Ed Bott

Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.

Latest Posts

Is IE8 really fat and slow?

Since IE8 shipped last week, I've read two criticisms repeatedly: One is the burning question of whether IE8 is faster or slower than its competitors; the other is whether it makes reasonable use of system resources. In this post, I explain why some people are seeing performance issues (and share an obscure system tweak that might just cure IE8 performance and stability problems). I also take a closer look at why you might prefer a browser that uses more memory than others.

March 26, 2009 by


Updating the Windows 7 release schedule

Microsoft has been doing an admirable job of suppressing leaks about its Windows 7 release plans. But someone in Redmond needs to do a better job of teaching its own employees when not to hit the Publish button on web pages. Based on a page that was accidentally published on Microsoft's TechNet site, I've updateds my predictions on when you'll be able to buy Windows 7 PC.

March 26, 2009 by


IE8 focuses on usability

Earlier today, Microsoft released the final version of Internet Explorer 8 for public download. Many of the reviews I’ve read so far have focused on raw speed (page rendering and Javascript execution, in particular).

March 19, 2009 by


Is Windows 7 reliable enough to release now?

Based on the latest leaked builds of Windows 7, it appears that Windows 7 is entering crunch time, with a release candidate due soon. We've seen impressive performance test results, but how do these recent builds stack up in terms of reliability? I can offer anecdotal evidence. A week ago, I switched my everyday working system to build 7048. So, how’s that working out?

March 12, 2009 by


A sneak peek at the Windows 7 Release Candidate

Last week, Windows 7 build 7048 escaped from Microsoft’s labs and quickly made its way to the Internet, where the x86 and x64 versions quickly became top downloads of the week. Most of the first looks I've seen so far about this build have focused on a handful of obvious details, especially the greatly expanded options to remove Windows features such as Internet Explorer and Media Player. For this post and its accompanying image gallery, I decided to dig deeper and see what sorts of changes you’re not likely to notice right away. I found a total of 21 changes, big and small, that are nearly certain to be part of the Windows 7 Release Candidate.

March 9, 2009 by


Five things every Windows beta tester should know

A few Windows 7 beta testers (and some high-profile pundits) are working themselves into a lather over the perceived shortage of feedback from Microsoft. I’ve read many of the complaints, public and private, and I think some beta testers need a refresher course in the basics of what it means to be involved in the development of a product as complex as Windows.

March 1, 2009 by


Who needs another Windows 7 beta?

My ZDNet colleague Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is not too proud to beg to Microsoft: Can we have a Windows 7 beta 2 please?Once upon a time, I might have agreed with him. But now that I’ve had a chance to see how this beta cycle works, I think Sinofsky and Co. are making the right choice. One beta, one release candidate, and then ship it. Here's why.

February 23, 2009 by


How well does Windows 7 handle 512MB?

I’ve been spending most of my time lately conducting in-depth research into how Windows 7 works, in preparation for my next book. In the process, I’m discovering stuff that simply doesn’t become apparent during casual testing. My biggest surprise so far? I inadvertently installed the 64-bit beta version of Windows 7 in a virtual machine with only 512MB of RAM. How well did it work? I was amazed, and you will be too.

February 6, 2009 by

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Easy Windows 7 upgrades could earn Microsoft billions a year extra

Most analysts who looked at Microsoft’s announcement earlier today of its new lineup of Windows 7 editions have focused on the number of SKUs and are busily debating whether the new selection will make choices more or less confusing for Windows customers. But there’s a more important story buried in the details. By making upgrades easy and cheap, Microsoft could finally convince its enormous user base to start paying extra to unlock features in higher-priced editions and pull in billions of dollars in additional revenue.

February 3, 2009 by