For a lot of people this would be obvious. But, I still get a few calls every week from people who tell me they have a problem with the Microsoft Office when in fact they are really talking about their operating system or desktop.
So I just thought I would quickly explain the very big difference. In fact, the only similarities they actually have at all is they are made by the same company, Microsoft.
Microsoft Windows such as Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1 are Operating Systems most home and business desktops use for your software to basically talk to your hardware. An Operating System is the actual environment all the applications sit in, within your computer.
You usually know what operating system you are running when you turn your computer on and see the writing something like, “Windows 7”.
There are many different kinds of Operating Systems made by other companies such as OsX by Apple for their Apple Mac Computers and Linux which is open source with thousands of developers all around the world.
Microsoft also have their own server version of Windows which is used is school and corporate environments.
Microsoft Office is a set of applications you can use on any Windows and most Apple computers.
Office has been around since the late 80’s and includes such program that can be used in the home, work or educational environments to manage and create documents as well as other tasks. Following is an explanation of some of the main applications included in Office a lot of people use everyday.
Microsoft Word is a Word Processor used for creating and editing documents such as reports and letters etc.
Word has been around since the early 80’s and continues today to be one of the most used word processing applications. Although Word is quite sophisticated and jam backed with functions right now, it used to be very simple, a black screen with a bit of text.
Excel is a Spreadsheet application. Again, with the release of every new Excel program over the years has come with lots more features and was the primary competitor with Lotus for the race to being the most dominant spreadsheet program in the 90’s.
Anyone who has ever been to a school or work lecture has probably seen Powerpoint. There are many programs used during presentations but few are as easy to use and construct demonstrations as Powerpoint.
Outlook is a very popular email client used mostly on Windows computers. Once outlook is setup, the user only needs to click on it and it will automatically go out over the internet and download and organise their emails quickly and easily.
Outlook can be deployed just as easy on a single user work station to a large corporate network with server integration built into it.
Alternatives to Microsoft Office
Everybody loves free and they don’t get much more free than Open Office. Open office started off as a project with tonnes of developers contributing constantly to its creation and development every year.
Although it lacks some functionality compared to Microsoft Office, its speed, minimalistic design and size makes it s great alternative to Microsoft Office.