Paperback: 816 pages
Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (July 24, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.8 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,259,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #85 in Books > Computers & Technology > Operating Systems > Windows > Windows Desktop > Windows 7 #1324 in Books > Textbooks > Computer Science > Operating Systems #2987 in Books > Computers & Technology > Software > Microsoft
Before writing my own review, I was very surprised that this book didn't carry a 4+ star overall rating -- it's at least a 4-star book, but only for the right audience. If you are a casual user of Windows -- if you're NOT a "power user" who is interesting in lots of user interface customizations, and if you aren't interested in saving keystrokes or mouse clicks anywhere you can -- then this books wasn't written for you. If you are a casual user who wants more breadth and less depth on Windows 7, I enjoyed reading Windows 7 Secrets, a new book by Paul Thurrott. Both "Windows 7 Secrets" and "Windows 7 Unleashed" are listed on the back cover with a "User Level: Intermediate-Advanced". This book targets that audience, whereas "Windows 7 Secrets" is more for casual Windows enthusiasts who want to learn not only something about Windows 7, but also complimentary technologies such as Windows Home Server and Zune.Since this review is for this book -- Windows 7 Unleashed -- I'd expect that you are truly an advanced Windows user (or an aspiring advanced Windows user). You don't need introductions, you don't need lots of transitional comparisons to Vista and XP (there are some, but they're limited). Instead, you want a single volume that covers the depth of Windows 7 alone.I liked the author's perspective -- maximizing every performance point possible with Windows 7 -- even though I'm not ardently trying to do that. For me, I wanted to have a book that I could refer to if, say, I needed to know something more about User Access Control or group policies or tuning Windows 7.
This book is essentially for the "save the introductions" audience, offering a wealth of information for those using the RC of Windows 7 and looking forward to the October launch. I've technically reviewed dozens of books covering Windows versions during the past decade, but this is the first from McFedries. Of particular note is that the author obviously understands his subject thoroughly yet maintains efficiency with the delivery of the technical concepts. Moreover he seems to "get" his audience. There's a great balance here that readers from hobbyist types to IT pros are likely to greatly appreciate.I'm one of many using the RC as a main OS and we now know 7 is more than a polished Vista. As expected, the new features are prominently covered in this book and while I found it slightly customization heavy I'm certain many will enjoy the myriad ways one can personalize everything from startup to IE8. I think the real meat is in learning how to maximize 7s attributes. Of course it's faster, more stable, and more secure and simultaneously less annoying out-of-the-box regarding UAC, but there are powerful and sometimes subtle differences with the OS that McFedries plunges into.First off, security is a broad as well as crucial topic and it's covered here, coincidentally or not, in seven informative chapters. Everything from user and file level to Internet and email (using Live as 7 has no boxed client) security is given due attention. Networking, obviously another huge topic, is well covered at the sub-enterprise level in several key areas including: setup, security, wireless, remote connections, and the new HomeGroup functionality.
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