Although shut down does the same thing that it did in earlier versions of Windows, its location and purpose have changed in this version of Windows. Use shut down only when you must turn off the power to your computer, for example, when you want to add memory or you don’t plan to use the computer for several days.
This version of Windows provides a power-saving state called sleep. Like hibernation, sleep saves all of your work to your hard disk, including information about the programs you were using, such as window location and size. After saving your work, sleep puts your computer in a power-saving state.
The following table lists the advantages of putting your computer to sleep compared to shutting it down.
You can leave programs open, and your work is automatically saved.
You must save your work and exit each open program before you shut down the computer.
After your computer wakes, you can typically resume working within seconds.
It may take up to several minutes to turn on your computer, log on, and then start the programs that you were using.
Because you leave your programs open, you can quickly resume working where you left off.
You must restart the programs that you were using before you can resume working.