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

Vista isn't Me2, it's Win95 + 12 years

The similarities between Vista and Windows 95 are striking: Unachievable levels of hype; a long and public beta; initial compatibility, performance, and stability problems. If history repeats itself, Microsoft will release its next Vista update in 2009 or 2010 and it will be greeted as finally delivering on the promise of what Vista should have been all along.

June 28, 2007 by


Has Dell kicked the crapware habit?

In the fourth installment of my series on setting up a new Dell consumer PC running Windows Vista Home Premium, I roll up my sleeves and start looking for crapware to zap. Surprisingly, there's almost none to be found, and Dell has created a simple automated routine to uninstall the handful of programs included with this PC. Have consumers won the war against crapware?

June 20, 2007 by


Not one, but two Windows service packs

A newly released document filed with the U.S. District Court supervising the Microsoft antitrust case reveals some detals about two long-awaited Windows updates. Yes, Virginia, there will be a Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista, and there's news about the long-delayed Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, too.

June 20, 2007 by


Day 3 with a new Dell and Vista

I’m documenting my experience with a new Dell C521 running Windows Vista. After an initial glitch that requires an onsite service call from Dell, I'm back in business. Today's goal is to stress-test the machine using a selection of real-world applications and see how it performs under fire. How much can a $500 PC handle before it falters? The answer even surprised me.

June 14, 2007 by


Day 2 with a new Dell and Vista

I’m documenting my experience with a new Dell C521 that arrived last week. Day 1 was uneventful, as I unpacked the pieces, backed up the original hard drive and replaced it with a new larger drive, and installed a few updates. Well, uneventful except for the BIOS update I left running overnight… On Day 2, I get to put Dell's support to the test as the system is completely unresponsive.

June 12, 2007 by


Day 1 with a new Dell and Vista

The UPS guy just showed up with a new Dell. I’ve done clean installs and upgrades, but this is the first factory-equipped Vista PC I’ve set up for long-term use. I’ve read plenty of complaints about Vista performance and compatibility, so I’m anxious to see how this one stacks up and what happens to it over time. Day 1 was going just fine until someone suggested updating the BIOS...

June 11, 2007 by


Microsoft's licensing mess

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.

June 7, 2007 by


On the road with Windows Vista

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.

May 15, 2007 by