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Increasingly, I find myself trying to do things in fundamentally different ways than
they’ve been done before. For this book, I had the crazy idea that I could get every-
thing I’ve learned about Windows Vista over the past five years into a single volume
that was not only clear and concise but also straightforward and easy to use, giving
you, the reader, maximum value and maximum learning potential. With that in
mind, I spent a great deal of time planning the approach I would take, and tapped
into my previous experience writing two other Windows Vista books before I wrote
During the many long months of writing this book, I continued to refine that
approach, focusing the content and zeroing in on everything I thought would be of
value as you set out to learn and master Windows Vista. I hope that as a result of all
my hard work the book you hold in your hands is something unique. This isn’t a
300-page introduction or a 1,500-page all-in-one reference. This is a relentlessly
focused and comprehensive 950-page guide to what you truly need to know to mas-
ter Windows Vista as a user.
Over the course of this project, I’ve worked with many different people at O’Reilly,
but none was as helpful or instrumental to the writing process as Jeff Pepper. Not
only did Jeff believe in me, but he also believed in my vision for this project every
step of the way. Whenever an obstacle arose during the writing process, Jeff was
there to help and to ensure that I had everything I needed to complete the work. I’d
like to thank Audrey Doyle for her careful editing of the book. Audrey also provided
helpful comments that made the review process easier. Others at O’Reilly that I’ve
worked with during this project include John Osborn, Sara Peyton, Mark Brokering,
and Laurie Petrycki. At the early stages of this project, I also worked with Preston
Gralla. If our luck holds and the stars are aligned correctly, Preston and I will be
speaking at events together about Windows Vista.