Windows 11 Field Guide Progress Report: More Chapters and a New Book

It’s been a while, sorry, but since the last update, the Windows 11 Field Guide has grown to almost 760 pages in PDF form. I also want to discuss the next book, which I plan to call Windows Everywhere.

Frankly, there hasn’t been a lot of work on either in the past week or so: between us selling the house and preparing to move, our trip to Mexico City to finalize our temporary residency (we fly there tonight), and some other exciting news I’ll be sharing soon, it’s been a busy time. But we’ll be in Mexico City for three weeks and I plan to make lots of progress on both books in that time. (It’s not a vacation and I will be working every day.)

First, let’s look at where we’re at with the Windows 11 Field Guide.

Since the last update, I’ve added the chapters Mail, Calendar, Microsoft 365, Photos, Media Player, Movies & TV, Microsoft Edge Security and Privacy, Xbox and Games Basics, and Xbox Game Bar, and I will complete the next chapter, about the Xbox app, soon. That opened up three new sections—Productivity Apps and Utilities, Digital Media, and Xbox and Games—though none are complete, meaning that there will be additional chapters coming to each. There was also a bit of reorganization that I’ll get to in a moment.

Put simply, this stuff mostly represents the grunt work of the book, the stuff I have to get through because it’s all part of Windows 11, but most of it is uninteresting to me on some level and not particularly insightful because there’s just not much to say about these topics. For most, I carried over content from the Windows 10 Field Guide and updated it as needed. The exception, of course, is that Edge chapter, and I’ll add at least one more Edge chapter in the future too.

What I’m really looking forward to is the new content, which will include a Command Line section with Terminal, Command Prompt, PowerShell, Linux, and Winget chapters (though Winget might make its way to the Apps section) and a Virtualization section with Hyper-V Client and Windows Sandbox chapters. I was originally going to have a Utilities section with chapters for Notepad, Paint, Calculator, Clock, Maps, Sticky Notes, Weather, and possibly other topics, but I decided none were major enough to warrant that, so I’ll cover them together in a Utilities chapter in the Productivity Apps section, along with chapters on Accessibility and Power Automate.

I can’t say how much of this will get done in March, but I’ve already written big chunks of the Command Line chapters. So that will come first.

As for Windows Everywhere, I’ve settled on the format and will put all of the code chapters in the back of the book in its own section and then reference them in the normal part of the book for those that might be interested. In its current form, which is all text and no photos or screenshots yet, this book is 678 pages long in PDF format or about 610 pages without the coding chapters.

I will publish the first pre-release version of Windows Everywhere via Leanpub this month. It will be incomplete, and not completely edited—it is a work in progress, after all—but it will include all of the existing text. I would like the first drop to include at least a few edited sections and whatever images go with them. And then I’ll update it over time until it’s all edited. I’ve made progress there.

After that, I will be adding new content. The current book basically ends with the release of Windows 10, but I will expand that to include the full Windows 10 era, the release of Windows 11, and the current shift to artificial intelligence (AI) and a presumed Windows 12. I would also like to add content to the interior of the book where it makes sense, and I’m compiling a list of topics I either ignored or gave little attention to that I think are interesting and deserve more space. I don’t want to make too many promises there, but I do have some ideas that could be fun.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at. I will definitely have more to share soon.

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