Planning to stick with Windows XP for a while? Microsoft just gave home users a gift of three additional years of support. For XP Home and Media Center editions, the "extended support" clock continues ticking till 2014, the same as it does for business users.
The Ed Bott Report
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Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications.
The official Vista launch event is still a week away, but online retailers have already begun selling single OEM copies of Windows Vista. The surprising news is that consumer editions are selling for roughly the same as their XP counterparts, although business buyers may see a slight price increase. The real question is whether PC buyers will pay up for the pricier Ultimate edition.
My colleague George Ou notes that many Windows Vista upgraders are in for a rude shock when they find that their flash RAM devices don't work well with the new ReadyBoost feature in Windows Vista. As part of the research for my new book, Windows Vista Inside Out, I discovered the secret location where Vista hides the performance details for these drives. Here's the exclusive report.
I spent an hour at the Windows Mobile pavilion at CES looking at Smartphones. I would choose any of them over the iPhone, as would just about anyone I met with at CES. Here's why the iPhone is not a smart choice.
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?
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?