I located a free Windows 7 Guide, that the writer states is for those using Windows 7, from Newbie to Pro. The guide is 50 pages in length and is available in .pdf format from the publisher. But before you run over to the site to download the guide, here are a few observations I made. In order to download the free guide, you must supply a name and a valid email address. You must receive a confirmation email and click on a link before being allowed to download the guide. For those of you who may be concerned about privacy or being spammed, you must take this into account before providing this information.

The second item to consider is just how useful this guide may be to you. Though the writer claims the guide is for Newbies to Pro, I would consider this prior to downloading. If you have previously been using Windows XP, I believe the guide could be a valuable asset. Windows 7 is a new GUI and there are a host of new features and programs that have changed from Windows XP.

This one statement covers one of the changes, not only for those using Windows XP, but also for those using Windows Vista:

Windows 7 simply does not come with some programs that were included in Vista. These include Windows Mail, Windows Movie Maker, Windows Photo Gallery and Windows Calendar.

The user must download Windows Essentials in order to take advantage of the programs that were previously included with other versions of Windows.

For those who are upgrading from Vista to Windows 7, I doubt you will find much of what is offered in the guide useful. Vista users may be more than familiar with the features that the guide covers.  There was one statement in the guide that I believe is worth mentioning. The guide describes what Windows Defender does, but more importantly what Windows Defender doesn’t do:

Windows Defender is an anti-spyware program built into Windows 7. It is not an antivirus program. It is meant to only deal with spyware, which can be defined as a program that is attempting to gather data from your computer. It is not meant to deal with malware that is attempting to take over or damage your computer – that is what Security Essentials is meant to combat.

This is worth knowing since since people could be confused and believe their system is protected using Windows Defender by itself. My two cents is that a good third-party anti-virus program is highly recommended in addition to Windows Defender. I personally am not a huge fan of Security Essentials. I think it was best said many years ago, that allowing Microsoft to protect your company, was like having a fox watch the hen-house.

Overall I believe the guide is worth looking at, especially for those coming from a Windows XP system. Both Vista and Windows 7 made enough changes to the OS, that instruction of the new features may be advisable. If you are an advanced user, or have used Vista before, I doubt you will find anything useful in the guide.

Comments welcome.

Source – Windows 7 Guide download link.