The tutorials all show the properties panel, but it is nowhere to be found. I tried the Windows tab, no dice. It's really annoying.
Please check once after cleaning InDesign Prefs. Properties panel is available in the default Essentials workspace you see on launching InDesign. It is also available under Window menu.
Adobe InDesign team
Dean Packwood commented
Unless there's a way of having the panels within the Properties Panel expanded by default, it's useless to me as far as text is concerned as I have to keep clicking to expand the options I need... otherwise, it's not really showing much more than the top toolbar and therefore just takes up extra real-estate.