6.1. Installing and Configuring Software

When you get right down to it, a computer is useless without software. The hardware allows it to host an operating system. The operating system allows it to run software or applications. The applications are needed to make the box productive.

Although some applications are installed by default on Windows 7, such as Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player, most users need more. These applications need to be installed.

Applications are distributed in one of the following formats:


This is a Windows installer (.msi) package file. It uses the Windows Installer engine to complete the installation. Windows Installer was previously known as Microsoft Installer. Microsoft recommends the use of installer ...

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