Introduction to Windows Operating System
Windows is an interface that enables you to work with your computer through graphical symbols and text rather than text alone. Windows helps you work with the various pieces of information that make your computer run and makes it easy to run the other programs.
There are certain elements that all Windows programs have in common. They use buttons, called tools, as well as menus that contain commands that you select to perform tasks.
Windows uses desktop. The desktop is a central place from where all your files and programs can be accessed. The Windows desktop is where you keep folders containing electronic files. You open the Start menu as you open a desk drawer to access even more files and software programs.
Before we start pointing and clicking anything, it helps if you actually understand what exactly Windows XP is. Windows XP is an operating system. Okay, so what’s an operating system? An operating system is a software program that controls and runs just about everything on your computer. Here’s what an operating system does:
• Controls Your Computer’s Hardware
Windows controls the different devices of your computer system. It’s what makes your printer print, what makes graphics and text appear on your monitor, and what makes your mouse point and click… Actually, you make the mouse point and click—but Windows is what puts the mouse pointer ( ) on the screen and electronically connects it to your mouse. • Runs Your Computer’s Programs
Windows is what runs all your programs. Without Windows, your word processor, Web browser (Internet), and games wouldn’t work. Windows lets your programs talk to your hardware, so, for example, your word processor can print things to the printer.
• Organizes Files
Windows stores information in files and folders on your computer’s local disk, just like you store files and folders in a filing cabinet. Think of Windows XP as an orchestra conductor who makes sure all the parts of your computer—your hardware and programs—work together. Operating systems have been around for a long time—what makes Windows special is its ability to make computer operations easy. In the computer stone age (about 15 years ago), people had to type hard-to-remember, cryptic commands into their computer to make them do what they wanted. With Windows, all you have to do is point and click to do Page 1 of 27
Windows Operating System
something—much, much easier. So what’s the difference between Windows XP and other versions of Windows, such as Windows 98 and Windows ME? Features of Windows XP
The most obvious and controversial feature of Windows XP is a completely
redesigned interface and Start menu that
supposedly lets you find what you need more quickly and is
easier to use. The jury is still out whether or not the people will embrace this drastically new interface or not. If you can’t stand the new Windows XP interface you can always switch back to
your trusty Windows 9x interface.
Personalized As you use your computer, Windows XP watches which Menus
programs and files you use and don’t use. After a while,
Windows XP starts to hide the items you don’t use as much from the Start menu. The items are still there, you just have to click the downward-pointing arrow ( ) at the bottom of the menu to see them.
Windows XP is based on the same technology as Microsoft
Windows NT and Windows 2000 business operating systems.
This makes Windows much more stable than Windows 95, 98,
and ME and greatly reduces the number of crashes and restarts. Better File
Windows XP makes it easier to view and work with your files
and folders. Thumbnail view lets you preview photos and images Management and the new File and Folder tasks pane lets you easily copy, move, rename, or delete any file or folder.
Windows XP makes it easier to get efficient help and support and...
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