Google's comparative searches often make for interesting reading, and a Reddit user noticed that it could be used to monitor user opinion of different versions of Windows. The method is a little crude, and far from scientific, but it is interesting nonetheless. Click this link and you'll be taken to a page that shows you searches that have been performed relating to Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Or, more specifically, it shows searches that have been performed where searchers have appended the word "sucks" to different versions of Windows. Taking things further, Google Trends then plots the results on a handy graph making it easy to see how popular particular search terms have been.
It should perhaps come as no surprise that there are people using the search phrases "Windows XP sucks", "Windows 8 sucks", and so forth, and at first glance it would appear that each version of Windows has suffered at the hands of mean-spirited searches. It appears that each version suffers a peak of hatred which gradually trails off over a period of months and years.
Each version suffers a peak of hatred which gradually trails off
Windows XP, for instance, was accused of sucking all the way back in 2004, but there was then a steady decline in "Windows XP sucks" searches to the point that there are hardly any being conducted now. The reason for the trail-off could be indicative of people becoming used to Windows XP -- after all, there seem to be endless streams of people keen to continue using it -- but it could equally be down to the fact that the operating system is of less interest now and fewer XP-related searches are being conducted.
Vista searches followed a fairly similar trend -- although there are a few extra spikes -- ultimately trailing off just like XP. In the case of Windows 7, the story is still much the same, but things are a little different when it comes to Windows 8. This particular version of Windows found itself on the receiving end of the most hate, being the subject of a greater number of "Windows xx sucks" searches than any other.
More searches relating to Windows 8 sucking are being performed
But the trail-off of "suck" searches is much slower; more searches relating to Windows 8 sucking are being performed. Obviously, it is still fairly early days for Windows 8 and 8.1, but the dislike levels do seem to be staying higher for longer -- time will tell how things pan out.
Is the shallower dropping off of sucking a sign that Windows 8 is the least liked version of Windows Microsoft has produced? This is hard to say with any confidence, as Google Trends does not provide concrete figures that could be relied up in court, but it's clear that every single version of Windows is met with animosity that gradually fades. Windows 8 may be on people's hate list at the moment, but the same was true for all of its predecessors -- it just goes to show how resistant to change people are.
It looks as though Windows 8 is proving far more antagonizing than previous versions of the OS, but the difference isn't so marked as to be worrying. If anything, the graphs show just how fickle computer users can be -- what's hated today could be loved tomorrow.
How does your experience with Windows 8 compare to older versions?