Generic shots of computers. PC / technology
Generic shots of computers. PC / technology

Setting record straight on computer program misconceptions

WINDOWS 7 PCs have been flooding in over the past week which has prompted me to look back over the figures for the past month.

About 65 per cent of Windows 7 PCs brought in have been upgraded to Windows 10 as opposed to only 35 per cent that have been replaced. We are seeing a number of good powerful laptops and desktops that run better than ever with a fresh install of Windows 10 and a new SSD. In fact most customers are astounded that their old PC can run so well.

Because we have such a large influx of new customers with older PCs we are also more regularly having to dispel certain myths, which will form the basis of this article. Starting with email accounts. Every email address (email account) on the planet has both a username and a password. The username is the actual email address. The password will have been assigned to you or could be of your choosing - from the time that the email account was created.

Several new customers are telling us that they don't have an email account password.

This is never the case and luckily we have a range of options for retrieving their password - especially if their PC is still operating.

Some of the passwords that we retrieve are very simple and not near complex enough to offer good security and protection from hacking, so we often change them for customers to provide better security. Nearly all customers ask us to keep a copy of their passwords in our secure database.

The other large misconceptions revolve around Microsoft Office. MS Office is a suite of software programs including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and often Outlook (a comprehensive emailing package). A huge percentage of customers believe that MS Office comes as part of MS Windows. This is not correct.

MS Office has always been an expensive "add on" to a computer purchase. It has never been given away free and if you currently have Office running on your PC, it is because you have purchased it or been given it by an employer (such as QLD Education), or you have let someone (usually the teenage friend of a friend) install a cracked version, which is not legal.

Traditionally MS Office had to be purchased outright as a "pack" with CD and a unique 25 digit install code, however more recently MS has dropped the CD in favour of you needing to download it and have just supplied the pack with the install code. Mostly there have been two main versions of MS Office - Home and Student as well as Home and Business.

The only differences being the initial cost and the fact that the Student version lacked Outlook and was not legal for use in a business environment.

In recent years, Microsoft has released its subscription version of MS Office called Office 365, which you cannot purchase outright and therefore will never own. Office 365 is "rented" from Microsoft on a yearly or monthly payment basis. This leads to the next myth which has been created by Microsoft's own aggressive advertising campaign for its 365 products. You can still purchase MS Office outright as 2019 Home and Student or 2019 Home and Business at the current RRP of $199 & $349 respectively.

Next week we will look closer at MS Office (outright purchase) as well as the Office 365 range of offerings as both types have their respective advantages and virtues.

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.