Office and Windows

When dealing with non-geeks, one of the commonest and most aggravating areas of confusion is that of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. So, I have decided to make a Public Service Announcement.

Windows is an Operating System. Its purpose is to get your computer to function. Without it, your computer will not work. It allows you to run programs, create and maintain files etc. Versions of Windows include 3.1, NT, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista and 7.

Recent versions of Windows come with different “Trim Levels”. XP comes in Home and Professional versions. Vista comes in Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate and others. 7 Comes in Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate (though I am sure that there are others).

Microsoft Office is a Suite of Applications (programs). It is not part of Windows! Sometimes your computer comes with it, but it is almost always an extra-cost option. Versions of Office include 98, 97, 2002/XP (Not to be confused with Windows XP!), 2003 and 2007.

Office comes with various trim levels as well. Student & Teacher Edition and Standard Edition are essentially the same; the former is a cheaper “catch-em-while-they’re-young” version. They both have the basic Applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc). Further down the line we have SBE (Small Business Edition), Professional and Ultimate.

Now you know.

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