17 October, 2010
What is a computer without software? Well the short answer is that they are not even a good shape for an effective boat anchor! Computers have been built for one reason only – to run software. It is this software that is more varied, more complex and often more expensive than the computer itself. To start with every PC must run an operating system (OS) and by far the majority of personal computers (PC’s) are running a Microsoft Windows product. There are also OS’s from many other manufacturers including Macintosh, Linux & IBM. The primary job of any OS is simply to interact with the computer hardware & provide a platform or base onto which you can install other software programs. The software that we install onto the OS is very varied and sometimes more expensive than the PC – sometimes a business PC that cost $2000 in the first place could be running double that amount in specialised software. One of the most universally accepted and useful software programs is that of Microsoft Office – this is a comprehensive software package that gives us programs like Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Publisher. Microsoft has just release a new update or version of office called 2010 & they have reduced the pricing as well as loosening up on the licence terms. There are still versions that can only be ordered at the time of purchase of a new PC – called PKC versions (product key card) whereby your IT supplier installs the software and you just get a little card with a unique product code on it. This version can only go on that original PC and the software licence expires when that individual PC dies. The other versions are a ‘Retail’ version where you actually own the software and have purchased both a unique product code and the original disks. This is the version that we will be actively selling as it is the most versatile and cost effective. The main Retail versions of Office 2010 are – Home & Student Edition (RRP $209) & Home & Business Edition (RRP $379). The Home & Student Edition can be installed onto as many as 3 separate PC’s or laptops (portable devices) whereas the Home & Business Edition can only be installed on one PC and one portable device (or 2 portable devices). A little confusing – yes, but Microsoft licencing has always been a little confusing. The most important point here is that these prices are approximately half that of the previous Office 2007 Retail versions. One unfortunate problem that this creates is that business owners in particular are often ill advised and end up with the Home & Student versions which are totally illegal for use in a business or commercial environment. The larger more business focused IT companies in town are all doing this right but some of the more retail focused outlets either don’t know or don’t really care. The end result is that the end user needs to be careful of what they are buying because there is a huge difference in the legal use of these software titles. Kerr Solutions is at 128 Musgrave Street & is contactable on 49 222 400.