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

Does Vista really need 15GB of disk space?

Does Vista really need 15GB of disk space?

When you run the new Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor, you'll find that Vista won't install unless you have 15GB of disk space free. Is this the most bloated OS upgrade ever? Nope. The actual installation uses much less space. Here's why.

published May 23, 2006 by

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More details on the onerous MTV Urge license agreement

More details on the onerous MTV Urge license agreement

Microsoft's security group says a program should never update or reinstall itself without notifying you and receiving your explicit consent. That sort of behavior is one of the warning signs of a spyware program. So why is the new MTV Urge service allowed to break these rules?

published May 16, 2006 by

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I don't want my MTV

I don't want my MTV

The new MTV/Microsoft music service, Urge, is getting rave reviews. It all sounds great, until you take a closer look at the license agreement. Here's why I won't be signing up.

published May 16, 2006 by

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Windows Vista Beta 2? Pass the Maalox, please

Windows Vista Beta 2? Pass the Maalox, please

In about two weeks, Beta 2 of Windows Vista will be officially released to the public. And when it does, Microsoft will officially enter uncharted territory. I expect that Beta 2 will be reviewed as if it were a finished product. Those reviews will hit within days of its release, and they will be publicized more widely than any official Windows release ever. If you're a Microsoft product manager, it's time to stock up on antacids.

published May 10, 2006 by

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How Microsoft can save User Account Control

How Microsoft can save User Account Control

For years, Windows users have been allowed to essentially ignore the responsibilities of security while having to deal with the consequences of insecurity. Windows Vista is about to introduce User Account Control - a sweeping change to the Windows security model that really works. Unfortunately, this feature risks being torpedoed by a user community that can't handle change. UAC can work, especially if Microsoft can make a few small changes before the final release of Windows Vista.

published May 8, 2006 by

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A fresh look at Vista's User Account Control, Part 2

A fresh look at Vista's User Account Control, Part 2

User Account Control is a controversial new feature in Windows Vista. But as many beta testers have discovered, UAC prompts can also show up when you perform seemingly innocent file operations on drives formatted using NTFS. Why do these prompts appear? And why do some so-called Windows experts miss the obvious reason (and the obvious fix)?

published May 3, 2006 by

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Gartner says Vista to ship in 2007

Gartner says Vista to ship in 2007

Gartner is at it again, with a report that predicts Microsoft will miss its end-of-year ship date for Windows Vista. The teaser copy reads: Microsoft's track record is clear; it consistently misses target dates for major operating system releases.

published May 2, 2006 by

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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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