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

Who's waiting for Windows Vista?

Who's waiting for Windows Vista?

Not business, that's for sure, according to a new report. Meanwhile, Microsoft is rushing to have shrink-wrapped copies of its new operating system available for consumers in ... January? If there's a worse month for a product launch, it's hard to imagine what it could be.

published August 1, 2006 by

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Linux, XP, and my old PC

Linux, XP, and my old PC

My loyal commenters keep telling me I should give up on Windows and switch to Linux. I'm trying, I'm trying! For my latest attempt, I added some inexpensive hardware upgrades to a Y2K-era notebook, blew away Windows Me, and set it up to dual-boot Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux. Guess which one I'm using now?

published July 31, 2006 by

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A "modest" price increase for Vista?

A "modest" price increase for Vista?

Microsoft's Vista boss tells a room full of financial analysts that the high-end version of Microsoft's new operating system will cost a little more, and he won't commit to a ship date. So why is this good news for Windows customers?

published July 27, 2006 by

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Microsoft to push IE7 as an automatic update

Microsoft to push IE7 as an automatic update

If you’re a Microsoft product manager and you want to make sure that the latest version of Internet Explorer gets on as many computers as possible, how do you handle the upgrade? Why not deliver it automatically? That’s the thought process behind today’s announcement that IE7 will be offered to as a High Priority update to anyone who has Automatic Updates turned on.

published July 26, 2006 by

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Microsoft reaches out with WGA help

Microsoft reaches out with WGA help

I guess Microsoft has begun to take notice of the many, many complaints from Windows customers who have installed the WGA Validation tool and have been accused of running a “non-genuine

published July 24, 2006 by

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Another pirate?

Another pirate?

Microsoft says its WGA validation code is so accurate that it has produced only a "handful" of false positives. It's hard to take that claim seriously when one of the most widely read members of the Windows enthusiast community just got stung.

published July 21, 2006 by

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In search of the 15-minute Vista setup

In search of the 15-minute Vista setup

In its road shows last year and earlier this year, Microsoft promised that you'd be able to install Windows Vista in as little as 15 minutes. But current beta builds aren't even close to that milestone. Where are the bottlenecks in the Vista setup process?

published July 19, 2006 by

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MS says WGA has caught 60 million Windows cheaters

MS says WGA has caught 60 million Windows cheaters

According to a Microsoft manager, 60 million people have failed the Windows Genuine Advantage validation test. Microsoft claims the tool is nearly perfect at rooting out improperly licensed copies of Windows, with "only a handful of actual false positives." But the numbers don't add up.

published July 17, 2006 by

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That deceptive, misleading WGA installation

That deceptive, misleading WGA installation

Why can’t Microsoft describe its WGA tools in simple, direct language? They want you to install a small program that checks the product key you used to activate Windows XP – the same one you already sent them when you first installed the operating system – so they can verify that your copy of Windows is properly licensed. That’s not so hard to understand, is it? So why use these misleading and deceptive descriptions?

published July 13, 2006 by

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Microsoft to give away Virtual PC 2004

Microsoft to give away Virtual PC 2004

This is so new that I can’t even find a press release about it yet, but Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 is now free. Anyone can download the latest release, Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 Service Pack 1, which runs on Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 Professional SP4, and Windows XP Tablet PC Edition or later.

published July 12, 2006 by

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R.I.P., Windows 98

R.I.P., Windows 98

As of yesterday, Microsoft officially retired public and technical support for Windows 98, Windows Me, and Windows XP Service Pack 1. Good.

published July 12, 2006 by

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The pain of switching to a new OS

The pain of switching to a new OS

Never underestimate the power of inertia. Windows users may grumble about security updates, password prompts, and balky hardware, but those annoyances are nothing compared to the mental effort required to switch to a completely new OS family. This longtime Windows user's experience with Ubuntu Linux tells the story.

published July 9, 2006 by

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Quiz: How much do you know about Microsoft licensing?

Quiz: How much do you know about Microsoft licensing?

How much do you know about Microsoft’s licensing policies for its two flagship products, Windows and Office? You might think it’s an academic question, but you’d be wrong. Licensing issues affect your budget and your ability to qualify for upgrades and support from Microsoft. A lot of conventional wisdom about Microsoft licensing is just plain wrong. See how many of the following questions you can get right.

published July 7, 2006 by

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