Logically, each new version of a product, be it a smartphone or an operating system, should be better than the previous one. However, in the history of Windows there are such instances that were negatively perceived by most users. And there are reasons for this.
Speaking about the history of Windows, it is worth noting that users loved Windows 98 but hated ME, adored XP and disdained Vista, admired 7 and ridiculed the appearance of 8. In general, now most people have a positive attitude towards Windows 10. This trend has led to the fact that many of the company’s customers continue to use "successful" versions of the OS for as long as possible, while those who got a disgusting copy try to update the system as soon as possible.
However, have you ever wondered why certain versions of Windows have become the worst in their lineup? Let’s look at the three most hated versions of this OS: Windows ME, Vista and 8. We will try to understand why they cause such negativity among users.
Officially named Windows Millennium Edition, this version of Windows is often referred to as the Mistake Edition by the people. It was released in late 2000 and was the last in the Windows 9x line.
History of Windows ME
Windows 2000, which hit the market earlier that year, was primarily intended for corporate use. Windows 98 was only a few years old, but XP was still in development and not ready for general use. Microsoft wanted to launch a new version of Windows for the general user, and so ME was born.
The short time frame in which Windows ME was created ended up playing a cruel joke on it. Due to the fact that Microsoft hastened to meet the available deadlines, the OS turned out to be an " unfinished and inconvenient bridge " between Windows 9x and Windows XP.
ME was only available for purchase for about a year, because Windows XP was a hit when it hit stores. While Windows XP still had a significant market share even in 2014-2015 after its support ended, ME disappeared from users’ view long before that. This indicates how negatively people perceived her appearance.
Why was Windows ME so terrible?
In terms of software, ME was exactly the same as Windows 98 and had only a few new features. However, some of these options, such as System Restore, didn’t work very well. ME also removed the DOS mode available in Windows 98 and earlier versions of the OS: it allowed users to install older software. At the time, this became a huge disadvantage for Microsoft customers.
Instead of a new and exciting version of Internet Explorer (IE), ME treated its users to an interim version of IE 5.5. In those days, updates to this browser were essential. Windows and Internet Explorer have been tightly integrated as IE has had a big hand in Windows Explorer and other OS features.
Other browsers weren’t as readily available as they are today, so the addition of a lousy version of IE probably lowered ME’s rating significantly in the eyes of users.
The entire operating system was notable for a huge number of crashes, slow operation and strange performance problems. People’s dissatisfaction varied, but most users encountered bugs and other annoyances that made it difficult to use the new OS at that time. Many users reported that after being away from their PC for 5 minutes and returning to the machine, the system began to lag just by moving the mouse.
We can attribute most of these problems to the outdated architecture of Windows 9x coupled with the rush to build a product that simply wasn’t ready for release. Windows ME was quickly replaced by Microsoft with a more advanced version – XP, to return the favor of customers.
Those who have never used Windows ME usually think of Vista as the worst version of Windows.
Although this OS, which was released in early 2007, was also disgusting, its story is different from ME. Vista was very different from Windows XP, so it didn’t bring any "old baggage" with it, as it did with ME.
Since there were many security issues with Windows XP, Microsoft focused on making Vista more secure. In practice, this has led to some of the OS’s most notorious problems.
"Are you sure you want to do this?"
Perhaps the most infamous problem that came with Vista was the User Account Control (UAC). It was developed due to serious security issues in Windows XP. Most programs in XP required an administrator account to run, so other user accounts were almost useless.
So people ended up using only the administrator account all the time, which is by no means safe.
UAC prompted the user each time to confirm that he wanted to run a program that could make changes to his computer. This option is still present (less obtrusively) in every new version of Windows since Vista, but in its original version it was too annoying. It seemed that every time you clicked on the shortcut, you had to confirm your actions.
Apple ridiculed this and other problems with Vista in their famous " Get a Mac " ad, which certainly boosted Vista’s popularity and made its flaws "public".
Compatibility and hardware issues
Vista also required much more powerful hardware than Windows XP to run correctly. This makes sense since Vista was released six years later and had more features. However, Microsoft has run into problems with PC performance due to high OS requirements.
Even though Vista performed terribly on budget PCs, companies still placed " Windows Vista Compatible " stickers on computers that barely met the minimum OS requirements. This led to people quickly becoming frustrated with the slow performance of their new computer.
Finally, Vista had a lot of compatibility issues with other components. To address XP’s security issues, Microsoft changed the driver model, which made the system more stable. This has significantly reduced the number of blue screens that appear. Vista was even able to recover from a graphics driver crash, which would have resulted in an immediate shutdown in XP.
Since all these changes were significant, they were studied by OS developers for a long time. The old drivers didn’t work in the realities of the new model, so many people trying to use old software or devices found them to be incompatible with Vista.
It becomes clear that many of the problems in Vista are due to changes that had to be made back in XP. As with Windows ME, Vista was a launching pad for testing changes that were later refined. In 2009 Microsoft released Windows 7. It was what Vista was supposed to be from the beginning. The company has fixed most of the problems that users have been struggling with for two years.
Windows 8, which hit the market in 2012, is the worst operating system from Windows that still resonates in the minds of many Microsoft customers. Let’s see why Windows 8 received such a negative response from users.
For most people, the biggest problem with Windows 8 has been that its look and feel has changed so much for no reason. Windows 7 was only three years old at the time of release and people still loved it. After the "challenging" Vista, it was a pleasure to use an OS that not only looked great and was secure, but also ran fast.
Forgetting about basic comfort, Microsoft in Windows 8 got rid of the Start menu, a core component of Windows since the 90s.
However, this was only the beginning of all problems. Windows 8 also introduced its own store in an attempt to create a centralized place to download Windows software.
However, it quickly filled with junk, and most people already knew where to download the best Windows software without scrolling through the list of unnecessary applications. Windows 8 also had some new tools that simply duplicated the functionality of regular software and took up extra PC RAM.
Windows 8 " suffered from a split personality ". The traditional desktop copied and pasted from Windows 7 (no start menu) was still present. However, it was clear that Microsoft wanted users to buy modern applications from the store and increase the company’s profits.
Windows 8 was designed for touchscreen devices
The new apps in the store were annoying. It makes sense to install them on smartphones, because it is more efficient than using websites. However, the sites themselves were originally designed to operate through desktop and laptop browsers, so the applications in this situation seem ridiculous and useless.
It was wildly annoying that opening an image on your desktop could send you to the Photos app, which you didn’t want at all.
Windows 8 prioritized touch screens over mouse-friendly user interface design. Programs like Charms Bar looked appropriate on touchscreens, while PC users experienced only discomfort. When their OS started, people panicked because they couldn’t even figure out how to shut down their computer. It was a clear failure on the part of Microsoft.
After all, Windows 8 proves that the needs of mobile and desktop users are vastly different. You can’t be sure, as Microsoft itself thought, that Windows 8 was a good idea. She later released Windows 8.1 to fix some problems with Windows 8. And while it wasn’t perfect, Windows 8.1 is a more user-friendly OS.
According to Wired.