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Microsoft Computer Software

windows microsoft programs

If there is one name that is most associated with software, that name is Microsoft. That’s because they’re the kings of software, really. They may not actually make all that many of the programs you use every day, but they probably make some of them. What they do have, however, is a vast market share with their Windows operating systems, and they have had it for decades. All computers have to have some sort of operating system; it’s basically the foundation for every other piece of software that you might install.


Microsoft computer software accounts for a huge percentage of OS usage, as high as 90%. That’s because Windows offers users a comfortable middle ground that, despite its shortcomings, is the best choice for most computer owners. It doesn’t have the hefty price tag of an Apple product, nor the proprietary issues of installing third-party software on a Mac OS. Macs are extremely user-friendly but don’t leave much room for customization. Windows trades off a tiny bit of stability and security for large increases in usability.

On the other hand, Microsoft computer software is infinitely more user friendly that open source operating systems such as Ubuntu and other Linux applications. You’ve really got to work hard to get a virus on one of those, but those things are best left to people with far more computer knowledge than the average internet user. They are very cool, very secure and extremely functional, but they’re not very practical for novice users.

Besides, Microsoft computer software is not the same thing it was ten or twelve years ago. They’re on Windows version 7 now, and millions, if not billions, more computers are still running Vista, XP and even older versions. Everyone can find things to hate about any operating system, but for the most part, Windows gets better with every update.

Microsoft Programs

Of course, Microsoft computer software is hardly limited to the OS itself. There are many programs with the Microsoft logo, and the company often works closely or partners with other software developers. Sometimes, people even write programs to simply give them away, or for no reason at all. Windows includes a number of additional programs that every user is bound to be familiar with.

Internet Explorer – Ah, this served as many a person’s first transport into cyberspace. Unfortunately, the only reason anyone uses it anymore is because it comes with the computer. It’s funny, because most of its competitors from the 90s have fallen by the wayside. Anyone remember Netscape Navigator? Some newer competitors are giving IE a run for its money, namely Mozilla’s Firefox and Google Chrome. But that’s the beauty of Windows: near limitless options.

Windows Media Player – It’s actually pretty decent. It also comes as part of the OS. You might need some third-party codecs and add-ons to play certain files, though. It also serves as CD/DVD burning software, but it’s somewhat limited in that area. You’re better off using a more specialized program.

One of the most popular pieces of Microsoft computer software is MS Office. It’s actually a bunch of pieces, a collection of different programs called a suite. MS Office has been around in some form since 1989. There is also a free, open-source office suite available called OpenOffice, but MSOffice remains the standard for most businesses. The familiar old Office underwent some drastic changes with the 2007 version, which included a new user interface and new XML document formats. It can still open the old formats, and Microsoft has released a compatibility pack that allows older versions to use the new formats.

MS Word – Your basic word processor that is not so basic anymore. It has a long history, having first hit the market in 1983. Now it has tons of features and shortcuts, maybe too many for the casual user to master.

Excel – Microsoft’s spreadsheet program. An essential tool for accountants or anyone who needs to keep track of numbers.

Publisher – A graphic design program used to produce and print labels, brochures, cards, etc.

Powerpoint – This program is designed for presentations. You create slides with text, pictures, videos or some combination of them, which can then be printed or viewed via a screen or projector.

Microsoft Office 2003 Upgrade - Staying Compatible with the Microsoft Office 2003 Upgrade [next] [back] Microsoft Publisher Trial - Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Word Trial Versions

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