Everybody have a general idea about what is a computer and an operating system, but, do you really know how do they work? If you don’t, here’s some help for you. “Introduction to Windows as a Platform” created by Rich Tebb from Content Master Ltd Company, and available at the MSDN web site (Microsoft Developer Network), is an interesting way to find some answers to the following questions: • How does a computer work? <>> • What's the difference between hardware and software? • What's an Operating System? • How does a computer run my program? • What are the component parts of a program? Basically, this introductory lesson is a combination of written text and video, which covers the initial concepts about application development environment, Windows operating system, computers, among others subjects. The logic of the lesson is to show you how a computer works managed by the operating system, conforming what is called a platform. That platform is the working environment of the programs, so if you properly understand how it works, you’ll write better programs in the future. You can either take this lesson on-line from the MSDN web page, or you can download it to your computer, so you don’t need to be connected during your study time. When you download and install this lesson, one new folder named “Introduction to Windows as a Platform” will be created with the following three files: 1. “Introduction to Windows Platform.wmv”, a 12 minutes Windows Media Video file containing the lesson in video format; 2. “Introduction to Windows as a Platform.doc”, an 11 pages Microsoft Word document with the written lesson; 3. “EULA.ftr”, a Rich Text Format document containing license information; You will find five main sections within the document, as follows: 1. Introduction. 2. How Computers Work. 3. Hardware, Software and Operating Systems. 4. Writing Windows Programs. 5. Summary. The text is accompanied by schemes and images to help you better understand what is written. This lesson is the best option to get a first computers insight, and also the less time consuming one. After taking this lesson, you’ll be familiar with the components of a computer, the structure of Windows, and the ways in which they interact. Also, you’ll be ready to go on and start taking some of the other courses available at MSDN, about programming languages. Those courses are oriented to people interested in designing and building Windows based applications. If you’re reading this, it’s pretty sure that you’re one of those people. Back to the lesson description, we have to mention that is available for free for anyone who’s eager to learn and there isn’t any prerequisite.