Microsoft Works Suite 2005 review: Microsoft Works Suite 2005

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.4
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Includes popular Microsoft apps, such as Word, Money, Encarta, and Streets & Trips.

The Bad Doesn't include Excel or PowerPoint apps.

The Bottom Line Designed for families, not businesses, Microsoft Works Suite 2005 contains all of the tools to plan and budget a family vacation, then edit the digital images afterward.

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Microsoft Works Suite 2005

The Microsoft Works Suite 2005 (MWS 2005) packages popular Microsoft software alongside Microsoft Works 8.0 , an entry-level productivity app designed to create text documents, read spreadsheets, and view PowerPoint presentations. The suite contains five CDs and includes Microsoft Word 2002 , Microsoft Works 8.0 , Microsoft Picture It Platinum 10.0, Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Standard 2005 , Microsoft Money Standard 2005, and Microsoft Streets & Trips 2005 . MWS 2005, which sells for less than $100, represents a better buy if you're planning to purchase the included Microsoft apps separately. Business users, however, are better off buying the competitive Corel WordPerfect Office 12.0 Home Edition for full-strength versions of its latest word-processing and spreadsheet software, which are fully compatible with the latest offerings from Microsoft Office. Microsoft Works Suite 2005 is geared strictly for home use.


Some people might like the white areas of the Works interface, but we found it a waste of space.

When you launch MWS 2005, the task manager opens automatically on the Calendar tab, displaying the current month and any pending appointments. A second tab contains contact information for family and friends. Icons across the top of the screen give you instant access to various resources that include built-in templates, such as those for recording housing or vehicle information; additional integrated programs within the suite, such as Money; project templates, such as one for coaching a sports team; and a history of recently saved documents for easy retrieval.

Unlike WordPerfect Office 12.0 Home Edition, which includes the latest versions of WordPerfect and Quattro Pro, MWS 2005 includes an old version of Microsoft Word from 2001 (Microsoft Word 2002) and ignores its popular spreadsheet app, Excel, in favor of Microsoft Works 8.0, the suite's namesake. Works does an adequate job of reading spreadsheets, scheduling activities on a calendar, and even displaying PowerPoint presentations, but we still think it's a poor substitute for the latest Microsoft Office apps.

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Where to Buy See All

Microsoft Works Suite 2005

Part Number: B11-01027 Released: Sep. 22, 2004
MSRP: $99.95 Low Price: $49.39 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Sep. 22, 2004
  • Category office applications
  • Compatibility PC
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