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

Virtual Vista Q and A

Virtual Vista Q and A

I'm still trying to understand the confusing new licensing terms that affect how and when you can run Windows Vista within a virtual machine. In the interests of clarity, I sent a list of questions to Microsoft and received prompt, direct answers from Microsoft Director Scott Woodgate. If you're interested in virtualization, this is must-read information.

October 18, 2006 by in Windows

Virtual insanity in Redmond

Virtual insanity in Redmond

Whoever's writing Microsoft's new license agreements needs to spend some time in a remedial English course. The spin artists of Redmond have issued another "clarification" of their latest restrictions on using Vista with virtual hardware. It's terrible news for a small but influential group of Windows users.

October 17, 2006 by in Windows

Get facts, not spin, about Vista's new license

Get facts, not spin, about Vista's new license

Last week I documented a change in the terms of the retail Windows Vista license that will directly impact hobbyists and enthusiasts. Paul Thurrott spoke to a Microsoft product manager who says it's just a "clarification." That's a remarkable bit of historical revisionism and a major change in what Microsoft has been telling its customers for five years. But don't take my word or Paul's - go read the supporting documents for yourself.

October 16, 2006 by in Windows

No, there's no ban on virtual Vista

No, there's no ban on virtual Vista

Some analysts who've looked at Microsoft's new Vista license think it bans the use of certain Vista versions in any virtual machine. They're wrong. In fact, the new Vista license doesn't take away any virtual rights and gives some Windows users rights they've never had before.

October 13, 2006 by in Windows

A sneaky change in Windows licensing terms

A sneaky change in Windows licensing terms

Microsoft just released the licensing agreements for Windows Vista, and I read them carefully. Buried in the fine print is a dramatic change in licensing terms from the Windows XP versions. Think you can transfer a retail Windows license to any machine you want? Think again.

October 11, 2006 by in Windows

Windows Update broken again?

Windows Update broken again?

Two months ago, I documented widespread problems with Microsoft's update servers. No problem, they said. Everything's perfectly normal. Today, those same servers are offline and technical teams are "working around the clock" to fix them. Hmmm.

October 10, 2006 by in Windows

Vista Mythbusters #7: How much DRM is too much?

Vista Mythbusters #7: How much DRM is too much?

Much of the DRM code in Windows Vista is a straightforward upgrade of the XP infrastructure. But one key chunk of code is brand new. It prevents tampering with the Windows Kernel. Does it also prevent tampering with new hardware and software designed to handle protected digital media?

October 10, 2006 by in Windows

Microsoft gives adware pusher an MVP award

Microsoft gives adware pusher an MVP award

Since when did the criteria for being named a Microsoft MVP include pushing adware, spyware, and malware? That's what a couple of longtime MVPs want to know after seeing a controversial software developer receive official recognition from Microsoft despite longstanding complaints about his product.

October 6, 2006 by in Security

Another wave of WGA failures

Another wave of WGA failures

Will Microsoft ever get WGA right? Last week, I reported on a mysterious outbreak of failures that were causing legitimate Windows XP users to fail validation and be tagged as pirates. This week, Microsoft's support forum is awash in reports from corporate and academic customers that volume license keys (VLKs) are suddenly being reported as blocked.

October 4, 2006 by in Windows

For Vista, WGA gets tougher

For Vista, WGA gets tougher

For Windows Vista, Microsoft is rolling out a new version of its Windows Genuine Advantage program, complete with a new name: the Windows Software Protection Platform. This time, they mean business. Corporate customers have a new Volume Activation program, and anyone accused of piracy will be thrown into "reduced functionality" mode. Technically, it's not a kill switch, but for your Windows PC it's a near-death experience.

October 4, 2006 by in Windows

Apple, Microsoft, and openness

Apple, Microsoft, and openness

If you allow yourself to look at big corporations through the filter of conventional wisdom, all sorts of distortions emerge. Case in point: A couple of premier Web 2.0 sites this week praised Yahoo and Apple for "getting" what Google and Microsoft don't. But a closer look at the example they used shows that it's just business as usual.

October 2, 2006 by in Apple

Browser war? What browser war?

Browser war? What browser war?

Another Firefox update. Ho-hum. Oh. Wait. This one's an official release from ... Microsoft? If there's a browser war going on, someone forgot to tell the folks who are supposed to be doing the fighting.

September 28, 2006 by in Enterprise Software

WGA horror story #760745

WGA horror story #760745

Microsoft continues to insist that there are no problems with its Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy program. But pesky customers keep spoiling the illusion by posting problem reports documenting the flaws. One recent example comes from a hospital, where doctors in the operating room can't view X-rays online until they click past bogus messages warning them that they may be victims of software piracy and demanding that they Get Genuine.

September 27, 2006 by in Microsoft

WGA failures: Microsoft responds

WGA failures: Microsoft responds

As I noted at the end of my earlier post on WGA failures, I contacted Microsoft last week and offered to brief them on my findings so that I could include a response in the original story. Despite repeated follow-ups, they declined that opportunity.

September 25, 2006 by in Microsoft

Microsoft admits WGA failures "coming up more commonly now"

Microsoft admits WGA failures "coming up more commonly now"

An independent analysis of reports to Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage support forum confirms that problems with the company's anti-piracy program are growing. Our investigation found that 42% of people reporting WGA problems were running copies of Windows XP that Microsoft's own diagnostic utility confirmed as Genuine. Microsoft support representatives even have cut-and-paste answers that acknowledge these problems "are coming up more commonly now." Why does Microsoft continue to insist that WGA is problem-free?

September 25, 2006 by in Microsoft

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.
See All

Most Popular