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

Microsoft to offer Family Pack for Windows 7 Home Premium

Every time the subject of OS licensing comes up, Apple's defenders point to the OS X Family Pack as one of the biggest differentiators between their favorite OS and Windows. But it looks like that difference is likely to go away when Windows 7 is released. I've got the text of a near-final license agreement for Windows 7 Home Premium as proof.

July 1, 2009 by

230 Comments

Do you need more than Windows 7 Home Premium?

One of the most frequent questions I get these days comes from people who've been running the Windows 7 beta and Release Candidate and are planning to upgrade to the final version when it's available on October 22. "Which edition of Windows 7 do I need?" Most of the feature charts I've seen are dry and dense and overcomplicated. Here's my super-simple version, which also includes OS X.

June 29, 2009 by

641 Comments 9 Votes

Windows 7 versus Snow Leopard: How much do upgrades really cost?

In one of its brilliant "I'm a Mac" ads recently, Apple lampooned the complexity of Windows with a dizzying display of fine print that eventually filled up the screen and covered up both characters. Maybe Microsoft needs to take the same treatment with Apple's much-publicized $29 upgrade offer for Snow Leopard. The price sounds great until you look at the fine print. I did, and discovered that the majority of Mac owners don't qualify.

June 25, 2009 by

688 Comments

Microsoft to Europe: No Windows 7 upgrades for you!

If you live in Europe and you're contemplating an upgrade to Windows 7 later this year, I've got good news and bad news for you. The good news is you're going to get a better price than your counterparts in the rest of the world. The bad news is that Microsoft plans to completely disable upgrade capabilities in Windows 7E. I've got all the unpleasant details.

June 24, 2009 by

157 Comments

Microsoft unveils 'screaming deals' for Windows 7

Earlier this year, Microsoft promised aggressive offers to win over would-be Windows 7 buyers. Today, the company made it official, touting a "screaming deal" for anyone willing to order a Windows 7 upgrade more than three months before the software officially goes on sale. Is a 50% discount enough to get you to buy now?

June 24, 2009 by

375 Comments

How good is Microsoft's free antivirus software?

Microsoft has officially unveiled its long-awaited free antivirus program. Formerly code-named “Morro,” it’s now been christened Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE), and it will enter public beta testing next week. I've been taking MSE for a test drive for the past few days. Here's my detailed report, with plenty of closwe-up screen shots to help you see exactly how it works.

June 18, 2009 by

356 Comments 2 Votes

Hands on with the Windows 7 Touch Pack

Last month I had a chance to see a quick demo of Microsoft’s new Touch Pack for Windows 7. This collection of a half-dozen multi-touch-enabled programs won’t be available for download by Windows buyers. Instead, Microsoft plans to allow PC makers to load it on touch-enabled PCs that pass Microsoft’s logo testing. Yesterday I finally got a chance to try the Touch Pack for myself. Here's how it worked.

June 16, 2009 by

39 Comments

Microsoft fumbles the digital TV transition

With all its Media Center experience, you’d think that Microsoft would have sailed through the long-awaited transition to all-digital over-the-air TV broadcasts in the United States this past weekend. Instead, the company failed, in dramatic fashion. I've got details on what went wrong.

June 15, 2009 by

65 Comments

Will the Windows 7 price be right?

A confidential memo from giant retailer Best Buy reportedly contains details of an upcoming price promotion for Windows 7. A few months ago, Microsoft promised "aggressive pricing and great deals" on its new OS. So how good a deal can you expect?

June 5, 2009 by

89 Comments

From Starter to Ultimate: What's really in each Windows 7 Edition?

Over the course of its Windows 7 development effort, Microsoft has been incredibly controlled about releasing details, pursuing an agonizingly deliberate disclosure plan. The release schedule is now public, but Microsoft has politely but persistently refused every one of my requests for a breakdown of the features in each edition. So I did the work myself. I installed copies of each Windows 7 edition from the Windows 7 Release Candidate and tallied up which features were in each edition. Here's what I found out.

June 3, 2009 by

230 Comments 6 Votes