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

The WGA fiasco continues

The WGA fiasco continues

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.

published June 28, 2006 by

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Maybe Firefox doesn't have a security edge after all

Maybe Firefox doesn't have a security edge after all

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?

published June 27, 2006 by

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Is Microsoft about to release a Windows "kill switch"?

Is Microsoft about to release a Windows "kill switch"?

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.

published June 27, 2006 by

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Did Microsoft just leak the name of its next server?

Did Microsoft just leak the name of its next server?

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.

published June 26, 2006 by

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Watching Windows Vista decay

Watching Windows Vista decay

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?

published June 22, 2006 by

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Why Microsoft should sell Windows XP Starter Edition everywhere

Why Microsoft should sell Windows XP Starter Edition everywhere

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?

published June 13, 2006 by

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Microsoft presses the Stupid button

Microsoft presses the Stupid button

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.

published June 12, 2006 by

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10 tough questions about Office 2007

10 tough questions about Office 2007

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.

published June 8, 2006 by

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What do you think of Office 2007?

What do you think of Office 2007?

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?

published June 4, 2006 by

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Vista Media Center: Ready for the living room?

Vista Media Center: Ready for the living room?

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.

published June 1, 2006 by

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Faster networks, please

Faster networks, please

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?

published May 30, 2006 by

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Windows Vista takes on Norton Ghost

Windows Vista takes on Norton Ghost

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.

published May 25, 2006 by

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Vista Beta 2, up close and personal

Vista Beta 2, up close and personal

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.

published May 23, 2006 by

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