When it comes to Windows Genuine Advantage, Microsoft appears to have the reverse Midas touch - everything they touch turns to lead and crashes to the ground with a thud. The latest episode? A set of instructions for removing one of the buggy WGA modules has errors that would embarrass a rookie tech editor.
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).
On his blog, a Firefox evangelist takes a months-old quote from a Microsoft security expert completely out of context and tries to convince his readers that Firefox is still more secure than Internet Explorer. Trouble is, that might not be true any more. Why the desperate, distorted attack? Are Firefox fans beginning to realize that IE has the upper hand on security issues these days?
Windows Genuine Activation is a mess. And according to one published report, it's about to get even messier. If Microsoft's online check determines that your copy of Windows isn't "genuine," will it shut you down completely? Microsoft says that just might be in their plans. Uh-oh.
One well-connected Windows watcher says that Longhorn Server - the current codename for Microsoft's 2007 server release - will "definitely not be called Windows Vista Server." He might have to eat those words, judging from the text that inadvertently leaked into a Help file for a new Windows Vista component. I've got the pictures to prove it.
By definition, beta software is buggy. So, how buggy is Windows Vista? According to Vista's built-in Reliability Monitor, one computer in my office has decayed from a perfect 10 to a 1.70 in just four weeks. Is this beta really that bad?
I have a love-hate relationship with instant-messaging software. It’s a great way to stay in touch with editors, co-authors, and friends.
So I try to sneak away for a few days and Microsoft releases big news. Well, sort of big.
If you're still using Windows 98 or Windows Me on a computer that's connected to the Internet, you're either crazy or suicidal. Microsoft says it can't patch a critical vulnerability that affects these older Windows versions. But not everyone can afford the cost of a full XP upgrade. So why not offer Windows XP Starter Edition as an option for people in North America and Western Europe?
When you’re the Evil Empire, it’s only natural to get a bad rap for everything you do. Microsoft gets bad-mouthed a hundred times a week for things that would be perfectly acceptable coming from anyone else. Given that level of criticism, it’s easy to ignore the times when they’re just completely, egregiously wrong.Microsoft’s new Windows Genuine Advantage authentication software which is now being pushed onto Windows users’ machines via Windows Update, is one of those occasions. Someone at Microsoft just pushed the Stupid button. And things aren’t going to get better until they stop pushing it.
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.
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.
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