Flame wars! The hottest Microsoft topics of 2013

These 10 topics hit home for many readers, as their passionate responses show

I love getting comments. When I write opinionated posts for this blog, folks jump in with both feet and air their frustrations, with other commentors or with me. I always keep coming back to see what new sarcastic, and often rude, digs will be posted.

In 2013, the biggest generator of comments involved the Windows operating system, which has created an amazingly emotional debate ever since the release of Windows 8 in fall 2012.

[ Windows 8 left you blue? Then check out Windows Red, InfoWorld's plan to fix Microsoft's contested OS. | Microsoft's new direction, the touch interface for tablet and desktop apps, the transition from Windows 7 -- InfoWorld covers all this and more in the Windows 8 Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay atop key Microsoft technologies in our Technology: Microsoft newsletter. ]

Here are the 10 Enterprise Windows posts that generated the most heat and light in their comments:

1. "Windows 'Blue' will leave Microsoft customers seeing red" had 89 comments that focused on the frustration of feeling Microsoft simply wasn't listening to customer feedback. Suggestions called for a "legacy mode" so that Windows Desktop users could benefit from the security of Windows 8 without involving the touchscreen side, whether because their systems didn't have a touchscreen or if they simply preferred the Windows 7 look and feel.

2. "It's time to loosen your cold, dead grip on Windows XP" brought in 77 comments. Unlike my very first articles with InfoWorld, where I promoted Windows Vista over XP only to be beaten down by many angry IT pros (who needed their mouths washed out with soap), these comments told a new story. There were entire paragraphs written with incredibly lucid reasoning on why they preferred to stay with XP, while others explained in great detail the value of migrating. It was a true interchange of ideas, with only a sprinkling of, umm, colorful commentary.

3. "The battle for user choice in Windows 8.1" generated 77 comments that seemed to show a bit of a defeated spirit on the readers' part. Many said "just install Start8," while others battled back and forth about the UI frustration of Windows 8.1.

4. "Forget about Windows 'Blue' -- stay focused on Windows 7" got 60 comments. Even after the release of Windows 8.1, the heated comments on Windows 8's removal of familiar UI elements like the Start menu continued. In Windows 8.1, Microsoft added the Start button, which disappointed many people because it doesn't display a Start Menu, but carries off what the physical Start button already did: Get you back to the Start screen. "Thanks for nothing!" was the theme of most commenters. One funny comment: "You will never get your Start menu back, and your desktop will die ... get used to it!" Ironic, considering the rumors that the next version of Windows 8 will indeed have the Start menu, and future versions will allow Metro apps to pop up in windows on your desktop. We'll see how that plays out.

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