More than 300 IT pros took part in our poll. PowerShell lost the most-wanted-topic throne to Windows Server 2016.
Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

In last year’s poll, PowerShell was the undisputed winner. Admittedly, it was a different poll with other contenders. Nevertheless, I was somehow surprised that Windows Server 2016 beat PowerShell this year.

Sixty-four percent of the 4sysops readers want to read more about Windows Server 2016, and PowerShell came in second with 61 percent. The difference is hardy statistically significant. However, right after we launched the poll, the Windows Server 2016 lead was much bigger. At times, even Windows 10 received more votes than PowerShell.

This first wave of votes was from regular 4sysops readers. PowerShell caught up only after I put the poll in the sidebar for a while. It is possible that PowerShell could have surpassed Windows Server 2016 if I waited a few weeks longer. I added the poll again below. Thus, it is quite possible that numbers change again.

What topics should we cover on 4sysops in 2016?

View Results

I think readers arriving from the search engines noticed the poll in the sidebar and that is why the PowerShell numbers rose. Because we published a lot about PowerShell last year, many of those visitors are interested in Microsoft’s scripting language. Another explanation is that Microsoft has been quiet about Windows Server 2016 lately, and more and more IT pros are already familiar with Windows 10.

PowerShell, on the other hand, is a complex beast and requires constant learning. Since IT administration in Microsoft’s world is nowadays hardly possible without good PowerShell skills, it is to be expected that the majority of IT pros need to learn more. If they really want to is, of course, another question.

Microsoft’s new client operating system with the old-fashioned Windows 95 app launcher (also known as Start menu) is of interest to only 54 percent of IT admins. I say “only” because the Windows client OS was once Redmond’s flagship. Those times are over.

Azure received 31 percent of the votes, which is not too bad, but it is probably not a number that will make Microsoft’s top management happy. Considering that only 12 percent want to read more about mobile topics makes it obvious that currently “cloud and mobile first” is only a marketing slogan and nothing more.

Even the tiny Nano Server could attract as much attention as the huge Microsoft cloud. Of course, this could be just because most IT pros don’t really know yet about the potential of Microsoft’s new server OS. It remains to be seen if Nano Server can keep this popularity once IT pros realize what they can and cannot do with this graphical user interface (GUI)-less server OS.

That cloud market leader Amazon received only 12 percent and Azure got 31 percent of the votes is not actually surprising. 4sysops is still mostly a Microsoft shop and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is simply a different world. If you run this poll on a Linux blog, you will get slightly different results.

Eleven percent for OS X is fine. It more or less corresponds to Apple’s market share in corporate networks. Honestly, if Bill Gates’s dream ever becomes true and Apple licenses its OS to PC makers, then Windows 10 probably will be in serious trouble. But as long as OS X is bound to expensive high-end hardware, Windows admins have nothing to fear.

We will try to “listen” to our readers. PowerShell is already dominant on 4sysops. We will try to write more about Windows Server 2016. Windows 10 topics are unavoidable anyway, considering the many headaches this OS causes admins.

However, I somehow doubt that 31 percent of the 4sysops posts will be about Nano Server any time soon. This OS’s footprint is hardly noticeably, and this will probably apply to its media coverage until more-interesting practical applications become available; the OS certainly is great from a theoretical point of view.

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And the cloud? I don’t really believe in this cloud first thing because I don’t believe in hybrid environments. But I do believe in a cloud only future. So rest assured that you will read more about Azure on 4sysops. We will also bother you more with AWS. A view beyond the horizon of Microsoft’s cloud can do no harm.


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