Though it may sound more like a family program reserved for after hours, Microsoft Home Essentials 97 actually makes excellent business sense. Home Essentials 97 comes with full versions of Microsoft's Word 97, Works 4.0, Encarta 97 encyclopedia, Greetings Workshop, Arcade and the already free Microsoft Internet Explorer Web browser--all for $109. The three-CD-ROM set offers a single install/remove menu for adding and removing any and all programs in the package.
Microsoft Word is a popular and powerful word processor, and Word 97 upgrades alone are selling for $75 in mail order catalogs. You get the full Word 97 with features like drag-and-design tables. Works 4.0 is an integrated program that's gotten many a home office user into word processing, database, spreadsheet, address book and communications (modem) software under one easy interface. Works lets you think by task rather than by program, offering a single list of Task Wizards for everything from correspondence and billing to employee time sheets and volunteer/civic chores. Works' To-Do List Wizard creates slick sheets you can check off electronically as you accomplish tasks. Use the time created by your new-found efficiency to send personalized greeting cards to clients with Greetings Workshop, or keep your facts straight with the multimedia Encarta 97 CD. Users who take advantage of Microsoft's effort to cater to the homebased market will get a good deal all around.
MICROSOFT HOME ESSENTIALS 97
List price: $109
Requires: 486DX/66; 8MB-12MB RAM; 99MB-140MB hard-drive space; a double-speed CD-ROM; Super VGA; and a minimum 256-color monitor.