The navigation system for Works has changed a fair bit since the last
incarnation and in my opinion makes for a much smoother navigational experience.
Though I must confess that I am a stickler for just using the start menu for
selecting any programs that I want to work with. The new nav page is similar to
other Microsoft products that I have covered recently and makes it easier for
new users who are familiar with other software to get in and start using Works
Something that did impress me
was that Microsoft have once again included the full version of Word 2002 (XP)
with this software. Word was probably the one product in the lot that if you
were going to notice any real difference between an Office product and it's
Works equivalent, then Word was going to be the culprit. It's possibly the one
main program that a lot of users actually utilise more functionality of the
program than Works Word Processor (which is still included for those who would
prefer the smaller install).
The other nice thing about it
is that for those of us with a Pocket PC, we can rest assured that your copy of
Word is going to work just fine with your trusty pocket companion. I was able to
move files and upon further checking, even contacts across to my IPAQ 1910 with
absolutely no difficulty at all. Certainly makes for a real difference when
being mobile with your work in this manner. My only gripe is that for the US
release there was also a copy of Streets and Trips 2004 included. It would be
nice to see an Australian version of that included as S&T from all my reading
seems to be a very handy piece of software.
Rounding out the actual Works
experience are the Works Spreadsheet (similar to Excel) and Works Database
(Access). These handy pieces of software once again will work the same way as
the programs that they are similar to with only the absence of some of the
higher functionality of both programs. No great loss unless you desperately need
these things. Finally there is the Calendar feature which compliments the
addition of Outlook Express which most folks will already have on their PC. I
guess there may be some folks who need it.
We then finally have both the
Money 2004 standard edition, Microsoft Photo Standard, and Encarta
Standard edition. Please see our PC review section for indepth looks at both
Money, Photo Standard and our review of Encarta 2004 Premium for an
overview of these products. The only thing to note is that Encarta Standard is a
fairly poor cousin to the Premium Suite, however with the context of this
package is a great resource for students and users wishing to access reference
materials easily and effectively. The other reviews accurately illustrate what
to expect from Works Suite 2004.
What more is there to say about
this brilliant package? Quite simply if you do not have this product in any
earlier versions, it is a must have product. Nowhere will you see such value for
money in one jam packed package. Users will be impressed with the power that
Works Suite 2004 brings to the home environment. I would however weigh the pros
and cons of buying the software if you already own Works Suite 2003 as whilst
there have been improvements, to the untrained eye they are mainly cosmetic. In
fact that is the only reason that this product did not get rated even higher
than I did.
Very highly recommended, and
another hit by Microsoft!
- Tory Favro