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

A fresh look at Vista's User Account Control

A fresh look at Vista's User Account Control

User Account Control (UAC) is a controversial new security feature slated for inclusion in Windows Vista. Reactions to this feature from beta testers have been downright caustic. In this post, first in a three-part series, I explain how UAC works in the most recent beta release of Vista.

published May 1, 2006 by

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When Microsoft gives bad advice, who pays?

When Microsoft gives bad advice, who pays?

What happens when a Microsoft blogger tries to explain a complex technical topic without the help of a team of editors or experienced technical writers? What happens when the author is a Microsoft employee, and the blog represents the official word from a major development team? The results can be unfortunate, as one unsophisticated user found out when he ran into an IE7 setup bug.

published April 27, 2006 by

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Windows Update will drive you crazy

Windows Update will drive you crazy

All I wanted was to find out whether I need to download the latest update for Media Center 2005. Instead, I tumbled down the Windows Update rabbit hole and found myself in a land where even the update rollups have update rollups. Does the process of naming, organizing, and delivering updates make any sense?

published April 25, 2006 by

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The Windows Vista Secret Decoder Ring

The Windows Vista Secret Decoder Ring

The conventional wisdom says Microsoft is making the biggest marketing blunder since New Coke by introducing a confusing mish-mash of Windows Vista versions. Nonsense. I took Microsoft's five-page feature table (which looks like a graduate thesis from the Rube Goldberg School of Business) and distilled it into a simple matrix that's not the least bit confusing.

published April 20, 2006 by

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Breaking down the Vista versions, part 2

Breaking down the Vista versions, part 2

Which version of Windows Vista will work best for you and your organization? I've gone through each version, feature by feature, and made a list of which features are available only in specific Vista versions. This article, the conclusion of a two-part series, includes advanced networking features and system administration tools that will be especially interesting to IT professionals in charge of enterprise networks.

published April 19, 2006 by

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Breaking down the Windows Vista versions

Breaking down the Windows Vista versions

Which version of Windows Vista will work best for you and your organization? I've gone through each version, feature by feature, and made a list of which features are available only in specific Vista versions. This article, first in a two-part series, includes end-user features such as Windows Media Center, the Aero interface, backup, and encryption.

published April 17, 2006 by

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It's the end of the web as we know it (not)

It's the end of the web as we know it (not)

One of the patches included with this week's updates from Microsoft causes a change in behavior to some web pages. Judging by the commentary, the web must be pretty fragile. Apparently, one click is enough to bring it to its knees.

published April 13, 2006 by

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Whatever you do, don't read this Vista guide

Whatever you do, don't read this Vista guide

Microsoft has just posted a comprehensive product guide to Windows Vista. It's packed with interesting information, including a feature matrix that explains what's in each Windows Vista version. Here's why you shouldn't read it.

published April 11, 2006 by

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A better Windows than Windows?

A better Windows than Windows?

Years ago, IBM tried to sell OS/2 with the tagline "a better Windows than Windows." They failed, because it simply wasn't true. But Apple has the opportunity to succeed where IBM failed. Just look past Boot Camp.

published April 7, 2006 by

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Throw in the towel on malware? No way

Throw in the towel on malware? No way

No, Microsoft is not throwing in the towel on malware. The basic principles of security are the same as ever: Prevent untrusted software from getting on your computers and on your network. If a bad guy can convince you to install an untrusted program that alters your operating system, it's not your computer anynore.

published April 7, 2006 by

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Apple's Boot Camp is just the start

Apple's Boot Camp is just the start

Apple has formally introduced a utility called Boot Camp that lets owners of Intel-based Macs run Windows XP: Boot Camp simplifies Windows installation on an Intel-based Mac by providing a simple graphical step-by-step assistant application to dynamically create a second partition on the hard drive for Windows, to burn a CD with all the necessary Windows drivers, and to install Windows from a Windows XP installation CD.

published April 4, 2006 by

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Why does Microsoft Passport suck?

Why does Microsoft Passport suck?

The Microsoft Passport Network is supposed to be an effortless way to share a single set of logon credentials across multiple sites. Instead, it’s a colossal annoyance. Even Microsoft employees gripe about the inconsistencies and abysmal user experience of Passport. But help may be on the way.

published April 4, 2006 by

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Want a Windows Vista capable PC? Follow these three rules

Want a Windows Vista capable PC? Follow these three rules

Last week, Microsoft announced that it will begin allowing OEMs to slap a "Vista Capable" sticker on new PCs that meet minimum standards. You could try to figure out which hardware is best suited for Vista from the official guidelines. But you don't need a sticker to decide on a new PC, just some common sense. I've boiled it down to three simple rules.

published April 2, 2006 by

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More brand-name confusion in Redmond

More brand-name confusion in Redmond

One of the biggest branding mistakes Microsoft ever made was to call its free e-mail client - the one included with every copy of Windows since 1998 - Outlook Express. To this day, sensible people assume - incorrectly - that there's a connection between Microsoft Outlook, which is a member of the Office family, and the free Outlook Express.With Windows Vista, Outlook Express is getting a complete rewrite and a new name: Windows Mail. Meanwhile, the e-mail (and so much more) client in Office 2007 will keep the Outlook name. Brand confusion eliminated, right?Errr, not exactly.

published March 29, 2006 by

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