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Microsoft® Windows® XP Inside Out
Author Ed Bott and Carl Siechert
Pages 1296
Disk 1 Companion CD(s)
Level Int/Adv
Published 10/24/2001
ISBN 9780735613829
ISBN-10 0-7356-1382-6
Price(USD) $44.99
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Chapter 1: Introducing Windows XP



Chapter 1   Introducing Windows XP

Think you know Microsoft Windows inside out? Think again.

For more than a decade, power users have obsessed over ways to make Windows run faster, work smarter, and crash less often. Through books, magazine articles, and the Web, Windows users have amassed huge collections of keyboard shortcuts, registry hacks, elegant workarounds, and undocumented secrets to help master each succeeding Windows version. And now that Microsoft Windows XP has arrived, much of that hard-earned knowledge is irrelevant or obsolete.

Sorry to have to deliver the bad news, but it's true: From top to bottom, Windows XP is dramatically different from previous Windows versions. The more you think you know about Windows, the more likely you'll feel at least a little disoriented when you begin working with Windows XP. That's especially true if you've spent the past few years mastering Windows 95 and its successors, Windows 98 and Windows Me (Millennium Edition).

Now for the good news: The changes in Windows XP are well worth the time and effort you'll spend unlearning old habits and mastering a new operating system. After you learn your way around Windows XP, we predict you'll appreciate its reliability, security, and smoother way of handling everyday tasks. Our mission in this book is to help you take full advantage of the rich new features in Windows XP while working around this complex operating system's quirks, rough edges, and annoyances. And although the book is published by Microsoft Press, we've taken advantage of our editorial freedom to tell you when we've found a better way than the Windows way.

This book brings you the detailed, inside information you need to quickly get your bearings in Windows XP and make the right setup and configuration choices the first time. Don't like the default settings? Don't worry. We've uncovered the fastest, easiest ways to get things done, and we also show you how to tweak the radically redesigned Windows XP interface so it works the way you want it to work. We've found plenty of registry hacks and undocumented secrets, too.

For the sake of this book, we assume that you have plenty of experience with Windows 95/98/Me and at least a nodding familiarity with Windows 2000. If that description fits you, read this chapter carefully to learn about the major changes in Windows XP that will most affect you. If you're an experienced Windows 2000 user, some of the information in this chapter may seem familiar, but we recommend that you skim through it anyway, because some changes that aren't immediately obvious can have a big impact on your PC and network. (Pay particular attention to the tricky new security and file-sharing system, which is dramatically different from its Windows 2000 predecessor on home and small business PCs.)


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Last Updated: October 15, 2001
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