Flame wars! The hottest Microsoft topics of 2013

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

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5. "Could Surface RT 2 be the Windows tablet we've been waiting for?" had 40 comments that shocked me primarily because most of the notes expressed how much the readers loved their RT tablets, which had flopped big time in the market. As an RT user myself (I have both the first and second versions of the Surface RT tablet), I understand what they love about it. At the same time, there were valid comments about the need for more apps, better battery life, and so on. One reader said, "Despite its minuscule market share, it's a productive and useful device for those of us who use it." He also went on to ask the critics, "Is it just possible the naysayers are a very noisy clutch of trolls who simply don't like anything Microsoft does?" -- that one made me chuckle.

6. "There's no free lunch -- but there could be a 'free' Windows" garnered 30 comments on the possibility of a "free" Windows (which simply means the price is baked in, as it is currently with new PCs). The one that caught my attention said, "Do you want 'free' software or 'open' hardware? Choose one. It's very unlikely that you'll get both."

7. "Resistance is futile -- you will use PowerShell" got 29 comments, with some real frustration from admins. This post focused on the continued push by Microsoft to use PowerShell to accomplish server-side tasks without a GUI alternative, and why folks need to embrace that shift. However, the comments pushed back on the idea. One funny (but solid) point: "This is 'Windows,' right? I mean, should they start calling it 'PowerShell Server 2013'? The whole point of Windows being so successful was that is broke away from the traditional command-line grind. Now they are ditching the GUI and telling everyone to use the command line?" Hard to argue with that, but I stand my ground that the modern IT admin should at least become acquainted with PowerShell. Don't shoot the messenger.

8. "Microsoft brand loyalty does not mean brand blindness" pulled in 26 comments that mostly took aim at me for what they called my excessive "fanboy" attitude toward Microsoft. The purpose of the post was to stress a need to break with technoreligious convictions and choose the right tool for the task, so I was surprised that the commenters didn't quite see that point clearly.

9. "Solving the mystery of Windows 8.1's missing features" got 17 comments that seemed to focus more on the Windows 8.1 UI frustrations than on my points in the post. My goal was to help you find what happened to features from Windows 8 (or earlier) that are either hidden or removed. But the comments are mostly venting rants.

10. "It's time to give Bing the respect it deserves" surprised me by getting only 16 comments. I would've expected 100 angry responses, but I think the mild reaction shows Bing has indeed been improving in the eyes of readers, so there wasn't much to argue. Nevertheless, there were still a few good zingers in the mix. Here was one of my favorites: "I assert that we have been giving Bing the 'respect it deserves'! Thus the lack of popularity for this poor, me-too excuse to try to compete with Google."

There you have it for 2013! I like it when readers are so passionate about a subject that they weigh in, whether with me or against me. And remember, Microsoft employees also read these columns and your comments. You never know when Microsoft may take one of your arguments to heart and create a change in the product.

This story, "Flame wars! The hottest Microsoft topics of 2013," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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