Microsoft updates Works

First there were throwback jerseys, then throwback car designs. Now there's throwback software: Microsoft has announced Version 8 of its Works application suite will become available later in August.

What's new in Works

Works 8 harkens back to the days of non-graphical DOS and 16-bit processors, providing a basic applications suite. Along with the standard word processor, spreadsheet, and flat-file database, the updated Works provides an address book, a shareable calendar, and a task scheduler with a new look.

The new version gives the word processor a new dictionary, and it integrates Microsoft's free PowerPoint Viewer (which previously had to be downloaded separately). But more important than any new features in the package are the functions and tools it does very well without.

The word processor supports both .doc and .rtf files, as well as other standard formats. Likewise, the suite's spreadsheet lets you save worksheets in Excel's .xls format.

You wouldn't use a sledgehammer to hang a picture on your living room wall (well, you wouldn't use one twice). So why open a multi-megabyte Microsoft Office application just to write a letter or create a simple mailing list? The Works applications are scaled to home users with simple productivity needs, not the local alpha geek.

Just add Microsoft's free Outlook Express e-mail client and Internet Explorer Web browser (both included), and you have all the applications most of us will ever need -- for a grand total of US$50.

Other enhancements

Here's a rundown on what's new in Works 8:

Calendar sharing: Up to four family members can create their own color-coded calendars and merge them so everybody knows about everybody else's appointments. The program now supports the iCalendar format, so you can post your calendars on the iCalShare site.

Automatic document backup: Works backs up automatically every ten minutes, or you can set your own backup intervals.

Faster access to contacts: The Works Task Launcher now lets you open a calendar with a single click. Also added is a Contacts tab that gives you one-click access to your address book. Click an entry and your e-mail client opens with that address in the To: field.

In all, Works 8 maintains the small suite's reputation as a collection of useful productivity applications, for not a lot of money.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dennis O'Reilly

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?