The Top 10 stories that got the most reader response in 2017

Readers are the lifeblood of any site, and writing something that spurs your interest enough to make you comment or even debate the topic makes for a good community. With all the news that happened over the course of 2017, there were some stories that really caught your attention enough to spur you to the forums.

We are going to cheat just a bit, as the #1 commented story was our Nintendo NES Giveaway, where you had to comment to enter. So, eliminating that one, here's a look at the top 10 stories that got the most comments this year, along with some of the choice tidbits pulled based on other users' upvotes:

10. The iPhone X's FaceID feature leaves something to be desired

When Apple unveiled Face ID for the iPhone X, it was the big talking point. But apparently, Apple told manufacturers that it could reduce the accuracy of it to make it easier to produce. Readers were quick to jump on it. Liquid55 said:

Boy, this face ID move sure seems like a mistake to me. The face recognition on the Windows Phone works really well, but it is just inconvenient as compared to touch ID. Now, if the face ID doesn't work incredibly well, the inconvenience will multiply quickly.

adynalyne didn't like that feature to begin with:

Face ID is gimmicky. That’s why Android abandoned it years ago. Sure, it works in different light levels now with Apple, but it’s still gimmicky.

9. The Fall Creators Update is released

This is primarily a Windows and Microsoft site after all, so this topic making the list is not a surprise. From user Dick_Johnson:

So any actual new features that desktop users would find useful, or just gimmicks and feature removals, plus resetting all my privacy settings, removing telemetry-killing third party tools and resetting default open-with programs? Wonder if they finally fixed HDR which has been broken since CU.

I miss the days you didn't have to second guess a windows update or service pack, and didn't have to wonder what user-hostile gotchas MS was trying to sneak in.

8. Apple dad canned over daughter's iPhone X video

Kind of a sad situation, but it led to a debate between a violation of company policy vs. whether anything wrong actually happened. From user Austin Paquette:

Both sides seems to be in the right here, which is refreshing. Apple let him go because of possibly leaking confidential data / the miscare of private information, his daughter's follow up video was really well constructed, the engineer accepted responsibility and knows he is a capable engineer so probably isn't worried about finding work.

I hope this is addressed as a simple mistake and not as a major hindrance to his future.

7. Windows 10 losses some features in the Fall Creators Update

As expected, the Fall Creators Update was usually a hotbed of discussion, especially when it came to features being removed. User Dot Matrix offered some levity:

Outlook Express is still a thing?! I thought that died years ago!

While user Darkthunder seemed concerned about the removal of a classic:

Removing Microsoft Paint? I know Paint 3D is a thing now, but classic Paint still has it's uses.

And user link6155 was even appreciative of one deletion:

Thank god they are getting rid of 3D builder. It was ridiculous that they were forcing down everyone throats by having it be in Explorer's context menu, even if you uninstall it.

6. Windows Phone revenue implodes

This was one of our top stories for the year, so it stands to reason that readers would find it interesting, particularly with a revenue drop of more than 99.5% in two years. User pmdci was to the point:

Someone shoot this lame horse out of its misery.

User korupt_one was just almost as succinct:

As far as I'm concerned MS have ######ed over too many people over the years with mobile, so even if this surface device could even transport you to the moon its would be a failure. Under the control of Nutella they are more and more becoming just an enterprise company, I would be at all surprised if they killed off the surface line completely.

And in response to neo158's comment that Windows 10 Mobile was still active, and the phone was not dead yet, cybersaurusrex quipped:

Your faith could move mountains... but it won't save Windows Phone. lol

5. No more Windows 7 and 8.1 updates for newer PCs

Readers knew this move was coming, but the official announcement still caught some by surprise, leaving them wondering "why now?" Take user LimeMaster, for instance:

I don't like how Microsoft are handling this. Security updates should be available for everyone with a genuine copy of Windows. They've never done this before, so why start now?

sharpdesigner responded:

Did they read the ToS? I am pretty sure ToS never mentions you will be supported for all hardware that will even be imagined in the 20 years support time period of this OS. Seriously guys, give them a break! They offered free Win 10 licenses and warned that newer hardware wont be supported. If you ignored both, its you who has to be blamed. You can't have your cake and eat it too

Mando agreed:

buddy windows 7 is in extended support, With intel themselves not producing windows 7 chipset drivers for Kabylake, we cant expect MS to support an unsupported platform if the makers themselves dont support that windows version.

And anyone with a paid W7 or 8 licence, can easily use the key from either to do an install for Windows 10 free. It still works.

However, Mobius Enigma offered the most detailed response, saying in part:

Bottom line...
There are real technical reasons behind these decisions, and even though PEOPLE don't understand how things work, it DOES NOT mean Microsoft made some arbitrary decision to screw them over.

4. PewDiePie is caught racial slurring his stream

Using the n-word is never a good look, a popular YouTube game streamer PewDiePie did it while live. The ensuing discussion in the comments offered quite a bit of racial discussion. In an argument against the word being a cultural appropriation, user setnom said:

The darn english language was invented by white people. Should african-american people stop speaking english because that's a form a cultural appropriation?

User Nick H. took issue with the defense the English was not PewDiePie's first language:

"...his supporters have tried explaining that English is not his first language..."

Nope, not buying that. I work and deal with people that have varying understanding of the English language, and not once have I had to deal with this situation. Other explicit language yes, because they do a literal translation from French to English and the French are more casual with their words, but this one is just known to be bad. Kjellberg's understanding of the English language is very impressive, and this sounds like it came more as a spur of the moment remark than anything seriously meant. But that's the problem about being a newscaster, a celebrity, a youtuber...when you are live you have got to be very careful what you say.

But hey, in my mind if we can stop making these kind of people famous in the first place we'll all be better off.

User Dapen, however, took a slightly different tack:

We're dealing with another human being, warning warning, humans say things unintentionally and without meaning sometimes speaking without thinking. He's racist, he's racist!

... The guy even apologies straight after and says he meant nothing by it, slip of the tongue.

Roguefoxx was disgusted for a different reason:

OMG somebody said something racially insensitive, how dare anyone ever! It's pretty pathetic how sensitive the world has become to literally everything and anything that is controversial in any way. I fear for our future.

Now let the bleeding heart rage pour in...

3. Tell us your opinion on Windows 10

This particular story was designed for debate. And given the topic was thoughts on Windows 10, readers did not disappoint. User Ryoken gave the rollout of the new OS a thumbs up:

I think Windows 10 has been great. Not a perfect rollout, but far from bad. Plus MS has been listening to feedback, while it won't turn off forced updates it at least makes them far more manageable... I for one think forced updates is the greatest thing ever. Anyone who actually is able to manage updates themselves can figure out how to stop em, everyone else is the reason they need to be forced, cause they only think they know what they are doing

Stability wise 10 has been solid, only real issue I had was when 10 first came out and MS/nVidia pushed out that buggy video driver.. but that only was an issue for a week. Since then nada. Even my insider builds on the fast ring rarely have any issues.

All in all I think it's been a great success.

retrospooty was frustrated, but not with the OS:

Still extremely aggravated with the way they do updates (that often cause bugs) and remove features without any apparent reason... The OS itself is fairly decent, it's the decision making that sucks.

Zagadka was unsure:

It has grown on me. At least, I can't see a reason to roll back to 7, especially since it is so easy to restore the classic Start Menu (which I haven't done, but many would).

Unfortunately, it feels half-done, with a mixture of UI styles and half-completed features. The elements that were changed to make the UI touch-friendly are kinda annoying on a PC. I see what they were going for, but it makes UI elements look and work poorly.

Really liked WP10, but... damnit, MS.

Yogurth, however, was unimpressed:

It is the OS that showed how far Microsoft is behind the curve. Windows has gotten too big to manage and tries too much and boy it shows. Inconsistency on almost every turn comes to mind.

Two years have passed and what were the advancements...removing few more CP items, getting coloured title bars, old/new Windows defender, memory compression which works terribly on systems that would benefit the most out of it.... Then there is a still burning question of privacy issues in 10....Very poor showing by Microsoft.

2. Spotify replaces Groove

Microsoft said it was finally going to kill off the Groove Music Pass and help users move over to Spotify. User shockz was unimpressed:

So wait, you purchased music but after a certain day you'll no longer be able to download it and only stream instead (probably via Spotify)? What a colossal fail. Could you imagine the outrage if iTunes did this? For a company as large as Microsoft, you'd think they'd have the capacity to continue serving downloads for purchased music indefinitely.

[quote]The Windows Store will no longer sell you music, although according to Thurrott, you'll still be able to buy movies, TV shows, and ebooks (ebooks support was only added to the Store with the Windows 10 Creators Update).[/quote]

I'd be hesitant on purchasing any media via Microsoft after this.

Of course, the debate soon shifted to Zune and whether it was a mistake, but troysavary defended it:

Zune was far superior to iPod at the time. Better audio quality. Much better earbuds. Best deal in a music service. MS bungled it by not launching it outside the US and not marketing it at all.

fishnet37222, however, brought it all together:

This is why I'm glad I purchase all my music and download it to my external RAID unit. I don't have to rely on any service for access to my music.

1. Windows 10 Mobile is no longer a priority

It was going to happen sooner or later after the story earlier in the year about how much revenue had been lost over the last two years, but Microsoft 's Joe Belfiore's tweet made it official. Son_Of_Dad started things off by poking the bear:

No doubt a few Neowin members will still argue with Belfiore that W10m is "going strong", the app gap doesn't matter because you can pin websites to the Start screen and that Edge is superior to any app??!??!?

User azzou was upset:

I hate this. I loved windows phone. I can't say that about the androids or ios. My 520, my 1020 and my 950XL were gorgeous phones. Damn apps.

virtorio knew it was coming, but long overdue:

That's the final nail in the coffin that already had about 30 more nails than it needed.

adrynalyne said the app gap was not the only reason for the failure:

I am saying that was a part of it, but nowhere near the whole banana.

-Marketing was nil.

-The interface was confusing to many.

-Carriers had few models and did not push to sell them.

-The most successful OEM for Window Phones was tanked by MS themselves.

Most of the people I talk to (who are consumers) have never used WP, seen it, or even considered it for them to even be at a point to be concerned about the app gap. Part of the scope of one of my enterprise apps included WP support. The client canceled that feature because nobody in his organization (nation-wide) was using WP.

Raphael G summed it up:

There you have it. The biggest frustration comes from their silence, lies, failure to communicate clearly. Sure, some have read between the lines a long time ago and left the platform before it was too late. But others, me included, wanted to believe in it and remained faithful. So time and money were wasted.

Also, how sad is it that such news is communicated via Twitter, instead of officially. Or is Twitter now an official channel?

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There you have it. Thanks for all the participation this year. Looking forward to 2018 and continued community involvement from our readers.

Happy New Year!

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