If you've been selling a product for more than 10 years and you've shipped hundreds of millions of units, you'd think your customers would know what they're buying. For Microsoft, that's not the case. The culprit is the hopelessly confusing, practically Byzantine Windows licensing structure, which consists of a maze of terms and conditions that define (and ultimately restrict) what you can do with Microsoft Windows in your home or business. I've identified five problems with Windows licensing. If you think they don't affect you, think again.
The Ed Bott Report
Get outspoken insights and expert advice on the products and companies that define today's tech landscape, from a source who knows these technologies inside and out.
Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.
ATI and Nvidia have released new WHQL-certified Windows drivers for their flagship video cards. In the past three months, both companies have been delivering a steady stream of new drivers. Are those updates enough to quiet the critics?
I’m away on vacation this week, nearly 7,000 miles from home. But I’m not out of touch. After five years of lugging a Windows laptop around Europe, it’s instructive to see just how much the experience of world travel has changed because of the spread of computing technology and improvements in Windows.
Windows Vista is a resource hog, right? Everyone says it doesn’t even get out of first gear without a gigabyte of RAM, and it takes 2 GB before it stops stuttering and stammering with each mouse click. That’s what I keep reading on the Internet, so it must be true. I had steeled myself for pitiful performance when I yanked all but 512MB out of my test system last week and downgraded to Vista Home Basic. But guess what? It worked. In fact, I was impressed with how well Vista ran on this barebones system.
Are you having performance problems with Windows Vista? You don't need a stopwatch to find the cause. Vista's onboard monitors are constantly recording information about performance and storing it in the new, greatly expanded event logs. None of these details are documented anywhere, which is why I sat down with a group of Microsoft engineers to unravel the mystery.
Everyone knows that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But that doesn't stop shady resellers from offering Windows XP at eye-popping prices with a plausible sounding story that even suckered one leading Windows newsletter. It's a great deal, until you end up in court.
Almost without exception, the first reaction when people hear that Microsoft is working on Windows Home Server is, "Why would I want that?" After they see it, the first reaction is much simpler: "I want that." In this post and accompanying image gallery, I supply details about why you'll want Windows Home Server on your home network.
When a Windows tip becomes popular, it spreads through the community like wildfire. Case in point: I've seen at least 10 sites this week echo a tip that shows how to use an obscure command-line tool to trim the amount of disk space Windows Vista sets aside for System Restore. But is this good advice? Before you start chopping, make sure you understand the facts and the alternatives.
The echo chamber is spreading the alarmist news that Microsoft is cutting off access to Windows XP in 2008. Too bad the story's not true. By my calculations, anyone who wants Windows XP will still be able to get it even in 2011. Here's why.
As I’ve pointed out in the previous two installments of this series, a properly configured, well-maintained Windows Vista installation should start up in a reasonable amount of time. I've condensed the lessons I learned from several days of concentrated testing into four basic principles.