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

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


Vista Home Basic on 512MB? Hey, it works!

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.

May 9, 2007 by

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Microsoft's hidden diagnostic tool unlocks Vista startup secrets

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.

May 4, 2007 by

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How to get sued by Microsoft

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.

April 29, 2007 by


Microsoft hits a home run with Windows Home Server

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.

April 26, 2007 by


Vista Hands On #16: A smarter way to manage System Restore space

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.

April 24, 2007 by

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The final word on Vista startup times

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.

April 18, 2007 by