In about two weeks, Beta 2 of Windows Vista will be officially released to the public. And when it does, Microsoft will officially enter uncharted territory. I expect that Beta 2 will be reviewed as if it were a finished product. Those reviews will hit within days of its release, and they will be publicized more widely than any official Windows release ever. If you're a Microsoft product manager, it's time to stock up on antacids.
The Ed Bott Report
Get outspoken insights and expert advice on the products and companies that define today's tech landscape, from a source who knows these technologies inside and out.
Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.
For years, Windows users have been allowed to essentially ignore the responsibilities of security while having to deal with the consequences of insecurity. Windows Vista is about to introduce User Account Control - a sweeping change to the Windows security model that really works. Unfortunately, this feature risks being torpedoed by a user community that can't handle change. UAC can work, especially if Microsoft can make a few small changes before the final release of Windows Vista.
User Account Control is a controversial new feature in Windows Vista. But as many beta testers have discovered, UAC prompts can also show up when you perform seemingly innocent file operations on drives formatted using NTFS. Why do these prompts appear? And why do some so-called Windows experts miss the obvious reason (and the obvious fix)?
Gartner is at it again, with a report that predicts Microsoft will miss its end-of-year ship date for Windows Vista. The teaser copy reads: Microsoft's track record is clear; it consistently misses target dates for major operating system releases.
User Account Control (UAC) is a controversial new security feature slated for inclusion in Windows Vista. Reactions to this feature from beta testers have been downright caustic. In this post, first in a three-part series, I explain how UAC works in the most recent beta release of Vista.
What happens when a Microsoft blogger tries to explain a complex technical topic without the help of a team of editors or experienced technical writers? What happens when the author is a Microsoft employee, and the blog represents the official word from a major development team? The results can be unfortunate, as one unsophisticated user found out when he ran into an IE7 setup bug.
All I wanted was to find out whether I need to download the latest update for Media Center 2005. Instead, I tumbled down the Windows Update rabbit hole and found myself in a land where even the update rollups have update rollups. Does the process of naming, organizing, and delivering updates make any sense?
The conventional wisdom says Microsoft is making the biggest marketing blunder since New Coke by introducing a confusing mish-mash of Windows Vista versions. Nonsense. I took Microsoft's five-page feature table (which looks like a graduate thesis from the Rube Goldberg School of Business) and distilled it into a simple matrix that's not the least bit confusing.
Which version of Windows Vista will work best for you and your organization? I've gone through each version, feature by feature, and made a list of which features are available only in specific Vista versions. This article, the conclusion of a two-part series, includes advanced networking features and system administration tools that will be especially interesting to IT professionals in charge of enterprise networks.
Which version of Windows Vista will work best for you and your organization? I've gone through each version, feature by feature, and made a list of which features are available only in specific Vista versions. This article, first in a two-part series, includes end-user features such as Windows Media Center, the Aero interface, backup, and encryption.