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

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.

July 12, 2006 by in Virtualization

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.

July 12, 2006 by in Windows

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.

July 9, 2006 by in Enterprise Software

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.

July 7, 2006 by in Windows

MS: 20% of WGA failures not caused by pirated keys

MS: 20% of WGA failures not caused by pirated keys

Microsoft isn't interested in answering detailed questions about how Windows Genuine Advantage works. But via e-mail, they acknowledged that 20% of Windows users who fail the validation test are not using leaked or stolen keys. No wonder so many people are up in arms.

July 3, 2006 by in Microsoft

No WGA "kill switch," says Microsoft

No WGA "kill switch," says Microsoft

A new statement from Microsoft's PR agency denies the rumor that the Windows Genuine Advantage validation tool will be used to shut off computers running "non-genuine" copies of Windows. But the new statement still doesn't settle the question.

June 30, 2006 by in Windows

IE7 gets closer to its official debut

IE7 gets closer to its official debut

The browser wars are back. Microsoft has released another public beta of Internet Explorer 7. Beta 3 for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 has a few new features and is as polished as most final releases. Here are the details.

June 29, 2006 by in Windows

The WGA fiasco continues

The WGA fiasco continues

When it comes to Windows Genuine Advantage, Microsoft appears to have the reverse Midas touch - everything they touch turns to lead and crashes to the ground with a thud. The latest episode? A set of instructions for removing one of the buggy WGA modules has errors that would embarrass a rookie tech editor.

June 28, 2006 by in Windows

Maybe Firefox doesn't have a security edge after all

Maybe Firefox doesn't have a security edge after all

On his blog, a Firefox evangelist takes a months-old quote from a Microsoft security expert completely out of context and tries to convince his readers that Firefox is still more secure than Internet Explorer. Trouble is, that might not be true any more. Why the desperate, distorted attack? Are Firefox fans beginning to realize that IE has the upper hand on security issues these days?

June 27, 2006 by in Security

Is Microsoft about to release a Windows "kill switch"?

Is Microsoft about to release a Windows "kill switch"?

Windows Genuine Activation is a mess. And according to one published report, it's about to get even messier. If Microsoft's online check determines that your copy of Windows isn't "genuine," will it shut you down completely? Microsoft says that just might be in their plans. Uh-oh.

June 27, 2006 by in Windows

Did Microsoft just leak the name of its next server?

Did Microsoft just leak the name of its next server?

One well-connected Windows watcher says that Longhorn Server - the current codename for Microsoft's 2007 server release - will "definitely not be called Windows Vista Server." He might have to eat those words, judging from the text that inadvertently leaked into a Help file for a new Windows Vista component. I've got the pictures to prove it.

June 26, 2006 by in Windows

Watching Windows Vista decay

Watching Windows Vista decay

By definition, beta software is buggy. So, how buggy is Windows Vista? According to Vista's built-in Reliability Monitor, one computer in my office has decayed from a perfect 10 to a 1.70 in just four weeks. Is this beta really that bad?

June 22, 2006 by in Windows

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