Introduction to Windows

Updated on November 25, 2016

Introduction to Windows

It would be beneficial for you to read this introduction to computer basics first and introduction to computers, before proceeding. This will boost your knowledge about computers and give you a better chance of comprehending what is happening here.

MS Windows is a multitasking operating system which uses a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to link the user to the computer. A GUI is an interface that helps users to interact with the computer by use of windows, icons, and menus. The interaction between the user and the computer heavily relies on the use of a mouse and keyboard which make it possible to enter data into the computer and also manipulate it the way we want.

For you to enjoy this lesson, you have to power on the computer you intend to use. This will help you learn some of the terms used in the computer world.

What is a Computer Desktop?

A computers' desktop is the screen that appears after your computer boots or powers on. The desktop is your PCs working area where any open programs are held. Let us have a look at desktop parts for Windows XP.

Features of Windows XP Desktop

Parts of a Desktop Screen
Parts of a Desktop Screen | Source

Features of Windows XP Desktop

1. Taskbar
It is located on the bottom edge of the desktop though it can be dragged to other locations. It shows the applications that are currently running on a computer
2. The Start button
It is located at the bottom left hand corner. It is used to launch or start programs
3. System tray
Located at the bottom right hand corner. It shows time and the status of system components
4. Icons
Graphical representation of objects like pictures, programs, files, devices, etc
5. Recycle Bin
Where everything you delete in a computer goes to
6. Short cut icons
Provides a quick access to program they are linked to
The above table explains the various features of the Windows XP desktop.

How to Use the Mouse

The mouse is an input device and is commonly used for pointing and clicking in order to issue commands. How to hold and be able to use it proficiently is usually a challenge especially to newbies in the computer field. However, with a little practice it is possible to get adapted to it quickly. The pointing finger and the middle finger should be resting on the left and right button respectively ready to click. The remaining fingers should hold the mouse in a light grip; they should also be used to move the mouse in all directions.

Don't hold your mouse tightly and don't click so hard otherwise you will strain your hand and fingers. When I tell you to click on start button, don't lift your mouse up and take it close to the start button. You will laugh at yourself later on when you remember this incidence. It happens, I am a computer tutor and I have seen it happen to some of my students that I have taught.

A Computer Mouse

A Computer Mouse
A Computer Mouse | Source

What is a Window?

A computer window is an enclosed frame that is used to display programs, text files, images etc. It comprises of a title bar at the top, minimize, restore down, maximize and close buttons. Other features will be present depending on the program you are using. You can have a number of windows open at the same time. The use of these buttons is as follows:-

  1. Minimize button – it minimizes the window to the task bar.
  2. Restore down – resizes your window to a smaller one.
  3. Maximize – used to enlarge the window and make it fit the whole desktop.
  4. Close – for quitting or closing the window.

A Computer Window

A Computer Window
A Computer Window | Source

How to Work With a Window

Now, your practice lessons start here. Locate one of the icons on your desktop, I suggest you use my computer or my documents, double click on it (click on the left button two times lightly and successively, if you can't be able to do it just right click on the icon and select open). If you have succeded, a window has opened. Now you can practice on minimizing, maximizing, restoring down and closing the window.

A Tip on How to Become a Computer Expert

The trick in becoming an expert in using computers is to practice a lot. Then as you practice, you must have your eyes open and make sure you read those messages that keep on popping up. Now for more lessons, you can check on my profile page and I am sure you will enjoy learning about computers.

Introduction to Parts of a Desktop Screen

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© 2012 Patrick Kamau


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    • Patkay profile image

      Patrick Kamau 6 months ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Thanks NIWAGABA for the compliment.

    • profile image

      NIWAGABA HANINGTON 6 months ago