There are various versions of Windows however they have got similar features or just an upgrade of previous versions. Knowing to interact with one, it could be easier using other despite the variations. 

Also read: interface In reference to a computer

In this post we shall learn using Windows 7 and therefore referenced as Windows here after.

Windows desktop features

After switching on your computer, Windows loads into the main memory and later display a desktop. A sign that the computer is ready for use. The diagram below show parts of a Windows desktop. 

The three main features of Windows are 

  • Background

work area on the monitor on which icons and running tasks are placed. 

  • Icons 

Pictorial representation of commands that are manipulated by a pointing device. 

  • Task bar

black strip at the bottom of the desktop on which buttons of active programs reside. It also allows users to switch between different programs and tasks that are currently running. 

Also read: structure of harddisk

It contains three parts namely 

  1. start button – left most button on the task bar that the user clicks to display the start menu.
  2. System tray – right part of the taskbar having icons of tasks running in the background e.g. volume control, anti-virus e.t.c 
  3. Task manager – middle part of task bar, is where buttons of currently running programs are displayed.


When you click on the start button, a list of choices appears called start menu. The choices are listed into two; you notice that you have a larger white strip on the left (installed programs) and a black strip on the right displaying (system programs).  To shed more light on this; from those choices we could explain a few.

Programs – displays a list of recently used installed programs. Clicking/ pointing on this command display a list of all programs installed. 

Documents – displays a list of recently accessed files

Control panel –is computer’s maintenance toolbox from which a user can maintain, configure and make changes to the computer settings. DO NOT access this menu unless certain of what you are doing or under the directives of a professional. 

Search programs and files – allows the user to search for a file or a folder. 

Help and support – display detailed information on how to use the operating system and solve some computer related problems. You could access it by also pressing F1.


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