Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Did you know about Microsoft Works?!

At least I dint know until few minutes back.

I had bought a new laptop recently which had a trial version of MS Office 2007. The trial version could be used without registering for not more than 25 or so tries. I had only a few tries left and hence I did not want to use it for not-so-important stuff.

So I typed "word" in Vista's start menu (for those of you haven't used vista yet, you get a nice search bar in start menu which quickly lets you search of applications in the start menu). I was hoping to see wordpad.. but something else caught my eye. There was this application called "Microsoft Works Word Processor".

What the hell was that.. I clicked it open and it threw a license agreement which I had to agree. Initially it looked very similar to "Wordpad". I thought it was a to-be replacement for "Wordpad".

But as I explored it a bit, I learnt that it was much more powerful than "Wordpad". I was thrilled because I could possibly use it as a replacement for MS Office which I was planning to buy in a few days. I was still unclear and confused what Microsoft Works Word Processor was and why would Microsoft club a powerful utility with Windows Vista (potentially canibalizing MS Office).

Quickly looking into Wikipedia, I learnt that Microsoft Works is a stand-alone mini office suite aimed at mostly non-techy folks and students. Wow.. I dint know Microsoft had a mini version of office suite. The speciality of MS Works is supposed to be its affordable price. Here is what Wikipedia says about MS Works.

Microsoft Works is an office suite ("home productivity software suite") available from Microsoft. Smaller, less expensive with fewer features than the Microsoft Office suite, its core functionality includes a word processor, a spreadsheet and a database. Newer versions have a calendar application and a dictionary while older releases included a Terminal emulator. A 'Works Portfolio' utility offers Microsoft Binder-like functionality.
Now it made sense to me that my HP Laptop came pre-installed with the OEM version of Microsoft Works.
Due to its low cost ($50 retail, $10 OEMs) companies frequently pre-install Works on their consumer grade machines. Microsoft provides a converter for Office programs to open and save Works 6.0-9.0 documents.
Now, I searched for "works" and the search bar of vista start menu and now I got to see the entire suite of MS Works.

There is a word processor, spreadsheet, database, calender, a common place to launch all these and a office binder kind of application.

Coming to Microsoft Works Word Processor, I read in Wikipedia that I can still open MS Office files. Thats perfect. I am going to use MS Works Word Processor for now and see if it a worthy affordable replacement for MS Office.

You can take a nice Quick Tour about Microsoft Works that can be launched from Microsoft Works Task Launcher.

Update 1:
Microsoft Works Word Processor crashes consistently whenever I copy a web page's content and try to paste on Word Processor. Thats bad :(.. Very basic stuff that a word processor (that too from Microsoft) is supposed to take care of.

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