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Which Microsoft Software is which?

With the news of support ceasing for Windows XP, we have noticed some confusion developing about what the different Microsoft computer software does. 

So I thought it was best to see if I can shed some light on the topic to try to make it easier for you when you go out to upgrade your computers. 

Now, when you purchase a computer, whether it be a notebook or a desktop computer, you require software to enable this device to run, this is known as the operating system.  This software is called ‘Microsoft Windows’ and the current version is “Windows 8 or 8.1”.  This software enables your hardware within your computer to speak to each other and translate on your screen as a usable interface. 

There is then other software you can purchase to enhance the use of your computer.  These being Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher and Outlook.  This suite of software is called “Microsoft Office”.  Currently there are two ways you can purchase this software: 

  1. Outright – receive a code/CD 

  1. Subscription – cloud based 

There are different licensing rules for each of the above options.  Outright only allows one license on one device. Subscription is one licence but can be used on up to five devices.  For full details on Microsoft Office products please go to:  

So when you go looking for your next computer, being a notebook or a desktop, be aware that all of them will come with an operating system “Windows 8 or 8.1” as standard.  Microsoft Office software is an optional extra you can choose depending on what applications you require.  Don’t hesitate to speak to the sales person about what suite will best suit your needs. 

As always you can speak to your local computer specialist to help solve any of your computer needs. 


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