One of the challenges in retail is when customers buy a PC with Windows on it and think they also have Microsoft Office.  They get home all excited to write their first letter on Word and find to their dismay that it isn't installed.  From their point of view, they bought a PC with Microsoft on it and assume it will have all the applications.  This is why Office Ready PCs are a good thing because the customer does get this preinstalled. Even if they don't opt to buy Microsoft Office, with an ORPC they can use the trial and later convert it to a licensed copy online.

Gill Le Fevre, she of the Microsoft Office newsletter - yes she is a real flesh and blood person - has been running the work experience program this week on campus.  She asked the students (aged 14-18) to work in groups and come up with an explanation of the difference between Windows and Office, that would help the “average” PC shopper.

I thought I’d share the winning two explanations with you:

“The CD player”

A PC is like a CD player – when you buy it, you don’t get any music with it and have to buy that separately. Programs, like Microsoft Office, are like CDs – you buy them according to your own taste and can then play them on the CD player.

“The fishbowl”

A PC is like a fishbowl. On it’s own it doesn’t do anything. You first of all need to add water – water is like Windows. Once you’ve got water, you can then add fish (fish represent the programs you could add to a computer).


makes a change from every IT analogy being about a car :-)