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Chapter 10. Using and Tuning the User In... > Managing Multiple Applications

Managing Multiple Applications

Here's what Windows operating systems do: multitask. That means the computer can run more than one program at a time, a feature I (and most of us, no doubt) take full advantage of. At any one time, I might have several Word files open, maybe one or two text files, my browser (multiple instances!), the Command Prompt window, and perhaps an administrative tool or two, just to keep life interesting. And then there's Explorer, Outlook, Visio, Excel, TechNet, Help, and on and on and on. What this amounts to is a desktop that looks more like a jigsaw puzzle than a powerful interface to a sophisticated operating system that can run many applications simultaneously.

The question, then, is how do you handle these numerous applications and maneuver painlessly through your desktop jungle so you're not incapacitated by a display crammed with windows and icons? Luckily, Windows XP provides a number of options that allow you to move smoothly from application to application, manage your programs, and organize your desktop so you're not spending all your time just trying to figure out what's running and where it is.


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