Using the Windows 7 User Interface
Many readers might wonder why an advanced book such as this includes coverage of something as basic as the Windows user interface (UI). The decision was primarily driven by the knowledge that many users of Windows 7 will be upgrading from Windows 2000, XP, and even Vista. For those users, savvy as they might be with Windows concepts, the Windows 7 UI is different enough that they'll need a roadmap to get started. When you are familiar with it, you'll wonder how you ever got around in those old clunky environments. In addition to the newer look of Windows 7, many new functions are woven into the fabric of the new UI—we don't want you to miss out on them. We've also included some UI tips and tricks that you might not know about. So even if you consider yourself a Windows veteran, at least take the time to skim through this chapter before you move on.
Don't just take our word for it. Experiment with the new UI as you read this chapter. We've found that nothing can substitute for direct hands-on operation to get an understanding and a feel for the new user environment. Most of the information in this chapter is not of a level or type that can damage your system, but whenever caution is needed, we spell it out clearly.
We aren't able to cover everything about the new environment in this chapter, but we do a good job of covering the important aspects and those of interest to most readers. If you run across a button or command that you don't recognize, don't be afraid to explore the Windows Help service for details and instructions. The Windows 7 Help system builds upon the help and support available in Windows Vista, and expands upon the articles previously available.
If at any time you want to put this book down and walk away from your system, jump to the "Exiting Windows Gracefully" section near the end of this chapter to find out how to log off with aplomb.