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XFER has been serving the Livonia area since 1994, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

7 Technology Terms That End Users Should Know

7 Technology Terms That End Users Should Know

No matter what role you are in at your company, be it management or otherwise, there are certain terms related to technology that you are going to want to be familiar with. Doing so will not only help you make the process of asking for help when it’s needed easier, but it will also help you stay current on business technology in general, leading to more awareness of what goes into a successful business technology strategy. Let’s discuss some of the important technology terms for everyday business operations.


Your desktop can mean two different things; it is either the front-most screen when you are logged on to your computer, where you can see icons for the various programs installed on your computer and other folders for storage, or it can mean your entire work computer setup (monitor, tower, keyboard, mouse, etc). More likely than not, when you hear the word “desktop,” it will be in the context of the computer setup itself. Other times, it might be referred to as a “workstation.”


On a similar note, hardware consists of the components that actually make the computer work. Hardware includes any bits and pieces inside the computer, as well as any equipment that might be used alongside the computer. Some examples of hardware might include the computer’s monitor, your keyboard, computer mouse, webcam, microphone, and any internal components, like RAM, the motherboard, etc. It’s just a fancy word that encompasses all of this.


If hardware consists of the physical components of your computer, then the software consists of the digital components of your computer. Software includes your operating system and any programs installed on your computer. Examples might include the Windows or macOS operating systems, the Microsoft Office productivity suite, or Adobe Creative Suite.

Operating System

Your computer’s operating system is the thing that basically acts as the interface through which you do just about anything. Learning how to navigate the operating system is a critical part of any office worker’s day-to-day responsibilities, so we want to emphasize the importance of it. The operating system also plays a role in which software is compatible with your computer, as some might require a specific OS in order to be most effective. For example, for the longest time, Microsoft Office was most compatible with Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.

Help Desk

More often than not, if you run into technology problems while going about your day-to-day duties, you will be told to contact the help desk. The help desk is a group of IT professionals whose sole responsibility is to help you figure out the best solution to your technology problems. Most help desks have a phone number, email address, or even a live chat function to offer support.


If you managed to make it through the COVID-19 pandemic without hearing the term “remote” thrown around, then kudos to you. In business terms, “remote” means a location away from your normal desk or location of operation. It is often used synonymously with “working from home,” but these two should not be confused. Working from home is one way to work remotely, but it’s worth mentioning that “remote” just means “anywhere that is not your office.” You might also hear this term used in the context of “remote access,” as in accessing files and information without being physically connected to a network.


Similar to “remote,” the cloud is something which allows for work outside the confines of your organization’s office. “Cloud” can refer to a location, i.e. storing data in the cloud for remote access, or it could be used to describe something, like cloud-based software. In either case, cloud technology, or cloud computing, is a means to an end, usually to improve the accessibility of resources like data, software, and in some cases hardware.

Even if all of this sounds a bit confusing, don’t worry; XFER is here to answer any questions that you may have about technology. To learn more, reach out to us at 734-927-6666 / 800-GET-XFER.

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XFER Communications, Inc.
31478 Industrial Road Suite 200
Livonia, Michigan 48150