Led by its two poker-playing veterans, Microsoft is making a huge bet on Office 2007. Whether they win or lose depends on how customers respond to the massive changes in this version. I've put together a detailed look at the new Office and posed 10 questions that will tell whether Office is a big winner or a bust.
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. 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).
Office 2007 Beta 2 has been out for nearly two weeks now, and the radically revised new interface is getting mixed reviews. Are you using Office Beta 2? What do you think so far?
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is the best version of Windows Microsoft has ever released. That's why I’m holding my breath when I look at the big upgrade to Media Center that’s due at the end of this year in the Home Premium and Ultimate editions of Windows Vista. Will Microsoft ruin a good thing? Will its revamped interface just add unnecessary flash and bog down performance? See for yourself in this exclusive image gallery and review of Vista Media Center Beta 2.
You can’t be too rich or too thin, or have a network that’s too fast. I struggled over the weekend trying to tweak the performance of an Xbox 360 connected to a PC running the new Media Center software in Windows Vista. The experience was amazing and frustrating at the same time. Is there a hardware fix waiting in the wings?
Premium editions of Windows Vista include a full-featured Backup program that allows you to create an image-based backup of a full drive rather than copying one file at a time. In Vista Beta 2, the new image backup feature has a name: CompletePC Backup. Yesterday, after deliberately making a thorough mess of a new Vista installation, I put it to the test. How did it work? See for yourself.
In the comments to posts I’ve written over the past few weeks, one question comes up again and again: What’s really in Windows Vista? Why should I care? To help answer those questions, I’ve put together a gallery of 30 screen shots digging deep into Vista Beta 2.
When you run the new Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor, you'll find that Vista won't install unless you have 15GB of disk space free. Is this the most bloated OS upgrade ever? Nope. The actual installation uses much less space. Here's why.
A list of rumored "final retail prices" for Windows Vista is bouncing around the Internet like a SuperBall. Don't believe it.
Microsoft's security group says a program should never update or reinstall itself without notifying you and receiving your explicit consent. That sort of behavior is one of the warning signs of a spyware program. So why is the new MTV Urge service allowed to break these rules?
The new MTV/Microsoft music service, Urge, is getting rave reviews. It all sounds great, until you take a closer look at the license agreement. Here's why I won't be signing up.
One of the most common comments I see whenever I write about the Windows Vista schedule is some variation on the following theme: Microsoft “gutted
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.
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.
The best of ZDNet, delivered
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- 4 Lost your Windows discs? How to get replacement media, legally
- 5 Can a Surface Pro 3 with docking station replace your desktop PC?