The economy might be down, but Microsoft's betting a lot of your technology-challenged friends and relatives still bought or received new PCs this Christmas. Want to give them a helping hand - and give yourself more free time to get back to your favorite deathmatch or chat session? Tell them to surf over to Microsoft's new Windows Guides website and download - or email - some help.
Redmond has put together a nice assortment of simple guides for various chunks of the Windows Vista computing universe. Whether your family and friends have questions about Windows Media Center, gaming, working on the go, PC and family security, photo editing and sharing, or just getting started with the Windows desktop, adding new hardware, networking, printing, or getting remote assistance, there's a guide for them.
You can download guides in industry-standard PDF or send them via email. The guides provide easy step-by-step instructions and good illustrations, and, with most guides weighing in at less than 2MB each, they won't put undue strain on low-end DSL or cable broadband connections. The first page of each guide lists the contents of the guide and the versions of Windows and any additional software or hardware needed for the tasks covered. The site offers a feedback form, so if your or your uncle aren't satisfied, you can sound off.
You may still get panicked calls from your aunt or your brother-in-law about some of the more esoteric things that Windows can do, but these guides should help get your not-so-nerdy friends and relatives off to a good start with their new PCs.