William Stanek on Windows 7: The Definitive Guide

By Kathryn Barrett
October 22, 2009

I recently had a chat with William Stanek, author of the new book Windows 7: The Definitive Guide. He has a lot to say about Microsoft's latest OS, and shared a few of his insights regarding the subject.

Kathryn Barrett: So, William, you write a lot about Microsoft technologies. Tell us about Windows 7. Now that it's here, is it going to live up to the noise people have been making? Are Windows users really going to want to make the move?

William Stanek: Windows 7 is the single most important launch of Windows in the history of Microsoft. Over the next few years, the majority of home and office PCs will transition to this operating system. Everyone who uses a computer owes it to themselves to begin familiarizing themselves with Windows 7 right now.

Kathryn Barrett: You're a very prolific writer—you've written over 100 books. What was the inspiration for this one?

William Stanek:I've always wanted to write the kind of how-to book that anyone-regardless of his or her skill level-could read from cover to cover and walk away with a wealth of knowledge about the subject at hand. O'Reilly is the first publisher to let me write a computer book for anyone and everyone in my own unique style. 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 everything I've learned about Windows 7 over the past several 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 several other Windows 7 books before I wrote this one. My web site, www.williamstanek.com, is highly regarded and receives thousands of page views a month.

William Stanek is the author of Windows 7: The Definitive Guide, The Essential Resource for Professionals and Power Users.

This book provides everything you need to manage and maintain Windows 7. You'll learn all of the features and enhancements in complete detail, along with specifics for configuring the operating system to put you in full control. Stanek doesn't just show you the steps you need to follow, he also tells you how features work, why they work, and how you can customize them to meet your needs.

You may also be interested in Wei-Meng Lee's Windows 7: Up and Running, A quick, hands-on introduction.

This compact book offers the quickest path for Windows XP and Vista users to get started with Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system. With Windows 7: Up and Running, you get the essential information you need to upgrade or install the system and configure it to fit your activities, along with a tour of Windows 7's features and built-in applications. Windows 7 is poised to be a big hit among PC users, and with this handy guide, you can be productive with it right away.

Kathryn Barrett: There are a lot of books coming out about Windows 7; why would someone choose your book over the others?

William Stanek: It's true, there are plenty of other Windows 7 books available. Other books introduce and simplify Windows 7, or provide quick starts or step-by-step guides, or promise to teach even dummies how to use Windows 7. In this book, I don't pretend anyone is a dummy and I don't just teach you the steps you need to follow, I teach you how features work, why they work the way they work, and how to customize them to meet your needs. You'll also learn why you may want to use certain features of the operating system and when to use other features to resolve any problems you are having.

In addition, this book provides tips, suggestions, and examples of how to optimize your computer for performance, not just appearance. This book won't just teach you how to configure your computer--it'll teach you how to squeeze out every last bit of power and how to make the most out of the features and programs included in Windows 7. It'll also teach you how to take advantage of the latest features, such as Windows ReadyBoost.

Kathryn Barrett: What user level are you writing for?

William Stanek:This book doesn't focus on a specific user level. This isn't a lightweight beginner book or a book written exclusively for developers or administrators. Regardless of whether you are a beginning, power user, or seasoned professional, many of the concepts in this book will be valuable to you. And you'll be able to apply them to your computer regardless of which edition of Windows 7 you are using.

Kathryn Barrett: When you were doing your research, did you come across any facts that surprised you?

William Stanek: Windows 7 presents a lot of eye candy, and this may have you believing the operating system is little more than new veneer for the same old software. Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm also surprised to find hardware manufacturers have been slow to embrace and support some of Windows 7's most advanced features. Dell, Gateway, HP and others computer hardware manufacturers owe it to consumers to ensure every power feature of Windows 7 is supported to its fullest.

If you would like to learn more about Windows 7, check out William Stanek's book: Windows 7: The Definitive Guide.

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