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New book: Windows 7: The Best of the Official Magazine

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We’re happy to announce that Windows 7: The Best of the Official Magazine is now available. Today we offer an excerpt from the book. First, here’s a quick a description of it:

Explore the practical, fun, and creative things you can do right now with Windows 7—with expert guidance from the editors of the only officially endorsed magazine for Windows 7. This guide comes packed with smart-and-simple tips-and vibrantly illustrated how-to's-on everything from navigating the Windows interface to taking advantage of new operating system features to fun projects for home, school, and work. Topics include boosting your productivity with Windows Live and Windows Internet Explorer 8, thwarting hackers, organizing your photo and music collections, making movies, streaming to an Xbox 360, controlling your TV from your PC, using Windows Calendar to get organized, setting up a home network in 10 minutes, and more.

The excerpt comes from Chapter 2, “Your First Hour”:


Introducing Windows 7

Discover the new features of Windows 7, and personalize the settings to your liking

The first time you load up Windows 7, you might not think that much has changed since its predecessor, Windows Vista, but you’d be mistaken. Although on the surface Windows 7 hasn’t been radically altered, there are many great new features.

As the previous pages have shown, the Taskbar now becomes the place to launch your programs. Once you’ve got a few programs open, just hover the mouse over the icons and a thumbnail preview window will pop up to tell you what’s open. An additional user-friendly
feature is Jump Lists. When you right-click a program icon, a menu will appear, giving you the option to open old files you’ve been working on or websites you’ve recently visited, along with the ability to quickly change settings.

Many other things in Windows 7 have been made easier to use, but before you start delving into all the new features, your first port of call needs to be
Windows Update. It’s always worth checking if there are any new downloads available to keep your PC running at its best. Updates are typically set to install
automatically via the internet.

If you’ve bought a new PC with Windows 7, and you still have your old PC running an older version of Windows, you’ll probably want to import your old files and settings. The Windows Easy Transfer route makes this easy – find out more on page 200. Over the course of
installing and transferring, you’ll notice many systems options are now behind a security prompt, flagged with a shield icon. Click through the prompt (or enter your password) to continue. It can be a chore during the early stages but they become less frequent, and your PC is safer as a result. You can change how many notifications you receive by clicking the small flag icon on the Taskbar, selecting Open Action Center
Change User Account Control
and adjusting the slider to suit, although it’s recommended you leave it at its default setting for security reasons.

For advice, click Start Help and Support in Windows. You can also find further guidance at the website for Windows: The Official Magazine – www.officialwindowsmagazine.com.


Let me stop there. This kind of excerpting doesn’t do this book justice. Instead, I’ll take a few snapshots of these same pages so that you can take a much better look at the book.

Continue reading at the Microsoft Press blog.

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