Ed Bott

Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.

Latest Posts

That deceptive, misleading WGA installation

Why can’t Microsoft describe its WGA tools in simple, direct language? They want you to install a small program that checks the product key you used to activate Windows XP – the same one you already sent them when you first installed the operating system – so they can verify that your copy of Windows is properly licensed. That’s not so hard to understand, is it? So why use these misleading and deceptive descriptions?

July 13, 2006 by

63 Comments

Microsoft to give away Virtual PC 2004

This is so new that I can’t even find a press release about it yet, but Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 is now free. Anyone can download the latest release, Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 Service Pack 1, which runs on Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 Professional SP4, and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition or later.

July 12, 2006 by

9 Comments

R.I.P., Windows 98

As of yesterday, Microsoft officially retired public and technical support for Windows 98, Windows Me, and Windows XP Service Pack 1. Good.

July 12, 2006 by

39 Comments

The pain of switching to a new OS

Never underestimate the power of inertia. Windows users may grumble about security updates, password prompts, and balky hardware, but those annoyances are nothing compared to the mental effort required to switch to a completely new OS family. This longtime Windows user's experience with Ubuntu Linux tells the story.

July 9, 2006 by

161 Comments

Quiz: How much do you know about Microsoft licensing?

How much do you know about Microsoft’s licensing policies for its two flagship products, Windows and Office? You might think it’s an academic question, but you’d be wrong. Licensing issues affect your budget and your ability to qualify for upgrades and support from Microsoft. A lot of conventional wisdom about Microsoft licensing is just plain wrong. See how many of the following questions you can get right.

July 7, 2006 by

3 Comments

No WGA "kill switch," says Microsoft

A new statement from Microsoft's PR agency denies the rumor that the Windows Genuine Advantage validation tool will be used to shut off computers running "non-genuine" copies of Windows. But the new statement still doesn't settle the question.

June 30, 2006 by

77 Comments

IE7 gets closer to its official debut

The browser wars are back. Microsoft has released another public beta of Internet Explorer 7. Beta 3 for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 has a few new features and is as polished as most final releases. Here are the details.

June 29, 2006 by

37 Comments