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Essay on “Introduction to Computing”

Question 1

Microsoft’s Windows OS is based on DOS programming language, designed by both businesses as well as a wide range of other applications. It is easily the most widely used operating system, which is however notorious for numerous vulnerabilities and poor technological support (Bodden, 2008). Apple, Inc.’s Mac OS on the other hand, is based on LINUX, and incorporates one of the most elegant user interfaces, making it multiply easy to use. Windows OS lays emphasis on Office functions, in order to increase applicability, while Mac OS lays greater emphasis on GUI and multimedia functions, which increase ease of use. In addition, LINUX family of OSs are designed to operate large computers, and Mac OS seeks to apply these technologies to personal computers (Tanenbaum & Woodhull, 2006). A further difference derives from the fact that while Windows Operating Systems can be easily upgraded, in order to get access to patches to different vulnerabilities, Mac OS cannot. In order to get new features, a computer user must uninstall the old version of the OS, then purchase and install a new version, effectively resulting in more costs and inconvenience to the user.

Advantages of Windows OS

  • It is universally used by varied hardware and compatible with a large number of software applications
  • Used by the wide majority of computer users
  • Emphasis on office functions and thus applicable in many environments


  • Numerous vulnerabilities
  • Lower number of features
  • Relatively less user friendly
  • A high number of viruses and malware etc, are targeted at Windows OS because of its popularity (Computer Sciences Corp, 2011)
  • Less reliable

Advantages of Mac OS

  • Highly customized to meet the needs of Apple hardware and related applications
  • More user friendly
  • Targeted to loyal niche markets
  • It is relatively more reliable than Windows OS (Choi, Fershtman, & Gandal, 2007)
  • Mac OS is less prone to malware and viruses, not least because of the low number of attackers, but also because of the technical difficulty of exploiting vulnerabilities in LINUX applications


  • Only runs on Apple hardware and is less compatible with other software applications, which makes them heavily limiting to users
  • Unavailable to the large majority of computer users
  • Incompatibility with major client applications common in the market, including Adobe Photoshop, which effectively limits the choice of the users, with regard to some of the best applications in the market.
  • They cannot be upgraded

Question 2

(a) Word 2010- It is a word processor, used IBM, DOS, AT&T and other platforms, which allows editing, saving text and text-based documents. It is applied for manipulating texts, photographs and other documents. The latest version of MS Word brings with it additional security features, with the protected view function. This allows the storage of risky, confidential and similar documents away from loss, accidental or unauthorized access and editing. In addition, it builds in more collaborative functionalities, including the document inspector and the capability of documents being passed off as MS Outlook and other email attachments. In addition, the new version brings with it better editing and file viewing capabilities to allow editing, reviewing and changing among other features.

(b) Excel 2010- MS Excel 2010 is the latest version of Excel to have been released by Microsoft, and like all the previous versions, it is a spreadsheet that allows manipulation, storage and analysis of data and information that is organized both for business and personal tasks (Dhotre, 2009). Excel 2010 however differs from the previous versions, mainly because it comprises innovative slicer and Sparkline data views. It allows sharing and review of workbooks, templates, pivot tables, conditional formatting and even more analytical and presentation tools. Effectively, Excel 2010 builds on the previous versions, but builds in additional capabilities to embrace sharing between applications and different media, coupled with effective and professional presentation capabilities.

(c) PowerPoint 2010- MS PowerPoint 2010 allows the creation of professional presentations, and adds new features to the previous versions, and it does provide entirely new ways to develop and share dynamic presentations between varied applications (Microsoft Corp., 2011). PowerPoint 2010 incorporates new data and image manipulation capabilities, including flexible drawing of tables, contrast and styling abilities. In addition, the ability to ship files between different applications, both offline and online is virtually unlimited. Files can be saved in PDF format and sent over a network, coupled multiple other file formats that allow easy creation and sharing of documents.

(d) One Note 2010- This represents the first time that One Note Has formed a part of the MS Office Suite. The Software makes random note taking, storage and editing of documents and files extremely easy. One note allows users to capture videos and audio files, besides providing easy to use typing and other resources for use by users, In addition, One Note allows for the stored files to be shared with other applications not only in the MS Office Suite, but over the internet as well. Files can be easily exported to myriads of applications and media devices.

(e) Access 2010- Access is database application suite of the MS Office 2010, which supports more platforms, and allow access to the database to varied other applications as well as other third party database applications, including Interbase and MS SQL. It is effectively a fully-fledged database, similar to the previous versions, but builds in increased adaptability across different platforms, besides increasing the ease of use. It is multiply easier to create and maintain tables and other schema in access 2010 as compared to the previous versions, Choi, Fershtman, & Gandal (2007).

(f) Publisher 2010- Publisher 2010 allows the creation of professional publications, which can be published directly as HTL pages, while at once supporting dynamic sharing and editing of data, templates and marketing resources for large businesses and personal purposes (Jacko, 2009). The application allows efficient creation and sharing of the information, including contacts lists. The Design Checker feature offers the backstage view, which automatically allows the most common errors to be easily reviewed by the user, while at once allowing easy conversion of the publications in multiple file formats , including PDF and XPS.

(g) Office 365- Office 365 is a cloud computing resource, which provides multiple Microsoft products online. It allows several office collaboration software to share documents, email, web conferencing and other resources to allow users to access the resources on their personal computers online. This application moves MS Office suite away from the desktop and onto the internet, in order to tap into the growing cloud computing opportunities, effectively allowing users to access their applications and resources while on the move and away from their personal computers (Microsoft Corp., 2011). Office 365 seeks to harness the groowing power of the internet, in order to give its users a flexible working environment and synergies that result from such flexibility.

(h) Share Point- It is an application software that multiply simplifies content management, business intelligence, internet and intranet resources as well as other resources, in ensuring that the resources available to businesses and individuals are optimized to facilitate informed decision making and productivity. Share Point seeks to realize the economies of sharing, by making sharing easy and meaningful for businesses and personal purposes (Microsoft Corp., 2011).

Question 3

(a) Operating system- It is a software with the capability to support the basic computer functions including execution of applications, task scheduling and control of peripherals among others. Operating systems basically handle the housekeeping work on a computer, managing memories, applications and hardware, in order to ensure a flawless performance of each of them. The operating system handles the communication between software and hardware, and thus computer software merely gives over instructions to the operating system, which in turn translates the instructions to the computer hardware, effectively making it central to hardware functions, networking as well as other computer functions.

(b) Client Server Technology- Is a technology that allows computer resources to be stored on one, usually powerful computer called the server, while other computers can have access to those resources by making requests to the server programs over a network (Choi, Fershtman, & Gandal, 2007). Client server technologies allow increased flexibility and efficiency in the use of resources, not least since one powerful machine can be used to serve many other work stations. In addition, it is the basic technology upon which the internet is based, with serves across the world providing use of resources on request by internet users across the world.

(c) Machine language- It is a computer programming language comprising of zeros and ones, which can be understood directly by a computer, without use of a compiler. The system of language comprising of 0s and 1s, is known as the binary code, Choi, Fershtman, & Gandal (2007). Computers only understand machine language, and effectively all other programming languages must be translated into machine language, making their interpretation and execution multiply slower.

(d) Programming language- It is technical language, comprising of program notations and computation specifications, employed in writing computer instructions, which can be subsequently translated by the use of a compiler into machine language, e.g. Object Pascal and HTML (Bodden, 2008). Programming languages are many and varied, but largely comprise of a structured way of providing instructions, a programming environment to facilitate this processs and perhaps most importantly, a specific compiler to translate the language into machine language.

Question 4

Basically, Google Docs and Microsoft Office offer the same functionalities. Microsoft Office Suite is mainly a desktop-based, where applications must be installed on a personal computer before they can be used, Choi, Fershtman, & Gandal (2007). The applications may also be accessible over a network. The applications offer powerful, flexible features to users, once they are installed, which can be used without the meet to be connected to the internet. In addition, the Microsoft ecosystem, which allows varied Microsoft products to work together gives the user greater scale economies than Google Docs (Tanenbaum & Woodhull, 2006). Office however, suffers from the need for frequent application updates, unavailable on mobile phones, especially with the mobile phone revolution across the world. However, these disadvantages are quickly being corrected, with the introduction of Office 365 and SharePoint, which effectively seek to take varied Office applications online, in order to provide the same flexibility to Office users as Google Docs. This is in spite of the fact that the new products come at an immense cost to the users, as compared to Google Docs.

Google Docs on the other hand, is web-based, and incorporates powerful, which allows powerful document manipulation over the internet, effectively eliminating the need for ownership and update costs (Choi, Fershtman, & Gandal, 2007). In addition, Google Docs online data storage dispenses with corrupt files and USB Keys, while at once eliminating the .docx and .doc compatibility issues associated with Office, due to the frequent version changes. Google Docs also allow collaborative working, ease of publication, sharing and eliminates the need to be tied up on a single machine.

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Checked: 21 Jan 2018
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