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Windows and Office Software Versions and Types


Within this computer guide we have complied the different Microsoft Windows and Office software, mostly current which explains the differences between the differnet software versions that Microsoft offer.

For example, do you know the difference between Microsoft Windows XP Home and Professional editions? We'll show you in this guide.

You will see the links below for quick access to the topic of interest to you or have a browse through the general page.


Why Different Versions
OEM vs Retail vs Licensing
Microsoft Windows XP Versions
Microsoft Windows Vista Versions
Microsoft Windows 7 Versions
Microsoft Office 2003 Versions
Microsoft Office 2007 Versions
Microsoft Office 2010 Versions
Microsoft Server Family 2003
Microsoft Server Family 2008



Why Different Versions?

I think ultimately there is one reason why we have multiple versions of windows and office software; Money!

Rather than making one product fits all it appears to makes better business sense to target specific groups of people and tell them they need a certain product for their group! Personally I would prefer a "one product fits all" as this would make computing so much easier especially for the layman.

Unfortunately Microsoft decided that if you are a business you will pay more to use the software and if you are a home user you can have most of the features of the full versions but pay slightly less!

I should say at this point that I am not anti-licensing! I believe that intellectual rights should be rewarded and therefore creators of such software can claim the money for their hard work. That said I don't understand why the smae product can be sold in a few different ways and at different prices! Come on Microsoft drop your prices and more people will probably pay it!



OEM vs Retail vs Licensing

A lot of people will become confused with the difference between OEM and retail (or normal off the shelf) products. Whilst OEM can be ambiguous I will simplify it here to try and explain the main difference between OEM and retail Windows and Office.

OEM (stands for Original Equipment Manufacture) Windows is created by Microsoft to be supplied with a new computer by computer makers and suppliers that sell many systems. The software in its OEM form is cheaper to buy for the computer manufacturers and is only installable on one computer. Once that computer is dead the OEM software license dies with the computer. The OEM software can not be bought and installed to your current computer. You would need to buy a retail license.

When you bought your computer it was more than likely installed with OEM WIndows XP or later. To upgrade this version of Windows you would need to buy either a full retail version of the latest Windows operating system or the upgrade version.

Retail versions of Windows products are full products that can be loaded on one computer only unless specified in the licensing agreement although if your computer dies you can install that retail software to another computer.

In terms of operation the OEM and Retail versions of Windows and Office work the same. It is just a license type that you buy. Technically speaking you can still install a OEM version of Windows or Office to any computer whether new or 2 years old although you may be breaking Microsoft licensing rules by doing so.

Office software works exactly the same in OEM and retail versions. When you buy a new computer Microsoft Office isn't normally included although you have the option of buying a version with the computer and this is normally supplied as an OEM version. Again if you wish to buy another computer or upgrade your office software you would need to buy another Office license.



Microsoft Windows XP Versions



Microsoft Windows Vista Versions



Microsoft Windows 7 Versions



Microsoft Office 2003 Versions

When Microsoft released the Office 2003 nothing much changed from the Office XP version which we don't go into on this site. Computers were taking off big time now and email messaging was a big deal. This was the first Outlook version that natively supported larger email folder sizes over the previous 2GB limit.

Outlook 2003 was also shipped as the Outlook version with Windows Small Business Server 2003. The basic edition was most companies choice based on affordability and required software whilst Small Business edition offered the best value and Professional was expensive although included the Microsoft Access program.

Microsoft Office 2003 Versions


Product FeatureBasicStudent & TeacherStandardSmall BusinessProfessional

WordYesYesYesYesYes
ExcelYesYesYesYesYes
OutlookYesYesYesYesYes
PowerpointNoYesYesYesYes
PublisherNoNoNoYesYes
AccessNoNoNoNoYes
GrooveNoNoNoNoYes
OneNoteNoNoNoNoYes
InfoPathNoNoNoNoYes


Microsoft Office 2007 Versions

With the introduction of Microsoft Office 2007 a major shift occured in the way we would access our documents. We no longer have the reliable drop down menus as seen in previous versions of Office. Instead we have a 'Ribbon' which looks scary at first but you actually like after a while!

There are different versions of Microsoft Office 2007 available. We show some of the differences here. If you are unsure what the programs listed are check our program list to see what each program is used for.

Microsoft Office 2007 Versions


Product FeatureBasicSmall BusinessProfessionalHome & StudentUltimateStandard

WordYesYesYesYesYesYes
ExcelYesYesYesYesYesYes
OutlookYesYesYesNoYesYes
PowerpointNoYesYesYesYesYes
PublisherNoYesYesNoYesNo
AccessNoNoYesNoYesNo
GrooveNoNoNoNoYesNo
OneNoteNoNoNoYesYesNo
InfoPathNoNoNoNoYesNo





Microsoft Office 2010 Versions

With the introduction of Microsoft Office 2007 a major shift occured in the way we would access our documents. We no longer have the reliable drop down menus as seen in previous versions of Office. Instead we have a 'Ribbon' which looks scary at first but you actually like after a while!

There are different versions of Microsoft Office 2007 available. We show some of the differences here. If you are unsure what the programs listed are check our program list to see what each program is used for.

Microsoft Office 2010 Versions


Product FeatureHome & BusinessProfessional AcademicProfessionalHome & StudentProfessional PlusStandard

WordYesYesYesYesYesYes
ExcelYesYesYesYesYesYes
OutlookYesYesYesNoYesYes
PowerpointYesYesYesYesYesYes
PublisherNoYesYesNoYesYes
AccessNoYesYesNoYesNo
OneNoteYesYesYesYesYesYes
InfoPathNoNoNoNoYesNo



Microsoft Server Family 2003



Microsoft Server Family 2008