Ed Bott

Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications. He has served as editor of the U.S. edition of PC Computing and managing editor of PC World; both publications had monthly paid circulation in excess of 1 million during his tenure. He is the author of more than 25 books on Microsoft Windows and Office, including Windows 7 Inside Out (2009) and Office 2013 Inside Out (2013).

Latest Posts

Microsoft extends the reach of Media Center

Microsoft extends the reach of Media Center

More than 70% of Windows Vista copies sold in 2007 were so-called premium editions, which include Media Center capabilities. That's good news for digital media fans, who might not even realize that Vista Home Premium and Ultimate editions give them a direct pipeline to stream high-definition digital music, photos, and videos into other rooms with a Media Center Extender. I've got details on a handful of new extender devices introduced at CES.

January 9, 2008 by in Hardware

About those 100 million Vista licenses...

About those 100 million Vista licenses...

My colleague Mary Jo Foley reported earlier today on Microsoft's claim that it has sold 100 million retail copies of Windows Vista. That's a stretch, as it turns out. I tracked down a Microsoft spokesperson who helped me unravel the numbers.

January 7, 2008 by in Windows

My road map for CES 2008

My road map for CES 2008

I attended my first CES 29 years ago. In 2008, the technologies have changed, but I'm still covering toys for my generation. What's on my road map for CES this year? (Besides Vista, of course.) How about some technologies that actually make life simpler?

January 7, 2008 by in CES

Windows adoption rates: a history lesson

Windows adoption rates: a history lesson

In the Talkback section of my earlier post on XP versus Vista adoption, several commenters pointed to a PC World Techlog post that supposedly contradicts my conclusions. Those PC World numbers are interesting, but they don't add up. But don't believe me: just ask PC World, which published a very different set of numbers one year ago.

December 30, 2007 by in Enterprise Software

Who's choosing XP over Vista?

Who's choosing XP over Vista?

One of the most accepted bits of conventional wisdom among pundits as 2007 draws to a close is that the marketplace has rejected Windows Vista in favor of Windows XP. But is that conclusion supported by hard data? I found a large database of information from one of the world's biggest PC makers that provides a glimpse into how the market is really choosing between XP and Vista

December 30, 2007 by in Dell

What's the real story on the Windows Home Server data corruption bug?

What's the real story on the Windows Home Server data corruption bug?

Last week, an alarmingly terse Knowledge Base article got the undivided attention of Windows Home Server users with its warning that they risk data corruption if they edit files stored on a home server using a handful of popular programs. How widespread is this bug, really, and why wasn't it caught during the long beta test cycle? I've got some inside information.

December 27, 2007 by in Windows

For some categories, Vista x64 support is still scarce

For some categories, Vista x64 support is still scarce

A reader asks if Microsoft ever plans to support its own desktop fingerprint reader on Vista x64. This is yet another example of the little incompatibilities and annoyances that exist in the 64-bit Vista ecosystem. And when I went looking for Vista-certified biometric devices, I didn't find much.

December 20, 2007 by in Windows

Microsoft to relax XP activation rules with SP3

Microsoft to relax XP activation rules with SP3

A recent Microsoft whitepaper downplays the changes in Windows XP SP3. But a closer look at that document reveals that Microsoft is about to make a significant change to its activation policy for XP. Beginning with SP3, you'll be able to install XP and use it for 30 days without entering a product key.

December 16, 2007 by in Enterprise Software

Vista SP1 will deliver big network speed boost

Vista SP1 will deliver big network speed boost

I was prepared to wait till the public debut of Vista Service Pack 1 release candidate next week before writing about it. But after upgrading two machines here and doing some tests, I changed my mind. If Microsoft's decision to ditch the WGA kill switch in SP1 didn't convince you, would you be interested in tripling your network file transfer speeds?

December 6, 2007 by in Networking

With SP1, Microsoft plans to ditch the Vista "kill switch"

With SP1, Microsoft plans to ditch the Vista "kill switch"

When SP1 ships sometime in early 2008, it will strip away one of Vista's most annoying features and remove one of the most persistent objections to Vista's adoption. Microsoft plans to remove the infamous "kill switch" from Windows Vista when SP1 is installed, restoring WGA to its original role as a series of persistent but nonlethal notifications. I've got the details of Redmond's dramatic reversal in policy.

December 3, 2007 by in Microsoft

How green is your PC?

How green is your PC?

How much does it cost to run a PC or a Windows Home Server 24/7? I've just completed a abttery of power management tests in my office, and the numbers surprised me. In my neighborhood, running a home server costs about $5 a month in electricity, but I can cut that bill by two-thirds just by using the default power management settings in Windows Vista.

November 30, 2007 by in CXO

Five secrets to faster Vista starts

Five secrets to faster Vista starts

The wise old men of mainstream tech journalism are once again repeating the conventional wisdom that Vista is slow to start up and slow to shut down. They're wrong. I provbed this with some tests last spring and I've just repeated the same tests with equal or better results. So what's the deal if you're experiencing slow startups and shutdowns with Vista? Chances are you're running into one (or more) of five specific issues. I've got the details here.

November 26, 2007 by in Windows

Are you prepared for holiday PC repairs?

Are you prepared for holiday PC repairs?

For IT professionals and computer support people, holiday travel means a flurry of ad hoc support requests. You will, of course, say yes when Mom or your brother-in-law asks for some help with a PC problem. So why not accept the inevitable and show up prepared for the job? Here's a list of the hardware and software tools I bring home for the holidays.

November 18, 2007 by in Windows

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