Over a quarter-century of talking to people about Microsoft Windows, I’ve learned that the greatest
gains in productivity come from mastering the fundamentals. In many cases, that means learning
about the capabilities of tools that you might have taken for granted.
After all those years, I’m still discovering new things about these unsung heroes, including tools and
apps I use every day. Some of these tools have been part of Windows for decades, and yet most of us
IT pros and expert Windows users tap only a fraction of their power.
As I’ve learned from watching Windows evolve over the past few years (and from digging into
countless Windows 10 Insider Preview builds and sharing discoveries with colleagues and readers),
many of those old, familiar programs are still evolving. With each new major release, I’ve found tiny
but meaningful improvements in unexpected places.
Sharing that hard-won knowledge with you is one of two fundamental goals I set out to achieve in
this book. My other goal is convincing you to take a closer look at how you use Windows. That means
digging a little deeper into programs you probably use every day—File Explorer and Task Manager,
for example. If I can help you replace old habits with faster and smarter ways to get things done, I’ve
done my job.
I’m especially grateful to the developers and designers at Microsoft who are building Windows 10, for
giving me a mountain of interesting material to work with. And I’d like to thank Microsoft Press, which
gave me complete editorial independence for this project. Every word in this book comes from my
personal experience. I am confident you’ll find a few surprises here.