Works Suite 2004

The latest arrival on my computer is Microsoft Works Suite 2004 which consists of Encarta 2004, Money 2004, Word 2002, PictureIt! Photo Standard and, lastly, Works itself.Works consists among other things of a database, spreadsheet and calendar programs which are cut down versions of the programs you’ll find in the far more expensive Microsoft Office. The Works programs will be more than enough for most home or small office user’s needs and you do get Word 2002 which is about as good as wordprocessors get.
There are people who use personal finance packages and there are those like me who rather be stretched on a rack but, if you’re the type who falls into the first category, you’re probably going to love Money. I’ve never managed to use a computer-based calendar but I must say that the one in Works looks simple and apparently will synchronise with Palm or Pocket PC digital assistants. I reckon I’ll give it a try although I’m a bit disappointed that it doesn’t have a to do list feature
PictureIt! Photo Standard is a very nice little program which can be used to do things with digital images including simple manipulation like colour and contrast correction, cropping, blurring and sharpening, and red eye removal. It also makes it easy to e-mail your pictures or print them out in a variety of sizes or with more than one picture per page.
Photo Standard also makes it easy to complete projects such as greetings cards and calendars using your pictures. I think the program could be very useful to people who just want to do a few things with their images but enthusiasts may possibly want to upgrade to the PictureIt! Digital Image Suite.
Encarta is one of my favourite pieces of software of all time and I’ve reviewed it often enough that I’ve run out of superlatives. Suffice it to say that I’m sure you’ll find it interesting and informative and a positive boon if you have kids who get homework. After fiddling with Encarta for a while I wouldn’t be surprised if you later decide to upgrade to the full reference suite.
All in all MS Works Suite is quite bargain bearing in mind the number of different programs that you get even though not everyone will use all of them. You do get a legal version Word which is nearly worth the whole suite price by itself and you also qualify to buy MS-Office at the upgrade price if you should ever need it.


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