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We have OS tags that are version agnostic, such as and .

We also have tags that are version specific, such as and .

Our policy has been to use the version agnostic tags except when a piece of software requires functionality specific to a particular version of an OS. For example, a text editor will likely run on any version of Windows, but a context menu editor may be specific to a particular version of Windows.

Are we all on-board with this use of tags, or is it time to reconsider the policy?

Important to the discussion is to focus on why tags are important, and how they are used by our community.

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    I like the current use - if I want to see all the questions asking for things on Windows, I can search for "[windows] or [windows*]". Still, this is a good thing to think about. – Undo Sep 27 '15 at 17:13
  • I think I like the current use as well. I noticed many tags do not match that policy. I've been in the process of retagging scores of posts, but there was one rollback. That rollback made me realize the value of opening a discussion to evaluate whether or not the current policy is wise and in the community's best interest. – RockPaperLizard Sep 27 '15 at 19:47
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I think this is something we should definitely reconsider. I've been on Windows my entire life (I really hate change) and with Windows version specific software, there aren't that many that exist. Software for Windows usually depends on if you're using Windows XP specifically Service Pack 3 or later.

Unless a software is really specific (like this one: Tool to remove upgrade to Windows 10 prompt which ironically is just using the tag) - it doesn't matter. I haven't really come across any software that was compatible with one version of windows and not another (like at my school, their running on some PCs Windows XP and others Windows 7 while at home I'm running Windows 10. I use PortableApps & Cameyo and I have not seen one program that hasn't been compatible on any one of the three yet).

I think version specific tags are in a way useless and might add confusion to duplicate questions, ie. if I ask for a text editor that runs on XP and another person wants a text editor that runs on Vista, what's preventing from asking virtually the same question twice? And there going to get the same answers too.

Again, this is something I have quite a bit of experience in and I believe that they're not needed. What I propose is we remove of all version specific tags for Windows and replace them with the just the tag. I then think we should also add the requirement, "this software must be compatible with Windows X" in the body of the question.

  • +1 for removing the version-specific Windows tags (currently windows-7, windows-8, windows-10, windows-xp, right?). -- But I wonder if this discussion (which seems to be about how version-specific tags should be used) is the correct place … I think it might be better to create a separate discussion asking if these Windows tag can be removed/synonymized -- should lead to more eyes. – unor Apr 16 '16 at 16:25
  • @unor Yes, those are all the windows tags I've seen (can't even find Vista). Excellent point, do you think this place is the right discussion? I just want to make sure I don't ask a duplicate question. – Tom Apr 16 '16 at 16:30
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    I’d say a new discussion is warranted (e.g., "Remove version-specific Windows tags?"), referencing this and the other related discussions, and giving your answer from here there, too. But might want to ask our mods first ;) – unor Apr 16 '16 at 16:41
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    @unor I've started one here, meta.softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/q/2514/133 – Tom Apr 18 '16 at 22:11
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Regarding when to use version-specific OS tags, I can see advantages for both ways (if an OS version-specific feature is required vs. if the author simply uses this OS version), but for the sake of this discussion, I’m trying to defend the latter one (although I don’t feel strongly about this; from my point of view, we could even get rid of the version-specific OS tags).


In my opinion, the author shouldn’t have to decide if a particular category of software would typically support multiple Windows version. (And while I’m not a Windows user, I’m sure there are always exceptions, for example, a text editor that doesn’t run on all versions.)

So if running Windows 7 and looking for a specific software for this OS, the question should be tagged with , even though all to be recommended solutions might probably also work for other Windows versions.

This would be in line with a simple tagging guideline like: Use the most specific tag available. (i.e., instead of ; and instead of )

If you, as an author, know/guess that software of a particular category typically runs on all Windows versions, and/or you want to broaden the question, and/or you really need it for various versions, you are of course free to just state that you look for something "… for Windows" and tag with .

Example questions

  • "I need a text editor for Windows 7"

  • I need a text editor for Windows 7 or later"

  • "I need a text editor for Windows 7 or Windows 8"

  • "I need a text editor for Windows 7 and Windows 8"

  • "I need a text editor for Windows"

  • I'm not entirely following this, unor: what makes "I need a text editor for Windows 7" different from "I need a text editor for Windows"? The latter will fit the former as well, as it will fit all the other candidates. One should of course include the "target version" in the question's body, as there might be text editors requiring a minimum Windows version (or stop working on another). – Izzy Apr 16 '16 at 15:34
  • @Izzy: Not sure I understand what you mean … I’m totally in favor of getting rid of the version-specific Windows tags, in which case all questions would be tagged with windows (for the core Windows family, i.e., not the mobile variant etc.). But if we keep having them, I think they should be used like described for the mentioned reasons: authors should use the most-specific tag available / authors should not need the knowledge to decide which software typically runs on all versions. – unor Apr 16 '16 at 15:46
  • That's what your first paragraph says. The second rather reads like "don't bother users with the choice but let them pick what they find suiting". IMHO, if we really have to stick with those version tags they should be used only if the requested software is specific to that version and wouldn't make sense on any other (e.g. addressing a specific feature only available there). Maybe your "text editor" was just a "bad example"? // We've got too many Qs on this topic already, see How specific should the OS tag be? ;) – Izzy Apr 16 '16 at 15:54
  • @Izzy: But how should a user be able to decide this? An author uses Windows 7, comes here to ask for a software recommendation, wants to add tags and finds "windows" as well as "windows-7" -- according to all good tagging rules, "windows-7" should be chosen here. But let’s assume this specific authors reads the tag excerpt … how many authors have the knowledge to decide if their request is specific to Windows 7? If it’s important to represent Windows-specific integration in tags, feature-tags could be created instead (e.g., "windows-metro" or whatever makes sense for Windows). – unor Apr 16 '16 at 16:15
  • OP should then use windows and specify details with the question body I'd say. And so we're back at "we don't need those extra tags" ;) – Izzy Apr 16 '16 at 16:17

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