We avoid this issue by naming books after their functional scope:
'Widget' Installation
'Widget' Operation
'Widget' Administration
The thinking being (a) we avoid this whole thread, (b) we don't have to superfluous terms like "manual" or "guide" that state the obvious, and (c) end users typically have a functional domain and, as such, only want/need content that addresses their work. Installation is typically one-time, perhaps not even done by the customer; Operation is day-to-day routines; Administration is typically one-time plus regular maintenance and infrequent adjustments (e.g., new regulations) or additions (e.g., new users due to new employees). Also, a given site might require several Operation manuals but only one Admin manual.
I realize this is more than you asked for, but there's more to consider than just (bad) use of possessive.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: User's manual vs. User manual
From: hessiansx4 <hessian...@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, March 13, 2015 6:10 pm
To: Framers <framers@lists.frameusers.com>

  Any thoughts on which is preferable for hardware products?


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