We took a look at what posts were most viewed this year, but we can't end the year without also highlighting one of the most important parts of Neowin, which is the community. As you may imagine, this means we put together the 10 front page news stories (plus the top software story) that had folks most eager to comment.
Giveaway posts aren't included – that’d be cheating -, nor are reviews, or editorials - which have their own separate post. With that out of the way, here are the 10 news stories which made you most eager to express an opinion:
At the beginning of June, Apple's 2019 Mac Pro was announced, leaning even more into the cheese grater aesthetic than the first generation back in 2006. Starting at $5,999 for the eight-core Xeon, 32GB RAM, Radeon Pro 580X, and a 256GB SSD, it would finally ship it in December. Alongside it, the $4,999 Pro Display XDR was announced, as well as the comically expensive $999 monitor stand.
Needless to say, neither the look nor the price comparison - or the price itself - were quite what some folks expected.
George P., said:
Yeah I call BS on that $8k price for a same spec'd PC. They got some funky math going I think.
Focusing more on the design, Astra.Xtreme said this:
I'm in the market for a new trash can and was looking forward to the new Mac Pro. So much for that though... I'm from WI, so I already have a cheese grater.
Some weren't that shocked with the price. MateerL for example thought it was comparable to Windows boxes:
Finally Apple bring something to give competition to Windows/Linux Workstations. Insane prices, but it's not too off from what equivalent custom machines would cost, question is the expansion/upgrade/repair options.
The highest and model would likely blow competition out of the water
At the beginning of November, Microsoft showed off its new logo for the Chromium-based Edge. Making use of the company's Fluent Design look, leveraging gradients and subtle shadows, it brought some much needed depth to browser's logo.
For one, this got Jazmac's succinct stamp of approval:
And daniel_rh was a fan too:
The fact they got rid of the "e" is surprising. Looking good.
Not so fast though, as other folks were not so impressed. S550 for instance thought it looked more like Firefox:
I actually see this as a step backwards. I have no problem with the current E, and this looks like its trying to be Firefox Quantum from 2017.
Nas picked up on the idea of surfing immediately, but was rather intrigued by the choice of colours:
It's a stylized lower-case "e" with emphasis on surfing a wave; that much is obvious. What's peculiar is the colors being used -- why those shades/pastels?
killahbabe thought this was anything but a good logo:
A random logo generator would spit out something like that in 3 seconds. WTF are they thinking? This is just another proof that designers in MS really don't know what they're doing. Holy crap, how low can you go, MS?
In September, Apple decided it was time for buyers of its smartphone to have more than a measly two lenses. As such it announced the triple-lens iPhone 11 Pro, which rather weirdly came in a colour called Midnight Green.
Human.Online was definitely swayed by the announcement:
I'm in. A worthy upgrade from my X
For some, the price wasn't quite right, with both mehta708 and shockz voicing their concern:
Everything looks good to me. I just wish they offered 128GB for $999 instead of 64GB.
64gb pro is 999. What a joke. It’s 2019. Why such a low storage point. Other than that though, this gives current gen pixel a run for its money in regards to cameras, which was the biggest shortcoming of current iPhones. Pretty tempting upgrade with the trade in price.
For the release of Office 2019, went a somewhat different route, by telling users not to buy it. This isn't because the company simply has too much money and doesn't know what to do with it. Nor is it because it's giving the newest version of Office for free. No.
The reason is no surprise, as the Redmond giant wants you to have an Office 365. It's not just because of the recurring pay, but also due to the fact that its subscription variant is faster - something underlined in a series of videos.
Some, like wingliston, wouldn't even need to buy 2019, as the version from 9 years ago works without a problem:
I wouldn't buy 2019 anyway. 2010 still works perfectly fine. I don't really need Office anymore anyways.
icwhatudidthere offered a translation of the marketing speak:
Microsoft wants you to rent Office 365 instead, because it's better revenue.
escobar_ was of the opinion that all this feature nonsense is of no use. What Office really needs is a new name - which Microsoft seems very fond of creating for its products:
Instead of focusing on trivial things such as implementing new features, bug fixes and stuff, how about renaming Microsoft Office and giving it entirely new, shiny name?
To kick off April, Microsoft took the wraps off the Chromium Edge previews to everybody. Edge Canary channels were the only ones available at the time, but nevertheless it was nice to have an official source after all the leaked builds and screenshots.
Folks like The_killer were eager to ditch Google Chrome:
Finally time has come to say goodbye to Google's version of Chrome.
Gornot did actually try the leaked builds, but the UI elements seemed a bit on the big side:
I've used the leaked build for a couple of days and I like it, but the UI scale is absolutely huge and takes up a lot of space, especially compared to the footprint of Vivaldi. I do not like that. I'll keep lurking for more news about possible UI changes but for now Vivaldi remains my default browser, unfortunately.
cork1958 was quite surprised by how good the new browser was:
Wow! Just installed this. Totally way better than "other" Edge browser just for the fact the bookmarks are usable and not all slopped together like they used to be after importing them. Hated the way imported bookmarks worked/looked previously.
Also, it was easy as heck to get a current version of ublock origin installed instead of that way out dated version in previous Edge.
Might actually use this version of the browser!
In May, Huawei was added to the U.S. Government's Entity List, which meant that the Chinese multinational would be unable to purchase parts or indeed interact with American suppliers unless explicit approval was given by the government. As a result of this, Google dropped Play Store and services support for Huawei devices, though existing handsets would remain unaffected.
Brandon H. wasn't a fan of the lack of evidence in regards to Huawei's wrongdoing:
Jesus ######. I hope Huawei continues with their lawsuit. The way they're being treated lately is complete crap when NO ONE is willing to provide any kind of evidence to back up they've done anything wrong...
They make good devices.
dontbeevil thought a Huawei phone sans Google wouldn't be that bad:
I'll be glad to buy a degoogled huawei phone out of the box
Also in May, Microsoft tried a less "my way or the highway" approach to sending out the May 2019 Update, by making it available for those who actually want it. Needless to say it was better received than its predecessor, given what happened with version 1809.
Max Norris had a pretty seamless experience:
Installed on my test system, so far (fingers crossed) working rather nicely. The new anti tamper thing will probably annoy some. Various apps and games I threw at it seem to be working perfectly.
Just waiting for the other shoe to drop, see who gets bricked this time.... On my stuff tho, looks like a winner for my Winders systems.
Xenon was taken aback by the sheer brilliance of the light theme:
The light theme is really...... light.
Others, like Jamushroom couldn't install it because of a driver issue, which as it turns out was related to BattlEye Anti-Cheat, as Malechai pointed out:
i cant update 1 computer because it says I have a driver or service preventing it. It doesn't tell me which one or what is the problem though. yay
[In response to Jamushroom]
figured it out. i removed this folder - c:\program files (x86)\common files\battleye
after that the upgrade worked
In March, we got our hands on a leaked Chromium Edge build, which we promptly showed off on video. As expected, it had a new UI, and a greater focus on Microsoft services, even if it was based on Chromium.
As far as shockz was concerned, there was no real reason to use Microsoft's implementation over Google's:
I see zero incentive to use this over chrome.
On the other hand, wotsit had a different issue with the browser, which was the fact that it lacked old Edge's "set tabs aside" feature. He decided to voice his dissatisfaction rather succinctly:
SET. TABS. ASIDE.
Jose_49 thought it was worth keeping in mind the impact on battery life, something which Microsoft was very much eager to highlight with old Edge:
My only concern with this move is battery life. Edge, being a UWP and tightly integrated into the OS, makes my battery life longer when browsing since it uses less CPU. I don't think this is going to be the case anymore
Joining number 4 and 5 on the list, from May, was Facebook's ban of Alex Jones and other right-wing figures. Jones, Yiannopolous, Farrakhan and Loomer were all banned from both the main network itself and Facebook-owned Instagram for affiliation with other folks that the Menlo Park firm deemed undesirable.
Jim K saw this as a good thing:
Oh well. They can go spread their hate and conspiratorial bull on MySpace.
Southern Patriot wasn't quite on the save wavelenght:
If you aren't somewhere left of center, Facebook doesn't want your opinions posted anymore.
Nogib had one of the more sensible approaches to the situation, stated as bluntly as can be:
It may not have made it to the top of our most viewed list, but our exclusive first look at the new Chromium Edge certainly got folks talking. Keep in mind that at the beginning of March, when this was posted, we didn't really know which way Microsoft would go in terms of design.
Anarkii thought the direction the company took was appropriate:
Looks very promising!
Atoquir knocked it for straying too much from the Fluent Design aesthetic that Microsoft introduced in old Edge:
Weird it totally doesn't fit the Windows 10 aesthetics.
Shame cause with every updates things got more cohesive.
But since this will be a multiplatform release I guess they are going for a more neutral branded look instead of fluent acrylic win10 style
Finally, seeprime was curious whether it would retain the smooth media playback of its predecessor:
I hope it plays video as smoothly as the current Edge does, and at 1080p. If it downgrades to 720p instead of full HD, I'll pass, as it will have no technical advantage over Chrome that I care about.
Why avast! Free Antivirus 19.1.2360? I'd like to say it's a mystery as old as the pyramids themselves, but really, people do have differing opinions. None however are quite as split as those towards an antivirus program.
GTR707 wasn't a fan of either this or CCleaner:
Posting this is as bad as posting any CCleaner updates. Lol
cork1958 echoed the sentiment, but there was a positive development, at least for avast!:
Even worse. It's as bad as posting updates to flash player, IMO.
I'd rather see some one using this at least, over nothing at all, if I know that person isn't to tech savvy.
bikeman25 however wasn't too convinced:
After extensive searching with Bing Search and Google, didn't see any info on reasons to NOT use Avast Free antivirus, so sticks with that for protection on all household systems
Been using Avast since June 2006, so yeah sticks with it and enjoys my gaming PC's performance as performance seems to be so much better with Avast vs Windows Defender
CCleaner maker Piriform was acquired in July of 2017 by Avast. Later that same year, the 32-bit version of it was compromised, hence the discussion above.
And with that, we put a bow on the most commented news stories and software releases of 2019. Big thanks for visiting, and even bigger thanks for choosing to engage with the content.
Have a great New Year!
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