So I try to sneak away for a few days and Microsoft releases big news. Well, sort of big.
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.
If you're still using Windows 98 or Windows Me on a computer that's connected to the Internet, you're either crazy or suicidal. Microsoft says it can't patch a critical vulnerability that affects these older Windows versions. But not everyone can afford the cost of a full XP upgrade. So why not offer Windows XP Starter Edition as an option for people in North America and Western Europe?
When you’re the Evil Empire, it’s only natural to get a bad rap for everything you do. Microsoft gets bad-mouthed a hundred times a week for things that would be perfectly acceptable coming from anyone else. Given that level of criticism, it’s easy to ignore the times when they’re just completely, egregiously wrong.Microsoft’s new Windows Genuine Advantage authentication software which is now being pushed onto Windows users’ machines via Windows Update, is one of those occasions. Someone at Microsoft just pushed the Stupid button. And things aren’t going to get better until they stop pushing it.
Led by its two poker-playing veterans, Microsoft is making a huge bet on Office 2007. Whether they win or lose depends on how customers respond to the massive changes in this version. I've put together a detailed look at the new Office and posed 10 questions that will tell whether Office is a big winner or a bust.
Office 2007 Beta 2 has been out for nearly two weeks now, and the radically revised new interface is getting mixed reviews. Are you using Office Beta 2? What do you think so far?
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is the best version of Windows Microsoft has ever released. That's why I’m holding my breath when I look at the big upgrade to Media Center that’s due at the end of this year in the Home Premium and Ultimate editions of Windows Vista. Will Microsoft ruin a good thing? Will its revamped interface just add unnecessary flash and bog down performance? See for yourself in this exclusive image gallery and review of Vista Media Center Beta 2.
You can’t be too rich or too thin, or have a network that’s too fast. I struggled over the weekend trying to tweak the performance of an Xbox 360 connected to a PC running the new Media Center software in Windows Vista. The experience was amazing and frustrating at the same time. Is there a hardware fix waiting in the wings?
Premium editions of Windows Vista include a full-featured Backup program that allows you to create an image-based backup of a full drive rather than copying one file at a time. In Vista Beta 2, the new image backup feature has a name: CompletePC Backup. Yesterday, after deliberately making a thorough mess of a new Vista installation, I put it to the test. How did it work? See for yourself.
In the comments to posts I’ve written over the past few weeks, one question comes up again and again: What’s really in Windows Vista? Why should I care? To help answer those questions, I’ve put together a gallery of 30 screen shots digging deep into Vista Beta 2.
When you run the new Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor, you'll find that Vista won't install unless you have 15GB of disk space free. Is this the most bloated OS upgrade ever? Nope. The actual installation uses much less space. Here's why.