Exploring the Windows Desktop
When you first start Windows XP, you see the Windows desktop, or a logon screen (a way to identify yourself on the computer), depending on your installation. The desktop is an on-screen version of an actual desk, containing windows, icons, files, and programs. You can use the desktop to access, store, organize, modify, share, and explore information (such as a letter, a list of addresses, or the news), whether it resides on your computer, a network, or the Internet. The bar at the bottom of your screen is called the taskbar ; it allows you to start programs and switch among currently running programs. At the left end of the taskbar is the Start button , which you use to start programs, find and open files, access the Windows Help and Support Center, and much more. At the right end of the taskbar is the notification area , which displays the time, the date, and program related icons. If you upgraded your computer to Windows XP from a previous version of Windows, your desktop might contain additional desktop icons and toolbars , such as the Quick Launch toolbar, which contains buttons you use to quickly start your Internet browser and media player and to show the desktop.