Everybody knows how big, rich and influential IBM is. It has the power to shape just about any segment of the global IT industry and it has done just that at one time or another. Everybody knows something about IBM and many people believe they know a lot about it. But that didnt keep swarms of people from clicking on this slide show that gave background facts about IBM’s business and history. Granted, a lot of those mouse clicks probably came from legions of IBMers who wanted to know if we knew something about their company that they didnt. But whoever they are, they kept clicking for weeks and weeks. Nearly six months later, they were still clicking.
It seemed that 2009 was the year of the application store. Major developers of mobile and Web applications such as Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Research In Motion and Google grew so envious of Apple’s success with its App Store that they made plans to open their own retail stores, virtual as well as physical. Our readers were so excited by the news in February that Microsoft was planning to open a retail store that huge numbers clicked on eWEEK’s tongue-in-cheek mockup of what such a store might look like. Whether the real Microsoft stores now in existence will achieve continuing popularity is another question.
Who would have thought that there would be plenty of programming language mavens who were still interested in learning about the origins and 50-year history of COBOL? But this slide show proved to be the third-most popular feature on our top 10 list, demonstrating once again that this venerable language has plenty of users and advocates in the IT industry. No doubt many of those viewers were of a new generation of programmers wanting to learn more about COBOL.
Many Facebook users have been tagged by the “25 Things About Me” meme. A few years ago, a similar “five things” tagging movement circulated through the blogosphere. Even at eWEEK the editors would tag Microsoft if we realistically expected a response. However, we did our own research to list 25 factoids that you likely didn’t know about Microsoft. It proved to be nearly as popular as our IBM fun-facts slide show.
Our readers showed that the market battle between Windows and open-source Linux continues unabated. This eWEEK slide show examined how well popular Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSUSE stack up against Microsoft’s new flagship operating system, Windows 7. Labs analysts Jason Brooks and Andrew Garcia found that Windows 7 makes big strides with its new features, but that Linux is competitive on most counts.
For a long time, Microsoft had an aura of near-invincibility. Its huge success with Windows, its desktop productivity applications, database software and a host of other products made Microsoft the biggest and richest pure-play software company on the planet. But people forget that Microsoft has had plenty of flops and failures that sent it back to the development labs. As Microsoft retooled its corporate strategy over the past year it decided to ax many of its applications that were not great successes. Some of them were longtime staples such as Encarta and Money Plus. Other products, including Soapbox, were rolled out as competitors to offerings from other companies but never found traction in the marketplace. Still others underwent a rebranding, a la Bing, in an attempt to get a fresh start. This eWEEK slide show proved popular with readers who wanted to reflect on the fate of some familiar Microsoft applications and products and find out whether a few others—such as the Zune—may not be long for this world.
People who read eWEEK are generally fascinated with any kind of electronic gadget, whether it is a new smartphone design, the motherboard components of the latest PC model or even the inner workings of the current generation of hard disk drives that pack huge amounts of data into an incredibly tiny space. Some of our readers are hardy veterans of the day when hard disk drives were the size of kitchen refrigerators and held at most a few paltry megabytes of data. Therefore it was no surprise to us that our readers enjoyed our September slide show illustrating the evolutionary history of hard drives from the 1950s to the current day.
Windows 7 was easily the most anticipated software product launch of 2009. People who bypassed Windows Vista and stuck to Windows XP were looking for assurance that it was safe to upgrade. Enterprises as well as consumers were looking for an excuse to upgrade outdated PC hardware even in the face of a deep recession that kept corporate IT and family budgets tight. But prospective Windows 7 customers wanted to know which of the latest applications were best for Windows 7. That brought them flocking to view this slide show that presented 10 of the best available applications for Windows 7.
Open-source advocates are not just interested in the performance of the various Linux distributions in comparison with Windows. They also want to know how they measure up in relation to each other. That’s why this eWEEK Labs slide show comparing the latest version of OpenSUSE with the current versions of Canonical’s Ubuntu and Red Hat’s Fedora Linux drew enough reader traffic to make it into our top 10 list.
As the current prolonged recession took a stronger hold on the IT industry in 2009, anyone with an IT job description was paying close attention to the effect the slump was having on IT hiring and salaries. In its annual salary guide, Robert Half Technology outlines in great detail the changes to 70 job titles and compares 2009 with the coming year. This late November eWEEK slide show presented a list of those job IT titles most affected by declining wages by national average. Despite its late appearance, it didn’t take long for this slide show to become one of the most widely viewed features of the year.