PC World's 30 Most Popular Stories of 2007 : New gizmos, Gadgets gazette Blog

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

PC World's 30 Most Popular Stories of 2007

Twelve months. Thousands of articles, slide shows, videos, downloads, and more. Millions of visitors perusing billions of words and images. There's a surging sea of content on PCWorld.com, and over the course of a year, all of it gets read--but only a few items qualify as true smash hits.

Herewith, our megablockbusters for 2007, from practical advice to pure entertainment.

1. The Strangest Sights in Google Earth: A digital travelogue? On PCWorld.com? We'd never done one before, but when Senior Reporter Tom Spring told us that you can spot elephants, crop circles, and corporate logos in Google's mapping program, it sounded like a lot of fun. What we didn't know was that Tom's slide show would go on to be the single most-read feature ever on PCWorld.com.

2. The 20 Worst Windows Features of All Time: Fact one: The vast majority of PC World readers use Microsoft's operating system. Fact two: Virtually none of them love it unconditionally. Those two truths inspired us to compile this illustrated history of two decades of Windows nuisances, from the mild (Windows Movie Maker) to the monstrous (Messenger Service, which let hackers reboot your PC by remote control).

3. The 10 Worst PCs of All Time: Some of them were surprisingly popular, like the VIC-20. Others made no mark in the computing universe, like the New Internet Computer. But these ten machines had one thing in common: In one way or another--usually in multiple ways--they gave the PC a bad name.

4. The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time: Talk about an article that just won't say die--we published Dan Tynan's list of losers back in May 2006, and it has remained wildly popular ever since.

5. The 100 Best Products of 2007: Once again, we decided to rank the 100 best products of the year, gathering winners from an array of categories. Once again, we did it midyear, for reasons too complicated to explain. Once again, we named the Product of the Year (it's an office suite, and it doesn't hail from Redmond). And once again, the story was a monster hit.

6. The Most Notable Notebooks of 2007: We thought people would like this slide-show retrospective of the most interesting laptops we'd tested as of September, and they did. But we never guessed that one factoid--that the MacBook Pro ran Vista faster than any other machine we'd benchmarked at the time--would inspire an Apple TV commercial.

7. The 50 Best Tech Products of All Time: Okay, by "all time" we meant "since the dawn of the PC revolution." (If we hadn't set limits, we would have needed to consider the bicycle, the ball-peen hammer, and fire.) Our choices led off with the browser that was once synonymous with the World Wide Web. (Meanwhile, we asked readers to vote on our picks, and iD Software's Doom was a runaway winner as the best tech product ever.)

8. Laptop reviews: If you could visit the PC World Test Center, you'd see a bevy of notebooks undergoing objective testing with our WorldBench benchmark and other methodologies. That's because thousands of people come to PCWorld.com every day for advice on which portables to purchase.

9. 101 Fantastic Freebies: Back in the 1990s, our cover stories on the year's best stuff were top sellers at newsstands everywhere. Actually, they still are--and today, our annual freebie roundup is also a smash online.

10. The 20 Most Annoying Tech Products: We asked readers to vote on the products that had irritated them the most over the years. The top vote-getter was an object that was round, silver, and free--and for a while in the 1990s, it seemed prone to Tribble-like multiplication.
Downloads, TVs, Cameras, and More

11. 15 Great, Free Security Programs: If you have Windows computer, you have security headaches to worry about. For this download extravaganza, we focused on ways to ward off spyware, viruses, and hackers without spending a nickel.

12. 15 Great Free Utilities You've Never Heard Of: If you've read all the way to this point in this list of our hits, you know that people love to come to PC World to learn about useful free software. This story is yet more evidence of that.

13. How to Buy a Flat-Screen TV: In the market for an HDTV? You have company--lots and lots of it. Our guide to the products, technologies, and specs is an essential resource, all year long.

14. Top 10 Compact Cameras: Cameras have been a hot topic for PCW since the dawn of digital photography, but as our reviews show, you've never been able to get so much camera in such a small case for so little money.

15. Cell phone reviews: Computers may look more and more alike these days, but wireless phones are anything but a commodity And we're thankful that we haven't had to change our name to Phone World to become a popular source of information on them.

16. The 20 (Mostly Free) Downloads You Can't Do Without: Here's yet another collection of helpful downloads for customizing, troubleshooting, and speeding up Windows. We won't stop doing 'em until we run out of good picks, or the world loses interest--and we don't think either of those scenarios will play out anytime soon.

17. Great Free Files--20 Fantastic Open-Source Downloads: Some open-source apps are household names, like Firefox. But there's plenty of good stuff you might not know about, such as the utilities, multimedia tools, and other downloads in this feature.

18. Before They Spoiled the Software: With software, newer isn't always better--sometimes, it's slower, more annoying, and less intuitive. So we called out some examples of programs that have moved in the wrong direction over the years, and showed readers how to grab the older, sprightlier versions that made the applications popular in the first place.

19. Desktop reviews: Portable computers may be taking over the planet, but plenty of people are still shopping for solid desktop computers. No surprise, then, that they're still among the most popular review subjects on our site.

20. How to Buy a Laptop: If you go to Google and type the simple phrase "how to buy a laptop," the first link you see will take you to this buying guide. That's presumably one reason why the story is a year-round hit. Hatred! Ugliness! Stress!

21. 10 Things We Hate About Apple: Back in the spring, we decided to let off a little steam with two stories--one listing stuff we loved about Apple and its products, and the other listing our gripes. The latter article made the news in a way we never would have predicted.

22. The Ugliest Products in Tech History: Great industrial design has always been hard to find in the tech world. Terrible design, however, has always been plentiful. And hey, we even included an Apple product in our slide-show roundup of notable eyesores.

23. The Most Collectible PCs of All Time: Three decades into the PC revolution, the oldest and rarest computers aren't just curiosities, they're prized collectibles. Check out our slide show to see if you have a $10,000 relic stored away in your basement.

24. 19 Tools to Get the Junk Off Your PC: Applications you don't want. Files you don't need. Almost every PC is bloated with stuff that bogs down performance and fills up the hard drive, so we gathered tools for clearing out all the clutter.

25. 35 Things Every PC User Should Know: This compendium of useful tips on troubleshooting and other topics was the cover story of our March issue, which was a best seller. But the article's popularity has persisted far beyond the dead-tree version.

26. iPhone Stress Tests: On June 29, legions of gadget freaks waited in round-the-block lines to be among the first to get their hands on Apple's phone. We were there too--and we were probably the only buyers who promptly began trying to destroy our new toy. Our torture tests, starring Senior Associate Editor Eric Butterfield, became the most popular video we've ever created.

27. Top 10 External Hard Drives: No, they're not glamorous. But since every PC user needs at least one big USB-connected drive for backups, archiving, and other data-preservation purposes, the PCW Test Center and storage guru Melissa J. Perenson try out many of them over the course of the year.

28. Vista vs. Leopard--Battle of the New Features: When Apple's Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard operating system finally appeared in October, we compared and contrasted it with Windows Vista in this slide show.

29. Top 10 Inkjet Printers: Today's printers are one part printing press, one part photo processing station. Our lab-tested reviews are perennial favorites.

30. 14 Great Programs You Didn't Even Know You Needed: Here's yet another practical guide to practical software that found a big audience in 2007.

Source- http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20071219/tc_pcworld/140636;_ylt=AncrArvk5xu6a3GuPiwP7w0jtBAF

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