Windows admins' top 5 hits of 2011

Windows irritations, Windows 7 tools, Windows 8, Hyper-V, and VDI all got readers' attention -- and reactions

To see out 2011 properly, I thought it'd be best to take a look back at the Enterprise Windows columns that continue to draw in readers. These are both fan favorites and my personal favorites. 

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1. " How to fix 5 persistent Windows irritations " This was a fun one to write because I actually fixed my wife's computer in the process. She was having a problem getting a network connection each day, and I knew it would take me a minute to figure out why. But I never took the time until finally I fixed the wireless connection by deselecting the "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" option. That did the trick. It made for a fun story, and I included it as a cartoon (shown at left) in my new book " Conversational Geek (in 7 Days!) ."

This was a fun one to write because I actually fixed my wife's computer in the process. She was having a problem getting a network connection each day, and I knew it would take me a minute to figure out why. But I never took the time until finally I fixed the wireless connection by deselecting the "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power" option. That did the trick. It made for a fun story, and I included it as a cartoon (shown at left) in my new book "Conversational Geek (in 7 Days!)."

[ Windows 8 is coming, and InfoWorld can help you get ready with the Windows 8 Deep Dive PDF special report, which explains Microsoft's bold new direction for Windows, the new Metro interface for tablet and desktop apps, the transition from Windows 7, and more. | Stay abreast of key Microsoft technologies in our Technology: Microsoft newsletter. ]

2. "Eight free Windows 7 tools you gotta try" and "5 more free tools for Windows 7 you have to try"

I love writing about Windows 7. Did you know that my first column for InfoWorld was about Windows Vista? (It was "Save XP? Why bother?") If you check it out, you'll see that the comments are gone -- lost when InfoWorld changed its commenting tool. I'm glad because some IT admins needed their mouths washed out with soap! I didn't know if I was thick-skinned enough to be a journalist who says nice things about Microsoft. From those comments, it seemed that liking something Microsoft did might get me beat up. But with Windows 7, I don't get four-letter words hurled my way, and I'm hoping Windows 8 can maintain the positive momentum.

3. "VDI is often expensive to deploy -- but doesn't have to be"

In this post, I was able to go through the many pieces of a VDI infrastructure and talk openly about the fact that it is money pit for some, with little ROI. Hey, it's the truth! The return depends on the motive for deployment: If you know what you are getting into, you will see immediate return in the sense that your problem will be resolved. Otherwise, you could find yourself spending much more than you imagined with little return. I likened it recently at a TechMentor conference speech to my Keurig coffeemaker: The coffee is more expensive, but it saves me time and I have no clean-up. That is my ROI.

4. "Hands-on: What's good and bad about Windows 8"

This post garnered a lot of comments -- not just one-liners, but long comments (paragraphs and paragraphs of opinion and back-and-forth debate). I was surprised because for what we know right now, there isn't much to argue about. Windows 8 is built from Windows 7, with the Metro UI added for the tablet world. Will it be popular? Will consumers love it? Will it put up a fight against iPhones and Android devices? All of that will be answered in the coming year.

5. "Why Hyper-V in Windows 8 Server could finally beat VMware"

It's always fun to have a catchy title that gets people's blood boiling. The VMware clan got all jacked up over this one. Look, we all know that EMC VMware has had more time in the virtualization game and has a lock on the market with regard to features. But price is a big deal in this economy, and Microsoft's Hyper-V can match most of VMware's features at a lower cost. With Windows Server 8, we could see a real turnover from VMware to Hyper-V.

One column that is not in this list (because it is from 2009, not 2011) is one of my most-read columns ever, "Don't upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 until you read this," which continues to draw in thousands of hits every month. Check it out when you have a chance.

This article, "Windows admins' top 5 hits of 2011," 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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