What are some facts about Microsoft Works?


Quick Answer

Microsoft Works is a discontinued word processor by Microsoft. Free alternatives drove Microsoft Works out of the market, and Microsoft completely replaced the application with Microsoft Office.

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Full Answer

Microsoft first released Works in 1987 with the intention to provide a cheaper alternative to its Office suite. Computer manufacturers often installed Microsoft Works to their products due the lower cost. However, free alternatives such as Google Docs, Open Office and LibreOffice made Works redundant and Microsoft discontinued the software in 2009.

The application has built-in spreadsheet and database management tools, as well as a calendar and a dictionary. The calendar can store appointments and has native integration with Windows Address Book and Windows Contacts. Works can remind the user of birthdays and anniversaries.

Microsoft released the final version of Works in 2007. Even though the latest version is full compatible with Windows Vista, the application still has user interface styling from the Windows 95-era. Microsoft developed Works for a wide variety of operating systems, some of which are: MS-DOS, Windows 3.1, Mac OS and Windows Me.

Although Microsoft Works has built-in compatibility for older Microsoft Office files, such as DOC and XLS, Microsoft Office cannot open WPS files created by Works. As such, the only way to open a Works file is to convert it first. Microsoft has released a free conversion tool that works on Office versions 2003 and up. Mac users can use Zamzar to perform the conversion.

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