In This Chapter
Celebrating the advantages of Windows 7
Starting and shutting down Windows 7
Introducing Windows controls
Using the keyboard
Searching for help
Contacting Microsoft for support
The Windows 7 operating system offers the most current appearance, performance, and functionality available for your PC — that is, as long as you're using an Intel or Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) processor with sufficient muscle. If you're using an older Pentium or Athlon single-processor machine, consider sticking with Windows XP because your PC doesn't have the necessary horsepower to provide real performance in Windows 7.
In this chapter, I present you with the beginning of your Windows 7 manual — the invaluable, indispensable paper volume that you didn't get when you bought Windows 7 or your PC. (Can you tell that I used to write software user manuals?) This book assumes no experience with Windows, so I start with shutting down your PC and the most important controls and keys that you use in the following chapters.
Start off by seeing what's new in Windows 7. And for those readers on the fence trying to decide whether to upgrade — and whether your current machine has the juice to support Windows 7 — I've got you covered.
If you're wondering why Windows 7 is the pick of the Microsoft litter — and why it's time to upgrade from an older Windows version, such as 2000, XP, or Vista — allow me to point out the advantages of ...