What Flavour of Windows do you have (I don’t mean Vista, 7 or 8)?

By | March 15, 2014
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It’s a bit of a mix this time – all sorts from something Microsoft got wrong that’s led to millions of people being ever so slightly confused to something you might (or might not) have noticed has disappeared… but first, how to tell what “flavour” of Windows you have…

What flavour of Windows do you have (I don’t mean Vista, 7, 8 or whatever)?
You’ve probably heard of different versions of Windows: XP, Vista, 7 and 8 are the most common nowadays.

You might even know which one you have (if you’re not sure, it’s usually shown on the screen while the PC is starting up).
But there’s something else that varies – whether it’s a 32 or 64 bit version. All the recent versions of Windows come in both varieties – 32 and 64 bit… and most of the time you really don’t need to know what yours is.

But occasionally when you’re installing something, it’ll ask you. Or when you’re about to download something to install, there’ll be two versions and you have to pick the right one depending on whether you need the 32 or 64 bit one.

Checking isn’t as hard as you might think. If you have Windows 7 or earlier, open up the start menu and right click on “Computer”. Then click on Properties and you’ll get a screen telling you various things about your computer.

Part way down that screen, underneath “System” it’ll tell you about your version of Windows and it should say either “32 bit operating system” or “64 bit operating system” – and now you know which yours is.

If you have Windows 8 or 8.1, that method doesn’t work – but it’s still not hard. First you need to open up control panel and the easiest way to do that is simply start typing “control panel” from the start screen. You’ll get a list of options – click on the one that says control panel!

Then click on “System and security” (in green) and then on “System” (again in green) and you’ll get the same screen I talked about above – about half way down it’ll tell you whether you have a 32 bit or 64 bit operating system.

As I say, it’s not something you’d normally be interested in, but if a program asks you which you have, now you know how to check!

How Microsoft got it wrong…
I’m not really trying to indulge in Microsoft-bashing (I know WIndows has a few, er, weaknesses, but after all, I haven’t written an alternative…) but I’ve never really understood this one.

A lot of people get confused between the web and the internet – they’re not exactly the same thing.

The web is made up of all the webpages and websites you look at using Internet Explorer or Chrome or some other web browser.

The Internet is strictly speaking the technical gubbins that makes that possible – the network it all happens over. In another way you can also think of it as the web, plus all the email plus a few other bits and pieces (downloads, transferring large files, video calls and so on).

It’s not terribly important – but every so often I find someone’s got confused over something because they think the internet and the web are the same… and if only Microsoft hadn’t called their web browser “Internet Explorer”, it probably would have been no-where near as confusing!

Why didn’t they call it “Web Explorer”? I have no idea…

The mystery of the disappearing underlining
If you use Google to search for things on the web, like I do, then you might have noticed something and wondered what’s going on – or you might not…

For some people, the results you get now look a bit different. The links you clicked after you searched for something used to be in blue and underlined… and now they’re blue but not underlined (and they’re a little bit bigger).

It’s just something Google have changed because they think it might look nicer and cleaner. The links still work the same – so it’s not something to worry about.

On the other hand, you might still be seeing the old style links with underlining… Google are testing it by showing the new ones to some people first to see how it goes before using the new style for everyone.

So it’s not something to worry about – but if you’d noticed your underlining had disappeared, now you know why!

Well, that’s all for now!