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win32

In your opinion, what are the best/worst versions of Microsoft Windows?

Best and Worst Windows Versions  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. In your opinion, what is the worst version of Microsoft Windows?

    • Windows NT 3.1-3.5 (please specify in comments)
      0
    • Windows NT 3.51
      0
    • Windows NT 4.0
      0
    • Windows 2000
      0
    • Windows XP
    • Windows Server 2003/XP x64
      0
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows 7
    • Windows 8
    • Windows 8.1
    • Windows 10
    • Windows 1.0-3.11 (please specify in comments)
      0
    • Windows 95
    • Windows 98
      0
    • Windows Me
  2. 2. In your opinion, what is the best version of Microsoft Windows?

    • Windows NT 3.1-3.5 (please specify in comments)
      0
    • Windows NT 3.51
    • Windows NT 4.0
    • Windows 2000
    • Windows XP
    • Windows Server 2003/XP x64
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows 7
    • Windows 8
    • Windows 8.1
      0
    • Windows 10
    • Windows 1-3.11 (please specify in comments)
    • Windows 95
      0
    • Windows 98
    • Windows Me
      0


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2 hours ago, Tommy said:

I personally always preferred the classic theme UI. It's fast, snappy, and to me looks cool. The fact that Windows 10 removed it all together just makes me a bit disgusted. I don't really like the entirely flat look in the UI. But so many things have followed that trend as far as logos go, Google even being one of them.

A bit of why I don't care for Windows 10's UI also stems from the fact that we use it at work and for the older people who don't get on the computer much but needs to in order to request time off or look at the pay stubs...I always have to tell them how to navigate. One question I have is...what was wrong with the Windows 98 styled start menu? Or really, the 9x/NT4/2000 styled one? With Windows 10, I discovered that you can log off by right clicking the start menu flag and choosing shut down or sign off. Most of the others that help people when I can't tell them to click on the start menu and then click on the little person looking icon and then signing off. Why does something simple like that have to be tucked away? I liked when you'd click on Start (can you truly even call it a "start" menu anymore?) I guess it does say "Start" when you hover over the flag. But you'd click on it and you had actual text of what each option did. Shut down...log off...help....search...etc. I can't completely knock Windows alone because most software developers are moving towards picture only icons. Remember the older IE versions? Back, Forward, Stop, all of those were listed under the respective icon buttons. Now you don't get any of that. Now you have to tell someone to click on the little house icon if you want them to visit their homepage. It's so frustrating because not everyone understands these types of terms.

I also don't care for the "other user" option on Windows 10. I can't speak for Windows 8 but especially on Windows 2000/XP, I preferred always being able to type in your username and password instead of bringing up the last user like Windows 10 seems to do. That throws people for a loop too, more than you know. I liked the CTRL+ALT+DEL to log in which it is obviously capable of doing if enabled...but then you just had a popup window asking for your credentials. Easy peasy! Then again, these are people who complain about having to change their password every year as they finally got this one down pat.

Now...for a company like Meijer which I work for...for those who don't know, it's basically a supermarket like Walmart but is privately owned and only in 6 states right now. But they're in a bit of a pickle and have things set up so archaically because many of their training modules use Flash which is obviously going away. Many things we use also rely on Internet Explorer. So for most things, we have to use IE but then for training, we have to switch to Google Chrome. Some want to use Chrome for everything but that's not possible as some things are broken in Chrome and don't function properly in it. We did use Windows 7 before it was retired and that was set up a bit differently as they had Flash for IE installed but then they had removed it about a year before we moved to new computers with Windows 10 on them. I did prefer Windows 7 only because it was a bit more configurable and they had a generic user account rather than utilizing our own accounts like we do on Windows 10. We're still using Windows Server 2008 R2 for Citrix and I'm sure other things so I'm assuming that they're receiving custom support for it. But I am a bit concerned with how some of these things are going to measure up, especially when Flash goes away. I really don't think there was a lot of planning ahead for these things. I know I'm sort of straying away from the actual OS discussion but so much of this ties into the poor planning of deployment and maintaining which I'm certain also isn't being done. When we got these new computers, they weren't too bad. They use Ryzen 5 processors and have 8GBs of RAM installed...but they're slowing down so much already that people are complaining quite a bit. What also gets me is they're still using Windows 10 version 1803 which has this problem we've dubbed as the black screen of death, where the screen goes black randomly for no seemingly good reason and even though the computer hasn't crashed, you can't see a thing and the only thing you can do is hold the power button down and restart the computer. Horrible when you're in the middle of working on something!

But to really cut to the chase, I'd be all for a new version of Windows that was designed for real simplicity. For those like me who preferred Windows 98 and didn't care how "modern" it looks. Straight-forward and functional are good enough for me. While Windows 7 was probably the best OS Microsoft cranked out for a while and is probably the best of the NT 6.0 line...even it wasn't 100% straight-forward as previous versions. Windows 95 was probably a hallmark staple in the Windows series because of how much more straight-forward it was to use. No guessing what buttons did, it just told you in the UI. The OS/UI didn't assume that every person on the planet who uses that software knew what the picture icons meant. While I've figured most of them out, I'm a guru who works with this stuff day in and day out so I get it. But for those who don't use computers very much or have a hard time with them, MS needs to either have an option or a separate version of Windows that could be inter-compatible with updates but go back to some of the original Windows 95 roots that also maintains security and integrity of Windows NT. And of course, not completely forcing updates and restarts whenever the OS feels like it.

And honestly, as I mentioned up above...why does the OS have to be so large in filesize now? Many have been able to whittle down the OS to much smaller sizes which means lower overhead and most likely speeding up the OS itself. Even powerful PCs can start stumbling the more the OS is patched and the size continues to increase.

Wow! What a long and thoughtful post. I'd like to voice my opinion, or to be exact, share my knowledge with you. Flat Design is not something for everyone - neither is it for me - but here it is Microsoft itself that started this trend. It started with Windows 8..and it changed the standard design language for quite a few years. As we all know, the reasoning behind that is mostly scaling. Scaling marble and wood or glass textures across multiple devices does not work. And for Microsoft, that was a huge deal. Their idea was (and is) to make Windows an all-rounder. A platform that works with touch inputs as well as with classic mice and keyboards. That means that there are many different sizes of displays and that there must also be a focus on touch functionality.

I don't consider myself someone who likes Apple. But here I have to give them credit for once: Apple understands that there cannot be the same OS for devices that mainly rely on touchscreens and devices that are meant to be used with classical input types. So they have MacOS and IOS, and it works. No bulky buttons, no unnatural movements (like swiping with a mouse), etc.

There is nothing wrong with the old. But I fear it is simply in our nature that we continue to evolve, try out new things and therefore change. I am not someone who necessarily likes that idea, but it is a fact. I would much rather use Vista than 10, but the evolution must go on. You could argue that Windows 3.1 was good enough already, why did they have to introduce a start menu? What is it with that taskbar? If Microsoft would have stopped innovating, we would still be stuck there - assuming that no one else would have done that, which is highly unlikely. It lies like the process that some changes are good..some are not. But to find that out, you have to try it and see what happens. Without this general approach to anything, our society would be nowhere close to where it is today. Another thing that I have noticed is that with time passing, you are simply required to get accustomed to tech. You need to do certain things online, you NEED to learn how to use a computer properly, etc. I am not supportive of that idea, but that is simply how our modern society works. If you want to hop onto the train, you will have to accept these principles. Society is merciless to those who do not want to change - in certain cases, I included. As it is generally assumed that you know how e.g. Windows works, Microsoft has decided to streamline Windows to make it simpler and faster to use. Windows exist for quite a while now, so it is assumed that we know how to do certain things, like navigating Windows without everything having a separate text that explains what this and that does. That is why skeuomorphism initially existed; to make the computing experience more natural. But now, after the internet and computers existing for a while now, it is generally believed that we know enough about these things. So that e.g. skeuomorphism is not necessary any longer, as it was meant to be a feature mainly, a helper so to say. But as you can see, we humans tend to get bored with staring at the same thing over and over again...welcome neumorphism. If you are not a part of the group that constantly evolves together with society and tech hand in hand, you are out of luck. It is sad how our world works. Do you want this job? Can't use a computer? 100 others can. Bye-bye. Changing this is virtually impossible, it is always about progress and progressing and there is not much if any room for anything else. I wish it was different, but it's not. So I have come to accept that. All while trying to do the things I like the way I LIKE them to do. E.g. by having a notebook with W10 for work and trying to install Vista on my machine at home - with which I have not been successful so far.

And regarding all the other numerous issues, that Windows 10 has; as long as we consumers accept it and deal with it, nothing will change. We would have to boycott W10, avoid it. The issue is that we start to depend on things. We can't boycott W10, e.g. I have to go to work and use it there. Or buy a PC with it preinstalled, or update it, because my boss requires it. Maybe because certain software or functionality is needed. It's a vicious circle. For most, it is not worth to make such compromises. And if you do, you know that you will not be missed. Because others will do it instead of you. I fear it's just how it is..I wish it was different, but it isn't.

Edited by NT 6.0
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2 hours ago, NT 6.0 said:

And regarding all the other numerous issues, that Windows 10 has; as long as we consumers accept it and deal with it, nothing will change. We would have to boycott W10, avoid it. The issue is that we start to depend on things. We can't boycott W10, e.g. I have to go to work and use it there. Or buy a PC with it preinstalled, or update it, because my boss requires it. Maybe because certain software or functionality is needed. It's a vicious circle. For most, it is not worth to make such compromises. And if you do, you know that you will not be missed. Because others will do it instead of you. I fear it's just how it is..I wish it was different, but it isn't.

This is what's holding back things overall, and generally speaking people are far more tolerant of corporate BS than they were say, 20 years ago: try blocking any of the big five's IPs, you'll find next to no websites will work correctly due to having some assets loaded, usually Google Ads/Fonts or Twitter Bootstrap CDN, or AWS/Azure/GCP hosting facilities being used in some form or another.

I get the feeling there will be almost zero choice by the next twenty years, especially given the little faith the many one sided political people out there there are now.

The middle ground/balance has been completely eradicated since 2012, leaving no choice anymore unless you're one of the ever-decreasing few who won't give in to it all. It's a shame about Ray how everything has gone over time.

(I knew I'd have that song in my head by writing that sentence lol...)

Edited by CosmoDreamy
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35 minutes ago, CosmoDreamy said:

I get the feeling there will be almost zero choice by the next twenty years,

Even in 2018 it was crazy; less than three years after Windows 10 was released, yet that's all my new HP laptop officially supported (what a mess that thing is). But if I bought a laptop in 2004, three years after Windows XP came out, I would have official support for not just XP, but 2000, 98 FE/SE and even NT 4 (ThinkPad T41)!

And that laptop has sleep-related bugs with Windows 10 that the officially-unsupported 8.1/2012R2 doesn't have!

Even with all of the MS lock-in, relatively few new win32 API functions have been added after Windows 8 so it looks like forcing software incompatibility with Vista exkernel/7/8.x will be difficult for years to come. 

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I would have to add to this that Windows 2000 is a very good operating system as well. It was streamlined, snappy, and rock-solid. I did not have the opportunity to use it for all too long, but during the period that I did, I was very satisfied with it. And I mean..the startup and shutdown sounds speak for themselves!  I always had the impression that it is a more streamlined and less bloated XP. Whether that "bloat" was good or bad is up to you, but it was the better choice for power users, even if it was meant for businesses. If Vista never came to existence, this might have had the chance to become my favorite release.

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8 minutes ago, NT 6.0 said:

If Vista never came to existence, this might have had the chance to become my favorite release.

Vista and Windows 2000 are the last two major revisions to the Windows NT kernel (NT 10.0 doesn't count since it was hastily bumped from 6.4 at the last minute and 1507 doesn't really add much from 8.1 win32-wise).

Lots of major functionality that we take for granted, like USB mass storage support (2000), desktop composition (Vista) and proper NT DirectX support (2000) was introduced in those two OSes, with their minor kernel revisions adding relatively minor things or ones that were of poor quality, like XP's firewall and WLAN client; the former didn't support blocking outgoing connections and the latter doesn't support connecting to WPA2-EAP networks (or maybe it does but I couldn't manage it with the built-in client; had to use Boingo client that also works on Windows 2000). Vista fixed them both.

Edited by win32
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12 minutes ago, win32 said:

Vista and Windows 2000 are the last two major revisions to the Windows NT kernel (NT 10.0 doesn't count since it was hastily bumped from 6.4 at the last minute and 1507 doesn't really add much from 8.1 win32-wise).

Lots of major functionality that we take for granted, like USB mass storage support (2000), desktop composition (Vista) and proper NT DirectX support (2000) was introduced in those two OSes, with their minor kernel revisions adding relatively minor things or ones that were of poor quality, like XP's firewall and WLAN client; the former didn't support blocking outgoing connections and the latter doesn't support connecting to WPA2-EAP networks. Vista fixed them both.

I think this is probably what you were trying to say, but I will do it myself as well nevertheless: Windows 10 is and should be NT 6.4. I don't see such a huge change that would justify it being "NT 10" except for marketing purposes..and I mean, it should probably suggest progress..and sound fancy. Somehow it does eradicate the initial value that these version numbers had, but oh well. I wouldn't be surprised if by 2023 Windows 10 will be rebranded into "Windows". Feel free to add any additional knowledge or things that I have missed, my knowledge in that area is more than shaky. But hey, this is the perfect place to learn, I have found out many interesting things while browsing through this forum. I fear I am an average Windows user at heart, after all! :blushing:

Edited by NT 6.0
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Not to mention Vista adding the whole thing of not running by default applications with the same privileges as the user unless told to explicitly. :P

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Best: Windows 3.11 For Workgroups, Windows NT 3.51, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, Windows 2000. Pretty much EVERYTHING from 2000 and below.

Worst: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Pretty much EVERYTHING from XP onwards.

Edited by Bruninho

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