Microsoft might finally decide to lay its Works application suite to rest as Office 2010 and Office web appear to push the little loved package aside in the grand scheme of things.
The home productivity software suite has been losing its credibility and raison d'être as Microsoft decided that its Office suite was good enough for students and families and decided to price it accordingly.
NHS, Home users and students can already buy Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student Edition for as little as £22.23 per license, a fraction of its actual (opens in new tab) suggested retail price. Microsoft has already confirmed that it will be offering a Home and Student edition of Office 2010; students will also continue to have access to Office 2010 through Microsoft's Ultimate steal package.
Anyway, as of 2008, Works, as a suite (that included Works and Word 2003) has been discontinued and only the standalone version of Works are available at retail, shrink-wrapped. It also appears that development of Microsoft Works was left in limbo without any significant feature additions.
Furthermore, the rise of cheap and free web-only alternatives likes Google Apps, Zoho or Thinkfree has made Microsoft Works's position even more untenable. Even more so as Microsoft Office Web, which is essentially a cut down version of Office but available only online, will all but make Works obsolete
Microsoft decided to kill Encarta because of Wikipedia and is likely to bury Works because of the aforementioned rivals. Works, which cost OEM around $5, did not bring in much revenue for Microsoft anyway.
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Will we be sad about the looming demise of Works? Certainly, we're very much old school "install-on-the-hard-drive" lads and after Encarta, it is still a bit heart-wrenching to say good bye to yet another software package from Microsoft. Still, Microsoft may choose to release package Office Web with something similar to Google Gears.
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