Hit: Windows 8.1
As a (free!) follow-up to Windows 8, Windows 8.1 is simply superb. Chock-full of killer additions, new apps, numerous surprises, and yes, a more desktop-friendly mentality, Windows 8.1 is in many ways the operating system that Windows 8 wanted to be.
But here's the thing: At its core, Windows 8.1 is still Windows 8, just a far more refined version of it, and the Live-Tile ideal hasn't proved as compelling as Microsoft would have hoped. PC sales are still cratering, and Windows tablets have barely made a dent.
Even so, we're going to give Windows 8.1 a thumbs-up.