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Windows 7: The Complete Guide

For the past month, we've been powering through Windows 7 Beta. First came the walkthroughs, tips and analysis. Now, it's enchilada time: Here's everything of value that we learned, packed in a complete, easy-to-read guide.


Chapter 1: Installing Windows 7 Beta, and Getting It Ready to Use

Now that the Beta download period has ended, it's time to put bits to metal, if you haven't already. And if you are looking for alternative installations—from netbooks to emulators—better read up first.

Chapter 2: How To Use Windows 7, or Why The New UI Is So Great

Windows 7 is Microsoft's biggest user-interface overhaul since Windows 95. It's no surprise, then, that even Windows veterans could use a crash course on how to use it.

Chapter 3: Device Stage Hardware Fun, Plus More Productivity Tips

Device Stage, the instant recognition of cameras, printers and other peripherals, is candy for the gadget-addicted, but knowing what works and what doesn't definitely matters.

Chapter 4: Windows Media Player and Media File Compatibility

Music and movies—not only are they more important than they were when Vista came out, but they also come from more sources in more formats. Windows 7 attempts to master them all.

Chapter 5: Couch Tricks: New Features for Windows Media Center

Our favorite "10-foot" media software shows up in Windows 7 with loads of new features—if you haven't yet seen why Media Center makes even TiVo look dated, you better pay attention.

Chapter 6: Important Changes to Networking and Security

When it comes to life online, there's no way to underestimate advances in networking and security. Windows 7 is full of them, and it pays to know what they are and how to use them.

Chapter 7: Natural Interfaces: Pen, Touch and Multitouch

Windows 7 comes of age at a time when the keyboard and mouse are giving way to newer more instinctive controls—luckily, it's got many of those controls built right in.

Chapter 8: Got Troubles? Here's How To Shoot 'Em Down

Even a good operating system can be bad once in a while. During the Beta test, we've had our share of issues. Here's a discussion of many of the problems that can be solved, and a few that can't.

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