Ask dotTechies: What operating system do you use the most?

More often than not, when the subject of operating systems comes up, a war starts between Windows, Linux, and Mac fans. However, what does not hit the headlines quite as often is the fact that there is a huge spread amongst Windows users, in terms of what Windows version is being used. Indeed at my most recent job, it was very shocking to see that most of the computers in the building(s) were running Microsoft Windows 2000, even though – at the time – the Windows series was up to Vista. So now I am curious – what operating systems do most dotTechies use?

NOTE1: I understand that some of the choices below many have different “editions” (i.e. Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional). If your specific edition is not listed, just select the version that you use (i.e. Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional users select Windows XP).

NOTE2: This poll is intended for the operating system of your computer – not your phone or other device.

[poll id=”12″]

If you have any questions, comments, or whatever, feel free to post below in the comments.

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  • RobCr

    I wonder whether an article on LiveCD’s is desirable ?
    I tried the latest Ubuntu (9.1) as a liveCD, and it was good.
    However I lamented on –
    how it could not preserve your settings, data, etc.
    (If I am wrong, I would love to be told how ?)
    I then came across Puppy Linux, and it can retain stuff between sessions.
    Also it is extremely small, and can totally load into RAM. Which means you can remove the CD, and use the CD drawer for other things, during the session.
    I believe it is so cool (at retaining stuff), that many people always use it as a LiveCD.

  • Stephen M.D.

    Vista Home Premium.
    I also use alot Mandriva 2010. It is the distro that IMHO will soon replace Windows, only if Software developers will stop windows only behaviour and go cross-platform. Ubuntu (which I used in Past) and Suse (which I have never used) are very capable and may well accomplish that!

    Anyway one buddy haven’t said yet, that is Ashraf ;)

  • RonC

    @Ashraf: No problem now … the survey appeared.

  • RonC

    I’m not Chindu, but XP-Windows 2000 Pro drivers are generally compatible. The vast majority of applications with a few recent exceptions (e.g., Chrome) are compatible, as well. Win2K Pro is Windows 5.0; XP is 5.1, very close.

    I am also using Xandros, PCLinuxOS and Portable Ubuntu Remix (runs inside Windows). But, most of the time it’s Windows 2000 Professional. Yes, it’s stable and quick, but like all Microsoft OS’s I’ve ever used, (excluding MS/PC-DOS) it takes a _lot_ of TLC to keep it that way, without the annual reformat-reinstall that some do.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with doing that — it works — but I have Win2K Pro too highly customized to make that practical.

    @Ashraf: I can’t see the results of the OS survey. A big blank area forms below the survey questions after clicking to see it. This is with Xandros and Firefox, possibly 2.5?

    Reloading the browser does nothing to help. Can anyone duplicate this behavior?

  • Aesar

    I went directly from XP to 7 bypassing the Vista fiasco altogether. I decided to stick with 7 after running the beta build for almost a year, figuring out the twists and turns. XP was an excellent OS, but 7 seems to have overcome some of its limitations without too many issues. So far so good… but I must confess that 7 is only on my main pc. All the rest remain with XP.

  • Miriam

    Only 6 Mac OS users?

    I use a lot of XP just because it’s what I have installed on my computer at work.
    But since I bought my Mac I must say that I really like Mac OS X.
    I still need to try Windows 7 though…

  • Mags


    Just a point of interest re Win 2000, I have a friend who is MS Certified and runs his own Computer Sales and Service. His Win OS of choice is Win 2000!

    As for me I’m currently using Vista Premium. I’ve never used Win 2000, but did use Win 98SE for the longest time. Then finally upgraded to XP pro.

    Although Vista is my current OS, I will be getting a pc built for me around March/April (by my friend) which will be Win 7.

  • RobCr


    Your post is not very clear to me.
    Possibly because I don’t use Macs nor Linux.
    Are you saying that you would like to change over to them (Mac or Linux), but the lack of affordable magnifying software is preventing you ?
    If that is the case then my next suggestion is of no use to you.
    However if you use more than one PC, and you don’t want to be stabbed in the pocket by a charging rhinoceros, then this suggestion may help.
    I checked out your ZoomText, and it may be for the visually impaired, but it is NOT for the financially impaired.
    You could try (for your 2nd Windows PC), MagnifyingGlass Pro
    It costs $25 US
    I got mine free from GOTD
    I have it set to magnify the whole screen.
    You do not get any annoying box etc, it just magnifies the whole screen. (MS should have built that into Windows).
    I press Ctrl and the Windows key, and my screen is magnified. I move the mouse N S E or West to see other parts of the screen.
    I press Ctrl and Windows key again to revert to normal.

    If you have any visually impaired friends (or old fools like me), who are not rolling in money, pass on my suggestion.

  • I’d like to use a mac or linus but my screen reader/ magnifier ( zoomtext 9.18.6) and there is no way I can afford to try anything else (oklahoma doesn’t help the impaired very good). I’m off to see what the latest WoW patch broke (I love addon they make it where I can play =) )

  • Someone

    Nothing beats open source. Period.

  • TheWebmaster

    I have two computers, one with XP, and one with Vista. I tend to use the XP computer more, and I could get 7 on to my Vista computer, I just haven’t go the time, so I voted XP.

  • Ron

    Win XP Pro on 3 three machines; Win 7 Ultimate on one; WHS on the server; Linux on an old Duron box; Win98SE on an old PIII sled. The XP boxes are the most active at the moment, but that Win 7 machine’s staring to carve out a special place as I tweak it more and more.

  • RobCr


    You may be able to partition your laptop drive, and install XP into the 2nd partition ?
    That way you can boot into XP, to see the improvement (resources, speed, etc).
    I would bet body parts that the laptop will use less resources.
    However the main benefit, would be ensuring that XP (and you), can find all the required drivers.

    “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck Jim”
    I would back up your data Mr Phelps.

  • WobblyWombat

    I have XP(pro sp3) on the desktop and Vista basic on a laptop. I dont have any major complaints about Vista, but a few minor annoyances and no great benefit has me thinking of putting XP on the laptop too.
    I’d also be curious to see what improvement the extra resources that Vista currently uses would make to the programs I actually want to run.

    As someone once said:”Vista is just XP in a tutu” :)

  • Jenny

    Have to admit that our secondary computer here is Win98SE. I’d love it to be WinXP but couldn’t afford the upgrade when it was still available in EnZed. BUT I have to say that I could fix most problems it had, and there were still some free or open source progs that were ideal for it including security.

  • Emrys

    I run two lap tops; one with XP SP3 and another with Linux openSUSE 11.2. Linux is mostly dependent on clouds as I can’t seem to load new software on it. Silly me…

  • RobCr

    Some web sites have the ability to record what OS visitors are using.
    Perhaps you could have a wee ticker, that we can peep at ?

  • haakon

    I wish I could post a list of “most used”.. XP- Linux Mint (now Mint-8)- Windows 7…. but using Win7 more and more….

  • calebstein

    OpenBSD is better

  • Jon

    Win7 64bit here. I never thought I’d leave WinXP Pro & still have a partition with that on it but very rarely do I ever need to go back to it. I even got my HP scanner working via the free Windows Virtual PC program. As time goes on more & more companies are fixing the compatibility issues of the few programs that have had issues with it. Most of the issues I’ve run across haven’t been with Win7 so much as they have with the 64bit OS (if I had used Vista or XP 64bit I would’ve had the same issues).

  • Pwnana

    7 just makes me cry its so amazing. And for whoever voted “other”, would you mind telling us what you use? O_o Is it Solaris or something?

    Why is the bar for “other” with 1 vote, shorter than all the ones with 0 votes?

    One last thing, isnt Mac OS technically a Unix distro?

  • kingpin

    win xp pro with sp2[32-bit]
    What do u think ashraf?

  • Ami

    i love my vista ultimate, its the ultimate.

  • Darthyoda

    Well, since I have 2 computer that I use it’s harder 2 answer. My laptop has xp and my desktop has 7. I’ll going to be trying 7 on the laptop when I get time, but since I use the laptop more I’ll have to answer with xp.

  • jumbi

    XP is still the king after a decade !!

    (I use many operating systems, but when I am called to install a new one, XP is my choice too)

    Eventuall, as time goes by, 7 will come to first rank but this doesn’t lower the proven value of XP anyway!

  • Rocky

    Vista Home

  • Doru

    The next question it must to be:
    -Who is the best browser for you?:-Google Chrome
    -Shrware Iron
    -Avant Browser,etc…
    -the best player?etc.

  • meanpt

    Vista home premium was preinstalled and have been in use. It’s better than XP, with much less hangs and crashes – in fact, a crash is a very rare thing in vista.

    Besides that, I have an internet vbox machine running with W7 starter edition, and a dozen of linux distros, from which a run most Xubuntu, the fastest buntu, Didn’t use Knoppix from the CD just because it’s been more difficult to adust to my keyboard and to install vbox guest additions.

  • RobCr


    I was working in the large Aust branch of a world brand company (hint they are also known for cell phones, but were mainly in the Telecommunications industry).
    They stuck with Win 2000 for a few years, after XP was released.
    ‘If it works why change it’.

    Do all programs that work in XP, work in 2000 ?
    How about drivers ?

  • Windows Vista Home Premium

  • Ashraf: “Indeed at my most recent job, it was very shocking to see that most of the computers in the building(s) were running Microsoft Windows 2000, even though – at the time – the Windows series was up to Vista.”

    Is it so hard for you to figure out why?

    “VERY SHOCKNG”, INDEED!! Well I’ve got news for you, Ashraf. I use Windows 2000 Professional; AND I LOVE IT! Of all Microsoft Operating Systems, Windows 2000 is THE BEST – very robust, very stable, very reliable, etc. And dare I say, Windows 2000 is a very smooth, and unintrusive, operating system. I guess You Did’t Know All That!!

    That’s Why, Ashraf, “…that most of the computers in the building(s) were running Microsoft Windows 2000, even though – at the time – the Windows series was up to Vista.”

    The women and the men behind those Windows 2000, understand TLC – the pricelessness of DEVOTION, BEAUTY, LOVE, FIDELITY, RELIABILITY. The secret behind UPS success!!!

    I rest my case.

  • Jeanjean

    Oups.. at once, immediatly after posting I receive another list and the possibility to vote ?????

  • Jeanjean

    I can’t vote !
    I don’t I see any place to vote, when others yes apparently!?
    Win XP Home

  • Ashraf

    @RobCr: Sure, I can look into it, although no promises.

  • RobCr


    If those with the pitchforks are the same ones who won’t ‘FORK OUT’ for paid content, then it serves them right.

    Perhaps you could place it just between the text box (where we type our Comment), and the ‘Submit your comment’ button ?
    That way any absent minded old fools, will remember to tick it ?

  • Ashraf

    @RobCr: If I made it checked by default, people would be at my door with pitchforks because of the spam they get after commenting.

  • Doru

    I use XP Prof SP3 32.Why?.Here in East life is not soo good(we don’t have to much money and we use second -hand in principal),Xp is now a mature and stable.Even if don’t have a brilliant design,is very practical(it make a good job for a lot of domain).It is enough for me,for xp are many soft free or from Gaotd that work very well,but not soo good for Vista or Windows 7.Soo for a moment(maybe some years) i will stay with XP because is the most acceptable solution for me and I’m content with this solution.In final where are the differences?Only in speed in design and high price,but i can solve the same problems with XP.I don’t need for a moment another s.o.

  • RobCr

    Forgot to tick the checkbox, below (the one that notifies me of subsequent user posts).
    Could you make it, so that the checkbox is ticked as a default ?

  • RobCr

    I like to call the ‘early adopters’ ‘trail blazers’.

    In the Old Wild West, do you know how you recognized a ‘trail blazer’ ?
    He was the one with all of the arrows sticking out of him.

    My will states that XP has to be buried with me, just in case I come back.

    To the Vista ‘trail blazers’, MS apologizes, and wishes to give you a free copy of Windows 7 (less arrows).

  • What are we here, a whole bunch of early adopters? So far Windows 7 is the most popular.

  • Helmer

    I used XP for a long time after the Vista release, never really liked that OS. But after the service pack releases i started with Vista x64 and tweaked it to my likings. After that i went directly to Se7en x64 and i like that one VERY much!

  • Ashraf

    @RoseD1st: Not a bad idea at all.

  • RoseD1st

    Windows XP I wait a few years for Microsoft to work out the bugs.I saw too many friends in Vista misery