Microsoft Office Upgrades from Works/Office

 

you can upgrade to Microsoft Office (Pro or Small Business or Home&Student) from Microsoft Works!

Some people may not know this, but you can upgrade from Microsoft Works to Office Pro or Ultimate and save a ton of money compared to buying individual packages. You do not have to buy each product separately (Excel, Outlook, Access, Powerpoint, Word, Publisher). Besides - that is more expensive.

Please don't buy an OEM version - yes, it's inexpensive, but you are not licensed for it - that is only for people building new computers from scratch.

There is an Ultimate (2007 and later) edition of Office, but it contains mostly workgroup sharing stuff that is only useful if other people have Ultimate too. Not too many people do. Usually people have Small Business Edition or Pro.

you can upgrade from an old office version to a new office version.

Office series products not in the upgrade

  • Visio (diagramming). this is a $170-$340 product.
  • Project (project mgmt). this is a $360-$930 product.
  • Accounting Express (not always included in some cases). only in 2007 and later editions of office.
  • Communicator (communication & collaboration using different communication methods). only in 2007 and later editions of office.

most of these are offered at newegg.com at a good price.

places to get Microsoft Office 2003 Professional
Microsoft Office 2003 Pro (Upgrade), available from outletdeals.com $165-$196.48
Microsoft Office 2003 Pro (Upgrade), available from trinityliquidations.com $165
Microsoft Office 2003 Pro (Full Version Retail Box), available from outletdeals.com $329.96
Microsoft Office 2003 Pro (Full Version DVD w Key), available from outletdeals.com $320
trinity software distribution offers a lot of other versions of office as well at different prices, but they no longer have Office 2003 Pro retail.

Office 2007 SP2 causes publisher 2007 to not open files. a fix is in the works. For this reason you may want to stick with Office 2003. Most documents are going to be 2003 documents anyway (resumes and CV's and business documents and the like).

places to get Office 2007 Ultimate (look at the cool price!)
this package costs around $600 if you are buying it full retail (new, not upgrade). so this is a really good deal. this is like only $4 more than Pro!
Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate (Upgrade), available from outletdeals.com $228.41
Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate (Upgrade), available from newegg $289.74
places to get Microsoft Office 2007 Pro
Microsoft Office 2007 Professional(Upgrade), available from outletdeals.com $224.96
Microsoft Office 2007 Professional (Upgrade), available from newegg.com $282.99
Microsoft Office 2007 Professional (Upgrade), available from costco.com $269.99
the Costco package happens to include Accounting Express, which is unusual. the others don't.
places to get Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business
Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business (Upgrade), available from outletdeals.com $164.77
Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business (Upgrade), available from newegg.com $199.99
Microsoft Office 2007 Small Business (Upgrade), available from costco.com $239.99
the Costco package happens to include Accounting Express, which is unusual. the others don't.
Lotus SmartSuite or Symphony as a free alternative
it requires an IBM id that you register for.
IBM Lotus Symphony, available from IBM actually I think it was IBM Lotus Symphony. free
compatible with Microsoft Office 2003 (or 2007, your choice), and OpenOffice.org. spreadsheet, word processor, presentation package.
IBM Lotus Smartsuite, available from IBM$322
current version as of 9/4/2009 is 9.8. spreadsheet, word processor, database, organizer, graphics package.

IBM Lotus Smartsuite has other Business modules. There is also other Lotus software: email calendaring and collaboration apps, unified communication and collaboration apps, forms and web content management apps, app development tools. I do not know if these are free.

feature comparison table
Ultimate Professional Small Business Home & Student
Accounting Express costco only costco only
Infopath
(info gathering via forms, possibly via email)
x
Groove (collaboration) x
OneNote (information gathering) x x
Outlook with Business Contact Manager
(calendaring/PIM, contact management, email client, news client, to-do list)
x x x
Word (word processor) x x x x
Excel (spreadsheet) x x x x
Powerpoint (presentation) x x x x
Publisher (desktop publishing) x x x
Access (single-user database) x x

as with all Microsoft Office products, they are scriptable. for instance, if you need to process 600 Word documents with the same repetitive keystrokes, you can set up a macro or VBA (BASIC) program to do the same thing to the 600 documents and save you time (I did that once for work).

If you are looking for the old FrontPage, the program is now called ExpressionWeb, it is much more expensive, and I have heard it now is the best CSS WYSIWYG editor on the planet, better than Dreamweaver. I don't know how it does with editing & highlighting PHP code. It is much today like buying Adobe Design Premium, but less expensive.

If you need accounting and your package doesn't contain accounting, I suggest you give TurboCash a whirl. It is a full-featured free Open-Source Corporate-level accounting for the single-user version. The multiuser version is a yearly fee. I don't think it contains an ebay plugin like Accounting Express, but it can do Email Invoices.

another place you can look for software at is trinitysoftwaredistribution.com. If you are a new system builder, they carry a lot of OEM stuff, but they also carry retail software too. They happen to carry Visio and Project, and they have a wide selection.