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

Why Microsoft should sell Windows XP Starter Edition everywhere

Why Microsoft should sell Windows XP Starter Edition everywhere

If you're still using Windows 98 or Windows Me on a computer that's connected to the Internet, you're either crazy or suicidal. Microsoft says it can't patch a critical vulnerability that affects these older Windows versions. But not everyone can afford the cost of a full XP upgrade. So why not offer Windows XP Starter Edition as an option for people in North America and Western Europe?

June 13, 2006 by in Windows

Microsoft presses the Stupid button

Microsoft presses the Stupid button

When you’re the Evil Empire, it’s only natural to get a bad rap for everything you do. Microsoft gets bad-mouthed a hundred times a week for things that would be perfectly acceptable coming from anyone else. Given that level of criticism, it’s easy to ignore the times when they’re just completely, egregiously wrong.Microsoft’s new Windows Genuine Advantage authentication software which is now being pushed onto Windows users’ machines via Windows Update, is one of those occasions. Someone at Microsoft just pushed the Stupid button. And things aren’t going to get better until they stop pushing it.

June 12, 2006 by in Windows

10 tough questions about Office 2007

10 tough questions about Office 2007

Led by its two poker-playing veterans, Microsoft is making a huge bet on Office 2007. Whether they win or lose depends on how customers respond to the massive changes in this version. I've put together a detailed look at the new Office and posed 10 questions that will tell whether Office is a big winner or a bust.

June 8, 2006 by in Microsoft

Vista Media Center: Ready for the living room?

Vista Media Center: Ready for the living room?

Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is the best version of Windows Microsoft has ever released. That's why I’m holding my breath when I look at the big upgrade to Media Center that’s due at the end of this year in the Home Premium and Ultimate editions of Windows Vista. Will Microsoft ruin a good thing? Will its revamped interface just add unnecessary flash and bog down performance? See for yourself in this exclusive image gallery and review of Vista Media Center Beta 2.

June 1, 2006 by in Windows

Faster networks, please

Faster networks, please

You can’t be too rich or too thin, or have a network that’s too fast. I struggled over the weekend trying to tweak the performance of an Xbox 360 connected to a PC running the new Media Center software in Windows Vista. The experience was amazing and frustrating at the same time. Is there a hardware fix waiting in the wings?

May 30, 2006 by in Networking

Windows Vista takes on Norton Ghost

Windows Vista takes on Norton Ghost

Premium editions of Windows Vista include a full-featured Backup program that allows you to create an image-based backup of a full drive rather than copying one file at a time. In Vista Beta 2, the new image backup feature has a name: CompletePC Backup. Yesterday, after deliberately making a thorough mess of a new Vista installation, I put it to the test. How did it work? See for yourself.

May 25, 2006 by in Data Management

Vista Beta 2, up close and personal

Vista Beta 2, up close and personal

In the comments to posts I’ve written over the past few weeks, one question comes up again and again: What’s really in Windows Vista? Why should I care? To help answer those questions, I’ve put together a gallery of 30 screen shots digging deep into Vista Beta 2.

May 23, 2006 by in Windows

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.

May 23, 2006 by in Windows

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?

May 16, 2006 by in Microsoft

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.

May 16, 2006 by in Tech Industry

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.

May 10, 2006 by in Windows

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.

May 8, 2006 by in Windows

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