And Does it Matter?
What version you have matters to us at WindowWalk Computer Education because each version is different enough from the one before that we have created different training materials for each one that Microsoft releases.
Most computer programs are routinely upgraded over a period of time. These upgrades are often referred to as “versions”. The versions have a name, number, or year to identify them. For example, Windows 98, Windows XP, or Windows 8. It can be difficult to follow the history through the version names. Microsoft has a great history here of its Windows versions.
The easiest way to tell which Windows version you have (although not the official way!) is to look at the Start button in the lower left corner of the screen. If you see:
A green rectangle button with the word Start displayed – you have Windows XP.
A blue circle button with the Windows logo displayed — you have Windows Vista or Windows 7. (These 2 versions are very similar.)
No button at all in the lower left corner and square “apps” instead — you have Windows 8.
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.) also has quite a few versions released. Office programs have been traditionally named with the year of their release, for example, Office 2013 or Office 2010.