An independent analysis of reports to Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage support forum confirms that problems with the company's anti-piracy program are growing. Our investigation found that 42% of people reporting WGA problems were running copies of Windows XP that Microsoft's own diagnostic utility confirmed as Genuine. Microsoft support representatives even have cut-and-paste answers that acknowledge these problems "are coming up more commonly now." Why does Microsoft continue to insist that WGA is problem-free?
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.
Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy program was an add-on to earlier versions of Windows and Office, but the Genuine Advantage code is baked into Windows Vista and Office 2007. And if you thought that Microsoft's next-generation WGA would work better than the current one, think again.
Does the multi-layered security protection in Windows Vista work? It's too early to provide a definitive answer, but Vista's handling of the zero-day VML exploit offers some encouraging news.
Microsoft touts Windows Vista as the most secure Windows ever, but critics say the changes are mostly cosmetic and are so annoying that most users will simply turn them off. There are big changes in the User Account Control feature in RC1. Have they done enough to win over skeptical users?
To hear some reviewers talk about it, Vista's new Aero interface is so demanding that it will make your old video card burst into tears. That may have been true a yewar ago, but it certainly isn't so today. In the latest Vista Mythbusters post, I explain what Aero is (a handful of flashy visuals), what you need to run it (even video chips integrated on cheap motherboards can handle Aero these days), and why it's not a make-or-break feature.
This week, Microsoft made new beta versions of Windows Vista and Office 2007 widely available. If you're interested in evaluating what the Windows and Office families will look like beginning next year, this is a good place to start.
Microsoft says they haven't raised prices for Windows Vista. And if you hold your head sideways and look at the official price list just right, you have to agree. Unless you're planning to buy Vista Ultimate edition, that is. With the highest price tag for any Windows version ever, the pricing makes no sense at all.
Apple cultists are gushing over Steve Jobs' latest Apple announcements. Browsing your music collection by album cover? A box that connects your home theater to your networked PC and plays music and movies? Someone better tell Steve it's all been done before, and better.
One of the best ways to test a new (or old) operating system is to install it in a virtual environment. Instead of messing with physical hardware, you create virtual disks, run processes on a virtual CPU, test what happens when you add some virtual memory, and save the whole thing as a file that you can restore in a few minutes.
Conspiracy theorists believe Microsoft is plotting to drop support for Windows XP as soon as Vista comes out, thereby forcing Windows users to upgrade or else. The reality? You can count on at least four years of support for XP. I've got the details and the exact dates.