NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
Home Essentials 97
by Charles Blanchard, Vice President, August 98
(click to email author)

This software is by Microsoft and is compatible with most if not all Microsoft software products. The slogan after the title is "Get the most out of your home PC". What you receive is a lot for your money. There are 3 CD-ROM's, an 85-page "Works Companion" booklet, a 275-page "Getting Results with Microsoft Word 97" book, a 4-page license agreement, a registration card, an offer for other Microsoft software and a subscription offer for updates of the Encarta Encyclopedia. One CD contains Microsoft Word 97, Microsoft Works 4.0, Microsoft Internet Explorer, the "Microsoft Network" and Microsoft Arcade. The second CD contains Microsoft Encarta 97 and the third contains Microsoft Greetings Workshop.

With all of this, one may say that is all we need, but, of course, it isn't. Yet, here are some of the things you can do:

Word 97 --- Microsoft says that Word 97 is the world's best-selling word processor (for Windows) and it gives you everything you need to easily create high-quality letters and documents and share information, whether it is on the printed page or across the Internet. Also, thousands of clip-art images and fonts are included.

The Internet Explorer -- Included so you can browse through the Internet for up-to-date information.

Microsoft Network -- You get two free months of unlimited access to MSN (the Microsoft Network Online Service). But this offer expired Dec. 31, 1997.

Encarta Encyclopedia -- Probably the best part of the whole package. I enjoyed this, using point and click access to an interactive, multimedia world of information, "featuring more articles and images than a traditional 29-volume encyclopedia". I'm willing to take that claim as a fact.

Works 4.0 -- "Powerful" spreadsheets, which means the cells can be added or subtracted and totals actually change as you change the amount in each cell. The database tools track a lot of things, such as addresses to finances. There is a Task Launcher that helps you get from one task to another, but only the most common tasks. Yet, the Task Launcher is the way to go. The opening page of Works is the Task Launcher. From there, you can create a letter or document, retrieve an existing document or open a spreadsheet or database or communications document. It also has envelope and labeling capacity.

Greetings Workshop -- They say that you can create Hallmark-quality cards, invitations, calendars, banners and more with this program. There are more than 7,000 ready-to-print projects, thousands of graphics and hundreds of photos and fonts.

Microsoft Arcade with some games and the Internet Gaming Zone -- You are supposed to be able to play card games with people on the Internet.

There may be other things one can do with this package of several software programs, but I didn't go into it any further. It looks like it has more in it. The most recent update is sold in stores and catalogs for $89.99 and is entitled "Home Essentials 98". It has Word 97, Works 4.5, Microsoft Money 98, the Greetings Workshop, 98 edition of Encarta, Internet Explorer, MSN on-line service with some free time and Microsoft Entertainment Pack with a puzzle collection.

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