Earlier this week, I spoke with Michael Dell about the crapware installed on Dell's consumer PCs. Now, CBC is reporting comments from an anonymous Microsoft source expressing concern about what these "craplets" will mean for the launch of Windows Vista. Is there really anything to worry about?
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.
At CES, smaller companies get tucked into the corners of the large exhibit halls or shunted off to the "overflow area" at the Sands. I spent Monday morning looking at some of the exhibits in these off-the-beaten-track locations and found four interesting and inexpensive gadgets designed to solve common problems.
What do you do when you're the founder of the world's biggest computer company and bloggers keep telling you how much your company sucks? If you're Michael Dell, you invite a bunch of those bloggers to a private meeting room at the Las Vegas Hilton for a wide-ranging, unscripted conversation. Here's what the chairman had to say about "Dell Hell," home automation, Windows Vista, and crapware.
Toshiba's newest notebook is small and light, with a drop-dead gorgeous display and a breathtaking price tag. For highly paid mobile professionals who need instant access to information, it'll probably be worth the premium. The rest of us will have to wait till the technology trickles down into the next generation of portable PCs.
Built-to-order home automation systems that handle lighting, climate control, and security are old hat in multimillion-dollar custom homes behind the gates of swank country clubs. But the next generation of home automation systems are built around off-the-shelf parts using the Windows Media Center interface, adding audio and video to the mix. The kicker? Consumer electronics giant Best Buy is getting into the business, at a price that's right at home in upscale suburban neighborhoods.
The anti-DRM movement wants to boycott or ban all restrictions on your rights to use digital content. It's a topic I expect to discuss with a lot of people at CES next week. How would a world without DRM work? What would happen to the cable and satellite TV industries, to movie and TV producers, to software manufacturers?
I'll be at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. In between waiting for cabs, I'll be talking with the companies who are planning to release an avalanche of gadgets and gizmos - oh, and Windows Vista will make its public debut here as well. I've narrowed down my meeting list by focusing on five technologies that are going to drive the consumer electronics market in 2007.
I've been tagged, and it would be downright churlish to refuse to play along. So, here's my contribution to an Internet fad that is rapidly turning into the online equivalent of The Wave.
Whatever happened to my project to compare the leading PC-based digital media platforms? Shuttle happened, that's what. Shuttle Computer is justly famous among Media Center enthusiasts for its sleek small-form-factor designs, but its support is inexcusably bad. Here's why I'll never buy another Shuttle PC.
Last year, one prominent technology journalist complained - loudly, in America's newspaper of record - when the hard drive on his Windows PC crashed and some of his important files were lost. The new Backup program in Windows Vista would have saved the day for him. So why is he complaining about it?