Before Microsoft announces Windows 11, let's rank the previous versions of Windows

Surface Laptop 3
Surface Laptop 3 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft will announce Windows 11 today. The company has teased parts of the operating system leading up to its livestream at 11 AM ET. It's not every year that we see a new version of Windows. In fact, for years we thought that Windows 10 would be the last version of the OS.

With such major news happening today, we wanted to mark the occasion with a ranking of the previous versions of Windows. The operating system has come a long way since its initial launch. Each version has its strengths and weaknesses, so picking an overall favorite might vary quite a bit from person to person.

For example, while many people view Windows 8 as one of the worst versions of Windows, some loved it for its focus on touch and tablets. Windows Vista was generally panned, but in hindsight might not have been as bad as people remember it.

Nostalgia may also play a part in how people rank the versions of Windows. The first version of the operating system I used was Windows 95. I'll always have a soft spot for that OS, even though it's worse than Windows 10 in terms of functionality.

I also started covering Windows professionally around the time Windows 10 launched, so I'm partial to it. I imagine that other people have equally subjective reasons for liking different versions of Windows.

If you're on a mobile device, you can use this link to answer the survey.

Once enough people have participated, we'll share the results. In addition to ranking the previous versions of Windows, please share the first version of Windows you remember using in the comments below.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at