So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Microsoft Works 8
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Why sink hundreds of dollars into an office software suite with scores of features you'll never use?
Microsoft's, $99.95 Works 8 gives you all the word processing, spreadsheet, database, and scheduling features you're likely to need, without the triple-digit price of its bigger sibling, Microsoft Office. You can even open and save files in Word's DOC, or Excel's XLS formats, along with other popular Office file types, as well as the standard Works file formats. A PowerPoint Viewer is included also.
We tested a shipping version of the package, and found the updated word processor more than adequate for most writing tasks. It also includes a new dictionary that can look up definitions while you write, as well as a thesaurus - both with parental controls.
Other noteworthy features: shareable calendars that you can post to the free iCalShare Web site, and automatic file backups that save your open documents every 10 minutes.
Microsoft has also released its $199.95 Microsoft Works Suite 2005 featuring Word 2002, Encarta 2005 Standard, Money Standard, Works 8 and Photo Premium 10.
In a world of never-ending up-sell, it's nice to know that you can still get top-tier productivity software without spending a lot of money.
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