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

Another pirate?

Microsoft says its WGA validation code is so accurate that it has produced only a "handful" of false positives. It's hard to take that claim seriously when one of the most widely read members of the Windows enthusiast community just got stung.

July 21, 2006 by

24 Comments

In search of the 15-minute Vista setup

In its road shows last year and earlier this year, Microsoft promised that you'd be able to install Windows Vista in as little as 15 minutes. But current beta builds aren't even close to that milestone. Where are the bottlenecks in the Vista setup process?

July 19, 2006 by

39 Comments

MS says WGA has caught 60 million Windows cheaters

According to a Microsoft manager, 60 million people have failed the Windows Genuine Advantage validation test. Microsoft claims the tool is nearly perfect at rooting out improperly licensed copies of Windows, with "only a handful of actual false positives." But the numbers don't add up.

July 17, 2006 by

328 Comments

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