Apple comes out on top again when it comes to user satisfaction, but Microsoft’s Windows 10 is showing a big improvement, according to a new report from Chicago-based user reviews site G2 Crowd.

The report examines both desktop and mobile operating systems. Based on more than 600 operating system reviews, the Winter 2016 Operating Systems Report ranked two versions of Apple’s OS X, three versions of Microsoft Windows, three versions of Linux and, for smartphones, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS mobile operating systems, according to their overall satisfaction scores.

Among its conclusions: Apple Inc. has much to be proud of, with iOS and El Capitan receiving the highest scores of 86 and 87, respectively, while Linux developers have a great deal of room for improvement – the platform’s CentOS received a score of 26, the lowest mark of the 11 operating systems surveyed. Even Ubuntu, the highest-scoring Linux OS, received a score of 67.

Meanwhile, Microsoft Corp. can be as proud of Windows 10, which received a score of 87, as it is perhaps humbled by Windows 8, which came in second-last with a score of 42.

Satisfaction and market presence

The report’s satisfaction ratings were based on a snapshot of user reviews and social data collected by G2 Crowd up to Jan. 20, with each product requiring at least 10 reviews in order to be included.

As for why certain operating systems were ranked more highly than others, G2 said the main reason for poor ratings across the board were system crashes, with stable operating systems more likely to receive higher ratings – in other words, it sounds like Apple has overcome the initial problems that plagued El Capitan.

Another pattern G2 found was that reviewers did not always appreciate developers making significant changes to their operating systems during upgrades – especially when those changes tinkered with a program’s interface, as Windows 8 did when compared with Windows 7.

That said, the company noted that developers themselves seem to prefer highly customizable operating systems such as Android, for both their desktops and mobile devices.

It should also be noted that some products were more widely reviewed than others, with Windows 8’s score based on 59 reviews, while none of the Linux products except Ubuntu had more than 21.

Apple, Microsoft, and Google’s operating systems were all reviewed by more than 50 users, with the highest number reviewing Windows 7 (83 reviewers, who gave it an average rating of 66), Android (83 reviewers giving it an average rating of 84), and iOS (106 reviewers).

Number of reviews

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  • gisabun

    A bit misleading since Apple users are in love with their iGadgets. They would never say anything bad.
    In addition, if this same survey was released right after El Capitan was release, El Capitan wouldn’t be so popular. Major upgrade issues occurred. Hasn’t been stable until 10.11.2.

    • It wasn’t a survey conducted at a specific time, it’s an ongoing collection of user reviews that can be made to this site at any time.

  • tricksie

    Talk about a skewed article title: highlight the bad about Microsoft, but pump up Apple. Windows 10 is also ranked #1, tied with X El Capitan, but let’s ignore that fact.

    Too bad Microsoft didn’t just take XP, update the internals, then add the touch interface on top. It would have scored higher than Windows 10. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.