This is a well crafted guidebook that has clearly adopted a proven progression. A very basic introduction that familiarises someone new to JS with a couple handy development environments (Visual Studio and Eclipse — hey it’s a Microsoft Press book what do you expect…at least an open source alternative was suggested), and moves to the basic grammar and the philosophy behind the language. It gradually builds on your working knowledge moving from syntax to operators and variables and then to expressions and control mechanisms. The approach is in very well constructed and steps are scoped and paced for an absolute beginner, but also allow someone with moderate experience to move quicker through the material and refresh their knowledge. Hands-on exercises are sprinkled throughout and the companion downloadable files allow you to avoid extensive typing and pick and choose where you really want to go hands-on. There are even specific exercises at the end of each section for those used to a little self-evaluation. All of which means that this book will suit a variety of learning styles.
The only critical issue I can raise, and it is more preferential than a defect, is the choice of Microsoft products largely exclusively, whether Visual Studio or integration with Bing and LiveMaps. All fine products and in widespread use. I do tip my hat to the suggestion of other OS products such as Eclipse, but am not used to seeing a volume aimed as particularly at a Microsoft-certified audience. Just me I suppose.