Windows 7, Microsoft’s new operating system, launched in October, following on the heels of Vista, which most PC users and media pundits declared a failure. Although hardware manufacturers are continuing to sell off computer inventory preloaded with Vista or Windows XP, the new Windows 7 operating system comes installed on all major PC brands. And these computers are manufactured with the appropriate levels of memory, processor speed, and large storage capacity to perform well over time.
This comprehensive book, Windows 7: The Definitive Guide, at over 900 pages, builds on the author’s Vista guide, and includes a focus on all the new features of Windows 7. Rely on the detailed index to find your way around.
Although author William Stanek remains objective, of necessity, if you use the book as a companion to a new computer loaded with Windows 7, as I did, you’ll get the most out of it. Unless you’re a skeptic, you’ll be dazzled by all you can do to optimize the system, manage files, and use features that weren’t in prior versions of Windows. The conversion to Windows 7 from Vista or Windows XP is fully explained, and if you are a PC user, you will want Windows 7 after reading this guide. If you’re a Mac user, you might be looking over your shoulder with lust for the speed and performance of Windows 7.
You can work hours on Windows 7 without being asked if you really want to do what you just tried to do. No more requirements for administrator rights for every small adjustment you want to make. There is still a User Account Control (UAC) area, but it is much easier to manage with fewer persistent problems.
All users should read the “Getting Started” chapter and “Optimizing Windows 7’s Interface.” In my experience, installing software was a breeze, despite the expected problems running old 16-bit software in my new 64-bit environment. Believe it or not, many of us still need those old programs for quirky client projects.
If you read the book while touring your new Windows 7 computer, you’ll be inclined to skip the fine tuning for a week or two until you’re used to the new look. But revisit the book then to explore resources for set-up, problem solving, and optimizing your experience.