listened to this dire warning, microsoft pushed back the enforcement of this till(you guessed it) vista. which is why so many programs/hardware didnt work correctly. developers had over 10 years to make the change, i cant blame microsoft for that.

secondly the vast majority of new machines being made (by companies or users) were experiencing issues, again here i dont see how this is microsoft/vistas fault. if you cant research the components for compatability with your OS then you shouldnt be building a machine. yes it blows that you bought a brand new *insert brand* and it didnt work, but that is the brands fault, not microsofts. I built my uncle a machine around a month after vista came out, you know what? never a single issue, not one. everything installed beautifully, everything works amazingly too this day. that being said….

vista DOES have issues, some of which it didnt have at launch of stuff that microsoft broke in addition to what was already broken, while its still 10x better than ME, it is still a broken OS, with a lot of issues.

Tony C.

Windows 3.11 ..nice and simple and stable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I voted for Windows 7 though I feel a little guilty. XP really has put in the years as a well rounded workhorse and I feel as though I’ve dropped old yeller in lieu of wonder dog. But man is wonder dog cool! 7 just puts to use technologies that aren’t possible with the older (but loved and respected) XP.

Yaara Lancet

Couldn’t agree more! Although I never used XP for years, I stuck to Windows 2000 until the bitter, bitter end. :)

Bruce Epper

I still have a W2K test server running.


Windows XP is still performing decently. However Windows 7 is an upgrade and therefore should rank higher (I see that Vista is not included though, neither is 3.11 which is pure nostalgia!) XP was revolutionary and I understand those who claim XP to be the best.

It all depends how you count as the best? Best for it’s time or best for it’s performance and UI? Or by other factors?

I hope win8 will be the best ever, however I still feel that I want to give win7 a few more years.

Yaara Lancet

3.11 is not included on purpose, there were just too many options and I didn’t think many people would vote for it.

Vista is an oversight. I forgot to include it. Sorry!


Wait… I thought Vista was not included on purpose too!

Victor Ong

Same here!


I have tried Windows XP, 7 and 8 on my main computer (which is a netbook). Honestly speaking I’m contented with XP and really enjoyed 7. I want to give Windows 8 a chance. It has some potential.


i think xp is the best because of stability and because it doesn’t have lots of eyecandy so it runs faster.

I do find windows 7 to come in a close second

Bruce Epper

Under Vista & 7, you can turn off all of the eye-candy if you wish. It isn’t something that is forced on the user.

Vipul Jain

windows 7 is by far the best release.
> Aero graphics
> Stabler than XP & any other version.
> Preloaded drivers for almost everything (Best feature among all)
> Quick boot even though it’s system files are like 5 times that of XP.
> Quick installation, XP takes 40-45 minutes for a fresh install, while 7 takes 15-20 minutes.

I didn’t compare any other version because IMO, XP & 7 are the only worthy releases by windows.. :)


Did you ever use 2000?


Windows XP could run in a computer with as little as 256 MB RAM, let alone 1 GB. Even SP2. I upgraded it with SP3 by the time Windows 7 came along. It still is a robust system, it just happens that my XP installation started falling apart when I installed Windows 7 Preview to dual boot.
I love my current Windows 7 computer, and my next machine will still be based on Windows 7. But I think Windows XP is the best, just for the ten years it’s lasted.


where’s the love for Windows Bob?

David Smith

Microsoft Bob, which ran on top of Windows 3.1x, was a step towards a more friendly user experience. Then came Windows 95, a nice leap over the previous versions. I’ve been using Windows since version 3.1 and XP has been my favorite, until now. I’ve started using Windows 8. In fact, I’m posting this from the latest Windows 8 Release Preview, and so far I love it, and I’m still able to run all my favorite apps that I’ve been using on Windows XP & 7 with no problems so far. But I do miss the Start button, and don’t really care for the new Start screen, but I see where it would be useful if you have a touch screen. Just wish there was an option to turn it off, and use the old Start menu instead.

Alan Wade

I voted XP based on the fact that 11 years on and its still a favorite of the masses.
Se7en I believe, is a close second and Ei8ht is the novelty edition.


Xp is still popular because it can be easily pirated, hacked and can run on low resources. Can’t say about Win 8 cuz haven’t tried Release Preview. Though, Developer Preview seems promising for touch based pcs. Power users will sit back with Windows 7.

Charles Rachor

If Windows 7 had been released instead of Vista, that would have been so awesome. As it was, I never actually had any problems with Vista, but still. XP was probably one of the greatest Windows releases imo, mostly because it was such a change from what people had experienced before. Windows 7 is still number 1 in my book, followed closely by XP.

Yaara Lancet

Funny, I guess for me Windows 7 WAS released instead of Vista, since I forgot Vista even existed. I just skipped it entirely.

XP definitely deserves the respect it’s getting.


Frankly, I haven’t tried Vista. XP is popular because it can be so easily pirated and hacked. And in 2013, theoretically speaking, will become a ‘free’ OS as it’s support will stop officially. 7 I think is best by far and I do believe in Win 8, too.

Susendeep Dutta

I liked Windows XP SP3 as it was with me for long time and I like it.Windows XP is still the best as it ruled for 10 years and I don’t think that any other OS would have ruled longer than this.I can’t say anything about Windows 7 and 8 as I haven’t used them.I’ve just navigated them for few moments.

Reý Aetar

well who deserve to be the best???
More than 10 years still suriving in this quick changing world..with maximum compability….maximum users who dont wanna change…and still supported and well up to date..
Its like a landmark
LET ANY OTHER OS COME CLOSE IT then the time will come to choose..till then XP rocks as it gets the work done just like its successors (until ms doesnt want it) but with less resources..


Windows XP, being still the most used OS after so many years proves it has something special.

Humza Aamir

With Windows 7, all the previous wrongs were made right and the goods made even better. It is the best version in their line-up. Windows 8 is a aiming for a revolution and a thorough change that might not be up to everyone’s taste.


A while back there was a joke doing the rounds:
“How many Microsoft employees are needed to change a light bulb?”
“None, Microsoft will simply issue a statement declaring darkness the new norm.”

All said and done though, windows 7 is a brilliant OS, one that I honestly can find little fault with.

I have no doubt that 8 will follow in the foot steps of 95, Millennium and Vista and be a load of rubbish!

Kyem Ghosh

you missed out vista…. Obviously I think that it might not get any good vote… But still, it should have been in the list…

Yaara Lancet

Yep, as I mentioned in above comments, I forgot Vista. It wasn’t intentional!


Wait a minute.. just wait, pause the presidential elections and give a straight answer to the public. where’s win 3.1? Seriously, where is it? -_-

Yaara Lancet

As mentioned in the poll, I chose not to include it since I felt there were already too many options. For that case, there’s “none of the above”. :)


I find Xp pro would be best for me,stable & fast,but when it comes to graphics i prefer 7.


I like it how you put in Windows ME but skipped Windows Vista! :))

Yaara Lancet

Gahhhhhhhhhhhhh I know! I’ve never even used ME and I remembered to include it.

Laga Mahesa

For me, the Win9x variants were the best – to be specific, a stripped down frankenstein mashup taking the best components of each.

Next up, XP – also stripped down. Anything after that is far too megalithic and inaccessible.


The poll will be skewed since the majority of our readers have no clue what windows 2000 even was, despite it being the most stable and awesome windows OS, ever. Obviously Windows 7 will run away with this poll.

Vipul Jain

i havent used Win2000, but wasnt it just a modded 98 with few tweaks, climbing towards XP?


No, windows 2000 was a NT version of windows (the last one). It was exceptionally stable and designed specifically for business environments. The biggest advantage of the NT versions of windows was that it use the NTFS file structure as apposed to FAT and FAT32 and as such could store data far more efficiently. It has nothing to do with WIN 98 or Win ME. Microsoft supported Windows 2000 for 10 years, although it’s successor, Windows XP, came out about a year after WIN 2000 was released. Windows 2000 only needed 32 MB of ram to run, although 128MB was recommended. With 256MB and a Pentium II processor, you had a machine which could fly! To date, it can be argued that it was one of the most used Microsoft OS as governments and companies around the world used it to run their networks for 10 odd years!


<- this.

Bruce Epper

With my last trip into the VA Hospital in Phoenix last year, they were still running Win2K.

Win2K was not the last NT version. XP and later versions are still technically modded versions of NT. Check the core components if you want to verify this.


Indeed, although 2000 was the last to be released under the NT name.

Yaara Lancet

I loved Win2k and used if for years. In fact, I pretty much skipped XP and went straight from 2000 to 7. But I still think 7 is the better OS of the two.


I believe in XP! It’s was really a revolutionary OS on it’s time. In my computer XP is faster than 7 but 7 is boots really faster than XP! However I use Windows 7 as the main OS because of it’s beautiful interface and new features

Giuseppe Calamita


I suggest you to add a new option to your poll: a future non commercial version (available for all the unemployed peoples may be).
As IBM did I hope one day Microsoft will conver to Open Source.

Thank you.


Windows 7! Power of Xp with enhanced UI from Vista!


I have used every Windows since the very beginning. There were several duds, like Win3 (Not even listed in the poll! – and neither was Vista) , WinME & 2000. Win XP was (and still is) a viable version. Vista was not as bad as most people seem to think Win7 is an improvement over that. I will withhold judgement on Win8, but so far I’m not impressed.


Sorry, did you just call win2k a “dud”? I’m kind of reeling in shock right now. What do you base this on?



Bruce Epper

What experience is that. Win2K was huge for businesses and government. I know of several large institutions that are still using it today. You classify that as a dud?


Windows 2000 was a dud?!?! Are you insane? The most stable OS that windows ever created was a dud? You can’t have much experience with it if you think that.


In technical terms it’s always going to be ‘the next one’ but I voted XP for its longevity and popularity.


Obviously Windows7> Best look, best features,secure and good speed.

Benjamen Johnson

Windows 2000, it was the last Windows OS without that stupid activation. I can still install it without having to beg Microsoft.


I’m Using Window 7 From last 1-2 Years…. And i never get any problem on it… For Me WINDOW 7 Is The Best……. OS For Me….AFTER XP Cool Features, Graphics, Faster then any other Version……


Windows 7 is the best yet. But I have this fear….Windows 8 is to 7, as Vista is to XP.

Roc Rizzo

You don’t have the most versatile version of Windows, Windows CEMENT. Windows CEMENT was the combination of Windows CE, which made it small, Windows ME, which made it usable by the general public, and Windows NT, which made it highly programmable, and sophisticated, for the technical.


I picked Windows XP, mainly because I hate what Microsuck has done with the why the OS handles audio. Under XP and earlier I never had any issues with the sound card unlike under Vista and Windows 7. Windows 7 would get a mention if it were not for the fact that it should have been a Vista Service pack to fix the problems Vista had. The audio in my opinion was better for gaming under XP. If I were not an avid gamer I would not even be using Windows but Linux, I have been dual booting for years and most of the time I only use Windows for when I play games while my normal computing tasks are handled much better using Linux.

Prakash Senapati

dnt know why?? to me windows 8 is looking like more of windows 7 extra or 7.5
rather being a discrete os

Jon Smith

well I really dont like the Metro system but Windows 7 and XP are pretty cool

John Wilson

I did vote for none of the above only because Windows always seems to bring with it some issue or other which was or ought to have been avoidable. Win 7, during the upgrade thrashed the boot sector of the D: drive, once the boot drive which caused the boot up to to go on forever. The data is, at least, intact.
That said it’s still the best end user version of Windows till now. I’m not holding out too much hope for Win8 which seems more targeted at the device/gadget market than it does to desktop/laptop users so I guess we’ll see when things shake out. I firmly believe that Microsoft has missed that market completely.
On the Linux side the lesson has been evolution not revolution which has struck both KDE and GNOME desktops as they’ve introduced a lot of stuff which will be useful in the long run but don’t appear and aren’t user friendly at this stage to many.
So, to sum up, the three best releases, IMHO, in no particular order are Win XP. Win2K and (marginally) Win 7,

Shehan Nirmal

Windows 7 is the best…!!!


windows 7 no doubt


i like windows 7 the most
no doubt

Achraf Almouloudi

Using Windows 7 which is the best I ever seen .


All time hits is, I think, windows 7 in this time. During the release of windows 7 windows XP is good and most popular. Still some user are prefering xp. Hope that windows 8 is better ever.

Matthew Unwin

Vista was a good version but it was a big rescourse hog so on 2gb of memory it used up about 1gb
windows 98 had really low memory usage but as can be expected the graphics were bad
windows 7 is in my opinion the best and I think windows 8 is too much change and expecting everyone to have a tablet

Corey Hall

my reason for selecting windows xp is, for gamers like me it is good for us to play freely and smothly

Joe P

Windows 98 was as good as they got. Each version since had more drawbacks. I use XP and Windows 7 at work but Linux when I have a choice. I’ll never use Windows at home again.

Dr. Sheldon Cooper, Phd

Windows 2000 was the best version of Windows. It wasn’t bloated and the file system was much easier to handle than Windows 7. If you’re someone who has Windows Explorer open all the time, that was the best version. I still can’t get the hang of all the data and ini files being in different directories other than the Program Files area.


Windows Operating systems are good but I feel that they should consider adding some other better features which are in other operating system including Linux and Mac. All above Windows is great !………….


Windows 7 fo sho


windows 7 definitely


Defently Windows 3.11, not that i vil ever use it! (never use your hero, you might just be disapointed)

Bob Smith

Whats wrong with Vista I’ve used it for years without running into much issues with it.

Craig Snyder

I was expecting to see more votes for 98!

Andrew Crook

It’s a difficult one although I now use Windows 7 and now prefer it over XP, XP did more for the Windows OS as it brought NT technology mainstream. Whilst Windows NT 4.0 brought businesses towards NT technology as a workstation platform and not just for servers, although 2000 was probably the best out of the old NT generation in terms of usability before the arrival of XP.


I downloaded and checked out Windows 8 Preview Edition via a virtual machine (I didn’t want to install it on either my desktop nor on my laptop – mainly ‘cuz it said that to go back, I’d have to reinstall my previous Windows – which I didn’t want to have to go through all that crap).

Via the virtual machine, Windows 8 looked more like it is geared towards portable computers like iPad, netbooks, etcetera bu not towards desktops and regular laptops … unless either of which has a touchscreen monitor. It’s “desktop” setup, had no ‘menu’ like all the other Windows OS’s but required one to *swipe*, either on the screen or using a mouse cursor.

I didn’t like it as a desktop or laptop OS … if I ever get a netbook or iPad-like device, then perhaps I’ll use Windows 8 but not on either my desktop nor laptop. If it’s going to mimic a 3D desktop, it should have a desktop setup like Linux’s Compiz’s cube-like desktop layout, where one uses Ctrl-Winkey or some such key combination to activate the cube and switch to another face of the cube.

All-in-all, from 1 to 10:
Win 95 (5, at the time was a good replacement for DOS, a point-and-click usage),
Win98 (9) a pretty good, reliable and stable OS,
NT (never used it at the time but did look at it later … it looked like Win95),
Win2k (never have used it),
WinXP (9, good OS in its time),
WinVista (7),
Win 7 (9 1/2 Good OS, relatively stable, a bit more secure),
Win 8 (6, I’ll leave it off my machines – too niche-oriented for normal computer usage)




I used Win 8 preview version . Frankly I would prefer Win 7 over 8 . With all tiles and new UI , sure it gives a good feeling but its annoying to keep scrolling for different apps … Sure a treat for tablets and touchscreens but not for regular desktops and laptops ..


I’m still waiting to see what Windows 8 has to offer.

shaurya boogie

i like windows 8


Definitely Windows 7. But I also believe in Windows 8 as there will be more touch input based pcs in future, Windows 8 seems exciting, simple and easy. I’ve tried DP and it is not bad. Just like when iOS vs. Android war was getting boring, MS entered with fresh new WP7 with new ‘invented’ interface and living OS. It is powerful and specs are great. I think Windows 8 will do same but power users will need to sit back with Windows 7.

shev smith

Why wasn’t Vista in the list? (joke!)

Jahnezzy Eltime



i vote for windows 98 because it was my first operating system and thumbs up if you were born in 1998

Abba Jee

i’ve been used all above ,
i guess when windows xp launched lots of users like me were “wooow” :D, then vista, 7 just made me “ahaaaa” and maybe so many users like me had just the same feelings about microsoft windows , so i guess windows xp should be voted best os all the time …. i hate when i read microsoft going to stop support windows xp maybe million of users


Server 2008 R2 has my vote.