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If you thought Windows 8 was bad, here are 6 operating systems that failed miserably

Over the years, we’ve used tons of different operating systems that have allowed us to get work done in a more efficient manner. But not every operating system that gets released is worthy of praise; many versions were buggy, slow, sluggish, and bloated to the point of embarrassment.

You might be able to think of one or two OSes off the top of your head that have given you headaches over the years, but there have actually been a handful of operating systems that just didn’t cut it – a few of which may surprise you. Here are some of the biggest OS blunders that you may remember, dating back all the way to the beginning of the GUI.

Windows 1.0 – 1985

Windows 1.0 was Microsoft’s first crack at a graphical user interface, and it went pretty badly. The company ended up abandoning the first beta version before eventually launching a buggy Windows 1.01 to the public.

Windows 1.0
Image used with permission by copyright holder

MS-DOS 4.0 – 1988

MS-DOS was an excellent OS for its time, but Microsoft kept working on it and fixed what wasn’t broken. The company released MS-DOS 4.0 to replace version 3.3, but users quickly reverted back after programs kept crashing and computers kept freezing, thanks to poorly-coded memory addressing.

MS-DOS 4.0
Image used with permission by copyright holder

JavaOS – 1996

Sun and IBM teamed up to create JavaOS for use with embedded systems, but it was a pretty bad idea from the start. The Java language was pretty sluggish to begin with back then, and development of the OS ended abruptly after just three years. However, open-source developers kept it going with other Java-based OSes like Jnode (pictured below) and JX.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Windows ME – 2000

After Windows 2000 was released, Microsoft felt compelled – for some reason – to release another Windows version later that same year, called Windows ME (Millennium Edition). However, it ended up being buggy, slow, and unstable. It was so bad that Microsoft only sold it for a year before pulling the plug.

Windows ME
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Lindows – 2001

It seemed like a genius idea: a Linux OS that could run Windows apps. It sounded great on paper, but it turned out to be a disaster – only lasting a few months before the project was abandoned. To add insult to injury, Lindows was sued by Microsoft because the company claimed the name violated the Windows trademark. The Redmond-based company ended up buying the Lindows name.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Windows Vista – 2006

Microsoft’s latest flop was Windows Vista, and it’s sometimes humorously known as the second version of Windows ME. Vista was the first OS to implement the same desktop UI design that Windows uses today. However, Vista ended up being extremely slow and sluggish, with numerous hardware compatibility issues, forcing many users to downgrade back to the safe haven that was Windows XP, until Windows 7 came along.

Windows Vista
Image used with permission by copyright holder

That’s our list of operating systems that we could’ve lived without. Do you have any others to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

Editors' Recommendations

Craig Lloyd
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Craig Lloyd is a freelance writer who's been writing and blogging since 2008. His love for technology goes back even further…
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