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.

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