Add or Remove Programs

This program, freshly overhauled in Windows XP, is described at length in Chapter 6. It offers three or four panels that offer important software-management functions.

Change or Remove Programs

This tab displays a list of every program you’ve installed onto your PC. To remove one from your system, click its name and then click the Remove or the Change/Remove button. Some program packages (like Microsoft Office) offer a Change button, too, so that you can add or remove individual components—just Excel, for example. When you click the Change button, have your installation CD handy, because the program may ask you to insert it into your drive.

Add New Programs (and Windows Update)

You won’t need the first option here (“Add a program from CD-ROM or floppy disk”) very often, because most software programs come with their own installers. Using the CD or Floppy button is just a roundabout way of launching the installer on the disk you’ve inserted.

Windows Update

The Windows Update button here, however, is useful indeed—it takes you directly to the Microsoft Web page that displays updates, bug fixes, and patches that Microsoft has released for your version of Windows XP. You’ll soon find out just how much of Windows XP is a work in progress: it seems like Microsoft releases another one of these fixes, patches, or updates every week or so.

Most people will never have to fool around with this Windows Update feature, because Windows’s Automatic Updates feature (Section 9.23.6 ...

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