Cheap Windows, pirate confessions, slim iTunes: my 2010 top 10

Summary:With the help of Google Analytics, I went back through all the posts I published here in 2010 to see which ones had the highest readership. It's a fascinating and ultimately useful exercise, one that helps me get a better handle on what you want to read. So what were you reading about in 2010? Here's the top-10 list.

What did we do before web analytics? I'm not sure, but I know it was a lot harder to write posts like this one back in those dark days.

With the help of Google Analytics, I went back through all the posts I published here in 2010 to see which ones had the highest readership. It's a fascinating and ultimately useful exercise, one that helps me get a better handle on what you care about the most when it comes to Microsoft, Windows, and the PC ecosystem.

And in the spirit of the season, I offer a big thanks to all my readers for your support and your great feedback throughout the year.

#1 (tie): Confessions of a Windows 7 pirate and Seven perfectly legal ways to get Windows 7 cheap (or even free)

It's fitting, I suppose, that these two posts ended up in a tie for most read post of the year. They both cover the same ground: how to get Windows 7 cheap, or even free—with or without the cooperation of Microsoft. It was eye-opening to look at the inner workings of these pirate tools and satisfying to discover some legitimate ways to help you avoid overpaying for an OS upgrade.

#3: Internet Explorer 9 beta review: Microsoft reinvents the browser

I've been using the IE9 beta full time since I wrote this review. I still like it but have a list of issues that need to be fixed in the final release. I'll be taking a very close look at the release candidate when it comes out next month.

#4: The unofficial guide to installing iTunes 10 without bloatware

Everyone hates iTunes. Even people who love Apple hardware throw up their hands in despair when they have to deal with iTunes. This is an update to one of the most popular posts I've ever published.

#5: Windows Activation Technologies: an unauthorized inside look

This was the follow-up piece to the #1-rated piracy post. If you have vague suspicions about Microsoft's activation technology, thiis is a must-read.

#6: The ultimate 'God Mode' list: 39 secret Windows 7 shortcuts

Everyone loves a good undocumented Windows trick. My follow-up post, 94 more secret Windows shortcuts, barely missed a spot of its own in the top 10.

#7: Switching from PC to Mac and back: three lessons learned so far

Surprisingly, Apple fanboys didn't charbroil me for this post. (And yes, I'm still running a Windows PC and a Mac side by side on my desktop. The four-monitor setup never fails to elicit raised eyebrows from visiting geeks.)

#8: What Microsoft won't tell you about Windows 7 licensing

It's bad enough that Microsoft's licensing policies are so byzantine. It's even worse that you practically need a law degree to figure out what you can and can't legally do under the terms of the various Windows 7 licenses.

#9: Microsoft vs. Apple: Who's winning? The numbers don't lie

The rapidly accelerating decline of Windows XP is matched by the eye-catching growth of Apple's iOS.

#10: Office 2010: A deeper dive

"Office 2010 is a surprisingly deep, thoughtfully designed, well-engineered collection of software programs. The more I dig, the more I like the small but useful touches that the Office design team has wrought."

Topics: Apple, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

About

Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications. He has served as editor of the U.S. edition of PC Computing and managing editor of PC World; both publications had monthly paid circulation in excess of 1 million during his tenure. He is the a... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.