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

Database glitch causes Windows 7 download server meltdown

This morning, MSDN and TechNet subscribers were dismayed to find that downloads of the Windows 7 Release Candidate began bogging down shortly after they were made available. For several hours after the official launch, most subscribers who tried to log on found themselves unable to reach the download pages. The problem, I'm told by a Microsoft insider, wasn’t server capacity. Instead, the glitch (now fixed) was caused by a database configuration problem. I've got details and a startling graph.

April 30, 2009 by


Microsoft makes Windows 7 RC available, but can't handle the rush

See my follow-up post: Database glitch caused Windows 7 RC server meltdown.Early this morning, at around 6AM Pacific time, the public—or at least that subset of the public willing to pay for an annual MSDN or TechNet subscription—was finally allowed to download the Windows 7 Release Candidate in a Microsoft-approved ISO image from a Microsoft-run server.

April 30, 2009 by


Why all the fuss over XP Mode?

Friday, Microsoft announced that it plans to release a free add-on for business editions of Windows 7. Windows XP Mode will use a customized version of Virtual PC to run a fully licensed, preconfigured copy of Windows XP in a virtual machine. So what's the big deal? It's not the technology, it's the licensing. I've got more details.

April 27, 2009 by


6 music services compared: Who can bust the iTunes monopoly?

Over the past few months, I’ve been sampling all of the major U.S.-based competitors to the iTunes Music Store, as well as a few fascinating minor-league competitors. In this post, I’ll show you how each one stacks up against iTMS in terms of pricing and available features. After my testing was complete, I had a new favorite music service, and after you read my report you might decide it’s right for you too.

April 23, 2009 by


Microsoft prepares Windows Anytime Upgrade, v2

More than three years ago, Microsoft introduced its Windows Anytime Upgrade program in a beta release of Windows Vista. In practice, Anytime Upgrade was a spectacular failure. The upgrade process itself was a cumbersome kludge, the price tag was way too high, and there was no perceived benefit in it. Like so many Vista features that were poorly executed, Anytime Upgrade has been completely reworked for Windows 7. Will it be enough to get you to upgrade?

April 23, 2009 by


Living with the limits of Windows 7 Starter Edition

If you’ve read anything about Windows 7 Starter Edition, your first reaction was probably the same as mine: Is Microsoft nuts? This ultra-cheap edition is intended for use on netbooks, but its biggest restriction sounds like a complete deal-breaker: it only runs three applications at once. I’ve spent the last three weeks running Windows 7 Starter Edition on an ultra-portable PC. Surprisingly, Starter edition works fine, if you're really using your PC as a netbook.

April 20, 2009 by


Mark your calendars: Windows 7 RC to go public on May 5

Oops, Microsoft did it again. Someone in Redmond accidentally published a page offering downloads of the Windows 7 release candidate to MSDN and TechNet subscribers. That appears to be a slip-up, but the page also confirms the date when the Windows 7 release candidate will be publicly available.

April 18, 2009 by


Will Windows 7 be Microsoft's biggest business hit ever?

Last week, the Internet echo chamber went crazy over the release of a survey about how soon businesses plan to adopt Windows 7. I've looked carefully at that survey and at a second, newly released survey of IT pros in large businesses. If these surveys are accurate, Windows 7 has the potential to be Microsoft's most successful business OS ever.

April 15, 2009 by


How hard will it be to move to the Windows 7 Release Candidate?

The Windows Easy Transfer utility is greatly improved in Windows 7, but it’s still missing a killer feature Microsoft promised three years ago. In this post, I explain how you can use this utility to move your data and settings to a new Windows 7 installation and ask the question that every Windows user wants to know: Why do you still have to reinstall programs when you move between PCs?

April 12, 2009 by