Windows 7 Secrets P2

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Windows 7 Secrets P2

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Windows 7 applets But Wait, There’s More You want more? Oh, there’s more. In addition to the hundreds of other features and changes that are included in Windows 7, Microsoft is also busy expanding the Windows ecosystem to include products and services that extend Windows 7’s capabilities or, in some cases, fall outside of the traditional PC desktop. We cover a number of these technologies in the book because they do indeed complete the Windows 7 experience.

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  1. Read This First 13 Figure 12: Windows 7 applets But Wait, There’s More You want more? Oh, there’s more. In addition to the hundreds of other features and changes that are included in Windows 7, Microsoft is also busy expanding the Windows ecosystem to include products and services that extend Windows 7’s capabilities or, in some cases, fall outside of the traditional PC desktop. We cover a number of these tech- nologies in the book because they do indeed complete the Windows 7 experience. Windows Live Essentials and Windows Live Services A few years before Microsoft shipped Windows 7, it began separately reevaluating the relationship between its PC operating system and the various online products and services it was then offering through its MSN brand. Executives at the company determined that they wanted to bring the company’s Windows, online, and mobile experiences together in ways that were seamless but wouldn’t run into any of the antitrust issues presented by previous integration strategies regarding Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player.
  2. 14 Read This First The result was Windows Live, a set of online products and services that extend the Windows user experience in exciting and unique ways. The sheer number of Windows Live services is somewhat daunting, and complicating matters is the fact that there are other Microsoft Live services, including Office Live, Games for Windows Live, Xbox Live, Live Mesh, and more. And of course, Microsoft has removed several applications from Windows 7 and now ships them as part of the Windows Live Essentials suite (see Figure 13). This way, they can be updated more frequently—and Microsoft can stave off the antitrust regulators. Figure 13: Windows Live Essentials Microsoft’s Live services are discussed in detail in Chapter 23, and we cover the vari- ous applications in the Windows Live Essentials suite throughout the book. Zune While Microsoft continues to evolve its Windows Media platform and includes an impres- sive new Windows Media Player in Windows 7, the company seems to realize that the future lies elsewhere. For this reason, it has been pushing its Zune digital media platform on the side as well; and from what we can tell, the Zune—shown in Figure 14—has enough important unique features that it’s a viable Windows Media replacement. Heck, it may even offer the iPod serious competition—someday.
  3. Read This First 15 Figure 14: Microsoft Zune The Zune is so important it gets its own chapter, Chapter 14. Windows Mobile Microsoft has been plying the PDA and smartphone market for almost 15 years, but recent versions of Windows Mobile are finally starting to get interesting. Looking at running a version of Windows that can fit in your pocket? Windows Mobile might be exactly what you’re looking for. Windows Mobile 6.5 is shown in Figure 15. Figure 15: Windows Mobile 6.5
  4. 16 Read This First We provide a short overview of Windows Mobile in Chapter 19. Windows Home Server While Windows 7 offers seamless network-based sharing, it doesn’t really offer any central- ized management of your PCs, media, documents, and other data. That’s where Windows Home Server comes in. And despite the name, Windows Home Server is as simple to use as it is powerful. The Windows Home Server admin console can be seen in Figure 16. Figure 16: Windows Home Server helps you consolidate your media and data to a central location on your home network. Windows Home Server is the subject of Chapter 10.
  5. Read This First 17 Our Promise to You We’ve barely scratched the surface of the changes you’ll find in Windows 7 and covered throughout this book. But as noted previously, Microsoft—and Windows 7—isn’t stand- ing still. For this reason, no book, even one as comprehensive as we’ve tried to make this one, can cover it all. So join us online, at Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows (www.­ insupersite.com ) and Rafael Rivera’s Within Windows (www.withinwindows­ w .com). In this way, Windows 7 Secrets is a living document, one that will be updated on an ongoing basis online. And if you’re looking for an even more direct relationship, fol- low us on Twitter. Paul can be found at @thurrott, and Rafael is at @WithinRafael. See you online!
  6. Part I Surviving Setup Chapter 1: Selecting the Right Windows 7 Edition Chapter 2: Installing or Upgrading to Windows 7 Chapter 3: Hardware and Software Compatibility
  7. Chapter Selecting the Right Windows 7 1 Edition In This Chapter Basic differences between the Windows 7 product editions Which Windows 7 product editions you can safely avoid Differences between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 Determining the best Windows 7 for you Choosing between the home and business versions Choosing between Windows 7 Home Premium and Professional Features available in all Windows 7 versions Choosing Windows 7 Ultimate
  8. 22 Part I: Surviving Setup I f you haven’t purchased Windows 7 yet—or you’d like to know whether or not it’s worth upgrading from the version you do have to a more capable version—this chapter is for you. Here, we’ll explain the differences between the many Windows 7 product editions and help you pick the version that makes the most sense for you. The Way We Were: XP and Vista Product Editions Back in 2001, life was easy: Microsoft released Windows XP in just two product editions, Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition. The difference between the products was fairly obvious, and with its enhanced feature set, XP Pro was the more expensive and desirable version, as one might expect. Over time, however, Microsoft muddied the waters with a wealth of new XP product edi- tions. Three major product editions were added: Windows XP Media Center Edition (which received three major releases and one minor update between 2002 and 2005), Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (which received two major releases between 2002 and 2005), and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, which took most of XP Pro’s feature set and brought it to the x64 hardware platform. Other XP versions, such as XP Embedded and XP Starter Edition, can’t really be considered mainstream products, because they targeted specific usage scenarios and were never made broadly available to consumers. Most PCs sold during Windows XP’s lifetime were 32-bit computers based on Intel’s x86 platform. While the industry was widely expected to make the jump to 64-bit computing at some point, that leap came from an unexpected place: Intel’s tiny competitor AMD developed the so-called x64 platform, which is essentially a 64-bit version of the aging x86 platform. The x64-based PCs are completely compatible with x86 software, and though all PCs sold today are, in fact, x64-compatible, most PC operating systems to date (including Windows Vista) were sold in 32-bit versions for compatibility reasons. (Even Intel is on board: though the x64 platform was created by AMD, all of Intel’s PC-compatible chips are now x64 compatible as well.) Though not as technically elegant as so-called “native” 64-bit platforms like the ill-fated Itanium, the x64 platform does provide all of the benefits of true 64-bit computing, including most importantly a flat 64-bit memory address space that obliterates the 4GB memory “ceiling” in the 32-bit world. For the purposes of this book, when we refer to 64-bit computing, we mean x64. And as we look ahead to the generation of PCs that will ship during Windows 7’s lifetime, what we’re going to see, predominantly, are x64 versions of the OS. That said, Windows 7 comes in both x86 and x64 variants, as we’ll discuss later in this chapter.
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