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

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

239 Comments

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

30 Comments

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

287 Comments

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

13 Comments

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

282 Comments

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

124 Comments

Five Windows tools to keep your digital life in sync

Keeping files, programs, bookmarks, and passwords in sync across two computers is a tricky task. Over the course of the last few years, I’ve built up an assortment of tools and techniques that help me keep track of files, bookmarks, passwords, RSS feeds, and other assorted data (mostly work-related) as I switch between PCs. In this post, I’ll share my favorite software, services, and shortcuts for keeping stuff in sync.

April 5, 2009 by

40 Comments 1 Vote

McAfee fails the Conficker test

The hysteria over the Conficker worm is reaching a fever pitch, with mainstream media doing their bit to whip Windows users into an unjustified panic. The trouble with virus scares in general is that they do a wonderful job of driving people directly into the arms of rogue security vendors. So what's a confused consumer to do when one of the largest security companies in the world creates a website filled with sloppy mistakes that make it look exactly like a rogue vendor?

March 31, 2009 by

129 Comments

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

277 Comments