Thinking About the Windows 10 Field Guide

I spent some time discussing Windows 10 Field Guide with both Rafael Rivera and Martin McClean during my trip to Redmond for last week's Windows 10 event. And I think I have a rough plan for how to proceed with this new book.

This one is important, and I want to get it right. I feel like the approach of covering the truly new stuff in Windows 8.1 Field Guide was a good idea in isolation but it resulted in a long book that covered a lot of material—mostly around the Modern apps—that was perhaps too basic. So in the interests of creating a shorter and valuable new book, I have two proposals.

Ignore the obvious. Yes, the Modern and universal apps in Windows 10 will be new to many people, but much of their functionality is obvious. So instead of covering every single feature in every single app, the book will instead work within the confines of its tagline—"the quickest way to get it done"—and present only the tips, tricks and information about each of these apps that is not immediately obvious to most people. There's actually precedent for this approach, too: The MSN Apps + Maps chapter uses this approach. That will be the approach for all the bundled apps chapters in the new book.

More desktop, power use and technical content. With Windows 10 marking the return to the desktop, we have an opportunity to apply the approach above to expanded coverage of the desktop (and of course tablet/hybrid usage) and to more technical content too. I'm looking forward to stepping away from the 101 stuff: By this point, anyone coming to this book should know the basics of using Windows on a computer. We will assume that.

There are some other issues to figure out—pricing, for example, as I'm worried that we undervalued the book last time, though I would like to keep things affordable—and also how Windows 10 will impact my/our coverage of phones. My current thinking on that is that Windows 10 Field Guide will focus on tablets, detachables and PCs, whereas a sequel to Windows Phone 8 Field Guide—whatever it's called—will focus on phones, phablets and small tablets. I'll know more as I write more and as Windows 10 evolves.

For now, I'm going to get started writing Windows 10 Field Guide. Starting with the flight home today, I'm going to focus at first on digestible topics—maybe Maps, which has a nice finite look to it—and see whether this approach makes sense. I think it will, but we'll see more.

More soon.

Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.07

It's been forever since the last update to Surface Pro 3 Field Guide but I'm back on the job. There are a number of changes here, including a new chapter/section on Type Cover. But I've decided to remove all of the Windows 8.1 content—which would have been excerpted from Windows 8.1 Field Guide anyway—because it will be harder to keep that in sync with the big book as things change. Also I've started updating the Before You Start chapter/section to match changes to the Microsoft Account web site (as I had to do with Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide previously), but there's more to be done there.

With this book newly—and correctly, I think—focused only on the Surface hardware, accessories, and Surface-specific software and services, I think I can wrap this one up pretty quickly now. Which I feel really good about.

More soon.

Download Surface Pro 3 Field Guide

Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.07 in PDF
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.07 in MOBI - Kindle
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.07 in ePub – Nook, other e-readers

Download all of the Field Guides

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.07 – Available to paying customers from the download page
Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.01 in PDFMOBI and ePub
Xbox Music Field Guide 2.0 in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.7 (pre-release) in PDFMOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.8 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8 Field Guide 1.07 in PDFMOBI and ePub

Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.01

Here is the first post-1.0 update to Microsoft Band Field Guide. This update includes a short section about updating the software on Microsoft Band.

Download Microsoft Band Field Guide

Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.01 in PDF
Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.01 in MOBI
Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.01 in ePub

Download all of the Field Guides

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.07 – Available to paying customers from the download page
Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.01 in PDFMOBI and ePub
Xbox Music Field Guide 2.0 in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.6 (pre-release) in PDFMOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.8 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8 Field Guide 1.07 in PDFMOBI and ePub

Field Guide Books: where we're at

The great experiment in e-book publishing will continue in 2015, though there will be some major changes to this site and, perhaps, some changes to how we sell/giveaway the books. In the meantime, here's a quick step back to see where we're at.

There are four fully-completed Field Guide books so far: Windows 8.1 Field Guide, Windows Phone 8 Field Guide, Microsoft Band Field Guide and Xbox Music Field Guide.

Likewise, there are two Field Guide books in active development, though neither are close to final release: Surface Pro 3 Field Guide and Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide

Surface Pro 3 Field Guide and Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide will not be free when completed, but they are free during this initial pre-release writing period. At some point, we'll get them behind a pay wall, but you can assume they will be inexpensive.

Looking forward, there are a number of books I'd like to write. The big one for 2015, of course, will be Windows 10 Field Guide, though based on what we hear at the Windows 10 event this month, I could see splitting it into two or more books (perhaps Windows 10 Field Guide for PCs and Windows 10 Field Guide for Phones and Tablets, or whatever).

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Surface Pro 3 Field Guide and Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide aren't going to write themselves. So I will finish those first.

Thanks for reading. --Paul

Download the Field Guides

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.07 – Available to paying customers from the download page
Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.0 in PDFMOBI and ePub
Xbox Music Field Guide 2.0 in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.6 (pre-release) in PDFMOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.08 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8 Field Guide 1.07 in PDFMOBI and ePub

Xbox Music Field Guide 2.0

The second edition of Xbox Music Field Guide is now complete. As with all Field Guide books, I expect to update this book going forward as new features and app versions are released, as mistakes are found, and as otherwise needed. Thanks for reading.

Download Xbox Music Guide 2.0

Xbox Music Guide 2.0 in PDF
Xbox Music Guide 2.0 in MOBI
Xbox Music Guide 2.0 in ePub

Download all of the Field Guides

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.07 – Available to paying customers from the download page
Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.0 in PDFMOBI and ePub
Xbox Music Field Guide 2.0 in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.6 (pre-release) in PDFMOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.08 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8 Field Guide 1.07 in PDFMOBI and ePub

Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.08

Here's another update to Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide. This one includes an updated and completed version of the "Personalize Your Phone" chapter.

More soon.

Download Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide

Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.08 in PDF
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.08 in MOBI – Kindle
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.08 in ePub – Nook, other eBooks

Download all of the Field Guides

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.07 – Available to paying customers from the download page
Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.0 in PDFMOBI and ePub
Xbox Music Field Guide (first draft) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.6 (pre-release) in PDFMOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.08 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8 Field Guide 1.07 in PDFMOBI and ePub

Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.07

Continuing my makeup work on Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide, here's another quick update that includes a newly updated "Windows Phone User Experience" chapter. I made a number of additions to this chapter.

More soon.

Download Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide

Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.07 in PDF
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.07 in MOBI – Kindle
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.07 in ePub – Nook, other eBooks

Download all of the Field Guides

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.07 – Available to paying customers from the download page
Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.0 in PDFMOBI and ePub
Xbox Music Field Guide (first draft) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.6 (pre-release) in PDFMOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.07 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8 Field Guide 1.07 in PDFMOBI and ePub

Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.06

Here is another quick update to Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide. This one includes a once-over of the chapter "Your New or Updated Phone," a number of edits and additions, plus new sections on configuring a PIN and Storage Spaces right after Setup.

More soon.

Download Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide

Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.06 in PDF
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.06 in MOBI – Kindle
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.06 in ePub – Nook, other eBooks

Download all of the Field Guides

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.07 – Available to paying customers from the download page
Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.0 in PDFMOBI and ePub
Xbox Music Field Guide 0.94 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.6 (pre-release) in PDFMOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.06 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Windows Phone 8 Field Guide 1.07 in PDFMOBI and ePub

Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.05

Here is a long-over update to Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide that represents a bit of a restart of this project. There are a number of changes.

First, the book version number has changed so that this version is 0.05, and not 0.5; it's going to take more than 10 versions to get this book complete, obviously.

Because so much has changed, not just with Windows Phone OS, but with the Lumia handset and third party device ranges and even the Microsoft Account web site online, I've gone back to the beginning of the book and started reediting everything. So this update is mostly about a revamped version of the Before You Start chapter.

More soon: I'm going to try and bang out more updates to existing content and then move forward. I'll likely do the same with Surface Pro 3 Field Guide too.

Download Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide

Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.05 in PDF
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.05 in MOBI – Kindle
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.05 in ePub – Nook, other eBooks

Download all of the Field Guides

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.07 – Available to paying customers from the download page
Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.0 in PDFMOBI and ePub
Xbox Music Field Guide 0.94 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.6 (pre-release) in PDFMOBI and ePub formats
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.05 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub formats
Windows Phone 8 Field Guide 1.07 in PDFMOBI and ePub formats

First draft of Xbox Music Field Guide is complete

With this update, Xbox Music Field Guide is essentially complete. I still need to go over the manuscript carefully, and given how frequently the various clients change, it's likely that there will be further additions and other changes in the future. But it's finally there.

This update completes a number of chapters and sections, including some short chapters about importing your own music and playlists, a number of sections about music playback controls and Now Playing, and much more.

I'll bump this up to version 1.0 as soon as I can.

Download Xbox Music Guide

Xbox Music Guide 0.95 in PDF
Xbox Music Guide 0.95 in MOBI
Xbox Music Guide 0.95 in ePub

Download all of the Field Guides

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.07 – Available to paying customers from the download page
Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.0 in PDFMOBI and ePub
Xbox Music Field Guide 0.95 (first draft) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.6 (pre-release) in PDFMOBI and ePub formats
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.4 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub formats
Windows Phone 8 Field Guide 1.07 in PDFMOBI and ePub formats

Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.0

Microsoft Band Field Guide is complete. This update includes a few formatting changes that make it more consistent with the other Field Guide books and a number of small edits.

I will continue to update this book as Microsoft updates Band and the Microsoft Health app and service, and to fix any mistakes. But for now, it's time to finish up some of the other incomplete Field Guides.

Download Microsoft Band Field Guide

Microsoft Band Field Guide in PDF
Microsoft Band Field Guide in MOBI
Microsoft Band Field Guide in ePub

Download all of the Field Guides

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.07 – Available to paying customers from the download page
Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.0 in PDFMOBI and ePub
Xbox Music Field Guide 0.94 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.6 (pre-release) in PDFMOBI and ePub formats
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.4 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub formats
Windows Phone 8 Field Guide 1.07 in PDFMOBI and ePub formats

Xbox Music Field Guide 0.94

Happy New Year, and here's a nice update to Xbox Music Guide that moves the book a lot closer to completion. This version includes two new chapters—Purchase music and Find music deals—plus a number of other changes. I added a dedication finally, and removed the complex Contents in favor of a simpler Contents list that is more appropriate for a book of this length.

As with previous updates, incomplete sections are marked with "*****" so you can see what's left to write.

More soon.

Download Xbox Music Guide

Xbox Music Guide 0.94 in PDF
Xbox Music Guide 0.94 in MOBI
Xbox Music Guide 0.94 in ePub

Download all of the Field Guides

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.07 – Available to paying customers from the download page
Microsoft Band Field Guide 1.0 in PDFMOBI and ePub
Xbox Music Field Guide 0.94 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.6 (pre-release) in PDFMOBI and ePub formats
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.4 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub formats
Windows Phone 8 Field Guide 1.07 in PDFMOBI and ePub formats

Xbox Music Field Guide 0.93

With Microsoft Band Field Guide finally winding down—and only taking twice as long to write as I'd hoped—I'm going to be updating the other in-progress Field Guides now with the goal of getting them all in a completed state as quickly as possible. I turned to Xbox Music Guide first because it's the closest to completion.

This is a small update to the book in some ways, but I've read through the entire manuscript looking for problems and things to add or fix. As with previous updates, incomplete sections are marked with "*****" so you can see what's left to write. The table of contents has been updated too.

More soon.

Download Xbox Music Guide

Xbox Music Guide 0.93 in PDF
Xbox Music Guide 0.93 in MOBI
Xbox Music Guide 0.93 in ePub

Download the latest versions of the other field guides

Windows 8.1 Field Guide 1.07 – Available to paying customers from the download page
Microsoft Band Field Guide 0.17 (first draft) in PDF, MOBI, ePub formats
Surface Pro 3 Field Guide 0.6
 (pre-release) in PDFMOBI and ePub formats
Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide 0.4 (pre-release) in PDF, MOBI and ePub formats
Windows Phone 8 Field Guide 1.07 in PDFMOBI and ePub formats

First draft of Microsoft Band Field Guide is complete

With this update, Microsoft Band Field Guide is essentially complete. I will need to give it a once-over to make sure there are no glaring issues or missing content, and of course I'll keep it updated if and when things change. I will also update the document style to more closely resemble the other books. But it looks like this one is finally wrapping up, so I can turn my attention back to Surface Pro 3 Field Guide and Windows Phone 8.1 Field Guide. (And then eventually Windows 10 Field Guide).

This update adds or completes a number of sections, including content about keeping Band safe, connecting other apps, and more.

I'll be able to bump it up to version 1.0 soon, I think.

Download Microsoft Band Field Guide

Microsoft Band Field Guide 0.17 in PDF
Microsoft Band Field Guide 0.17 in MOBI
Microsoft Band Field Guide 0.17 in ePub

Microsoft Band Field Guide 0.15

This update to the in-progress Microsoft Band Field Guide includes a new section/chapter about Cortana, which is shorter than I expected—it's easy to get caught up in every little detail and I'm trying to keep this one lighter than that—and a short mention of the Pimp my Band app.

More soon.

Download Microsoft Band Field Guide

Microsoft Band Field Guide 0.15 in PDF
Microsoft Band Field Guide 0.15 in MOBI
Microsoft Band Field Guide 0.15 in ePub