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Windows 7: The Complete Guide (Now With RC1!)

May 23, 2009

I’ve tried to cover Windows 7 from rumor to release candidate, which you can currently download and install for free. Now, it’s enchilada time: Here’s everything of value that I’ve learned about Win 7, packed in a complete, easy-to-read guide.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

BONUS CHAPTER: All the Release Candidate 1 Details You Can Eat
Where to get it for free (For general installation instructions, see Chapter 1, below)
Special assistance for installing RC1 on older netbooks
The best surprise new features, including over-the-net music sharing, and XP mode
10 things you MUST know, including required system specs, known glitches, upgrade options and how to get those trippy wallpapers
The first benchmarks: Windows RC1 vs Windows Vista

 
Chapter 1: Installing Windows 7 Beta, and Getting It Ready to Use
Now that the Beta download period has ended, it’s time to put bits to metal, if you haven’t already. And if you are looking for alternative installations—from netbooks to emulators—better read up first.

 
Chapter 2: How To Use Windows 7, or Why The New UI Is So Great
Windows 7 is Microsoft’s biggest user-interface overhaul since Windows 95. It’s no surprise, then, that even Windows veterans could use a crash course on how to use it.

 
Chapter 3: Device Stage Hardware Fun, Plus More Productivity Tips
Device Stage, the instant recognition of cameras, printers and other peripherals, is candy for the gadget-addicted, but knowing what works and what doesn’t definitely matters.

 
Chapter 4: Windows Media Player and Media File Compatibility
Music and movies—not only are they more important than they were when Vista came out, but they also come from more sources in more formats. Windows 7 attempts to master them all.

 
Chapter 5: Couch Tricks: New Features for Windows Media Center
Our favorite “10-foot” media software shows up in Windows 7 with loads of new features—if you haven’t yet seen why Media Center makes even TiVo look dated, you better pay attention.

 
Chapter 6: Important Changes to Networking and Security
When it comes to life online, there’s no way to underestimate advances in networking and security. Windows 7 is full of them, and it pays to know what they are and how to use them.

 
Chapter 7: Natural Interfaces: Pen, Touch and Multitouch
Windows 7 comes of age at a time when the keyboard and mouse are giving way to newer more instinctive controls—luckily, it’s got many of those controls built right in.

 
Chapter 8: Got Troubles? Here’s How To Shoot ‘Em Down
Even a good operating system can be bad once in a while. During the Beta test, we’ve had our share of issues. Here’s a discussion of many of the problems that can be solved, and a few that can’t.

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