Windows 8.1 vs. Windows 7 – Which is best for you?

As Windows 10 draws nearer and Microsoft distances itself from older OS, we look at the best option for your PC

Verdict - Which version of Windows is right for you?

Windows 8 hasreceived a lot of flack for the Metro interface, but this shouldn'tovershadow the number of improvements Microsoft has made to the OS since.

In this way, think of Windows 8.1 as just Windows 7 with four additional years of development. The downside is that updates can break the system simple because it isn't as tried and tested as its predecessor, but this changes with time.

The latest OS has a faster boot time and better performance along with a superior task manager and security features. It also has native support for USB 3, 3D, ISO, IMG and VHD.

However, Windows 7 did manage to win in the interface category, also salvaging a draw when it came to judging enterprise features.

If you're buying a Windows machine for personal use, then, it seems that Windows 8.1 is the way to go as long as you ignore Metro for productivity and use it only for web browsing.

Businesses looking to deploy machines will most likely want the familiarity and stability of Windows 7, however, and this is something OEMs such as Dell and HP have recognised now selling Windows 8 machines to enterprises with the option to downgrade to Windows 7 if they desire.

This article was first published on 26/03/14 and has been updated multiple times (most recently on 15/08/14) to reflect new information that has become available since its original publication.

Featured Resources

The ultimate law enforcement agency guide to going mobile

Best practices for implementing a mobile device program

Free download

The business value of Red Hat OpenShift

Platform cost savings, ROI, and the challenges and opportunities of Red Hat OpenShift

Free download

Managing security and risk across the IT supply chain: A practical approach

Best practices for IT supply chain security

Free download

Digital remote monitoring and dispatch services’ impact on edge computing and data centres

Seven trends redefining remote monitoring and field service dispatch service requirements

Free download

Recommended

AMD and Microsoft fix Ryzen performance in Windows 11
Hardware

AMD and Microsoft fix Ryzen performance in Windows 11

22 Oct 2021
What is Microsoft Edge? Everything you need to know
web browser

What is Microsoft Edge? Everything you need to know

22 Oct 2021
How to get help in Windows 10
operating systems

How to get help in Windows 10

22 Oct 2021
You can now test Android apps on Windows 11
Microsoft Windows

You can now test Android apps on Windows 11

21 Oct 2021

Most Popular

Best Linux distros 2021
operating systems

Best Linux distros 2021

11 Oct 2021
Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans
Laptops

Apple MacBook Pro 15in vs Dell XPS 15: Clash of the titans

11 Oct 2021
Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox
Microsoft Windows

Windows 11 has problems with Oracle VirtualBox

5 Oct 2021