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Microsoft Software

Microsoft To Try Works As Adware 246

Several readers noted that Microsoft has announced plans to pre-install an ad-laden version of Works on some manufacturers' PCs in coming months. Works is Microsoft's lightweight docs-and-spreadsheets software. The manufacturers involved were not disclosed. The adware Works will come with a pre-installed cache of ads that will be refreshed when the machine is online. Microsoft will decide by mid-2008 whether it can afford to forgo the $40 normally charged for Works.
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Microsoft To Try Works As Adware

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  • Switch! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2007 @12:54PM (#20088253)
    [...]Microsoft has announced plans to pre-install an ad-laden version of Works on some manufacturers' PCs in coming months. [...]

    Can't think of a better reason to try Linux or Mac.
    Thanks, Microsoft!
    • Re:Switch! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:18PM (#20088811) Homepage
      Or OpenOffice, for christ's sake. I mean, come on, MS Works doesn't even read MS Office documents. It doesn't have the features of a full office suite. There is absolutely no good reason to continue using this crap, even if it's free.
      • Re:Switch! (Score:4, Funny)

        by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:24PM (#20088931)
        I am usually an opponent for the use of OpenOffice stating it is a sub-par replacement for office... But as a replacement for MS Works. I would say use OpenOffice even without the Adds over Works. The only advantage I found with Works in College was a lot of Girls who wrote their paper in works needed it converted to a Doc or even .TXT format went to us geeks.
        • Re:Switch! (Score:5, Funny)

          by Bluesman ( 104513 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:31PM (#20089037) Homepage
          "a lot of Girls who wrote their paper in works needed it converted to a Doc or even .TXT format went to us geeks."

          Yeah, I've got a life size picture of that:

          Girl: "Can you convert my files for me? I have to go fool around with my boyfriend."
          Geek: "Sure!"
        • I am usually an opponent for the use of OpenOffice stating it is a sub-par replacement for office...

          Out of interest, what do you believe that Office offers over OOo for the average home user (who is probably only interested in wordprocessing the odd letter)?
          • Nothing,
            But id the user already has office (Either through MS HUP program or other means) then there is no good reason to replace it other than idealistic thinking. Very similar situation to why a home user should ditch XP on their computer for Ubuntu. Fact is, they shouldn't. For new installs I can give you loads of reasons, from cost, to legality, through idealism and security.
            -nB
            • So, to rephrase what you've said, OOo is not a subpar replacement for MSOffice, it is merely not the status quo. Say what you mean the first time around, and we won't have this sort of confusion in the future.
            • Very similar situation to why a home user should ditch XP on their computer for Ubuntu. Fact is, they shouldn't.

              OOo is basically the same as Office - there's not a lot of reason to use one over the other if you already have both available unless you need a specific feature (e.g. the ability to read/write ODF documents). However, there are extremely good reasons for switching from Windows to Linux. Not least things like security, ease of use, availability of free tools, etc. - I don't believe you can compa
          • For normal home use nothing, Heck OS X Text Edit is good enough...
            But for school work Office is a marginal improvement over OO
            For Corprate work OO is political suciede.

            The main problem I have had with Open Office is usually minor font and layout problems espectially moving from one system to an other (say from OO to Office) You can get by but everyone once in a while like 3.6 times a year you run into the problem with OO supporting 99% of the features in Office. Sometimes it is minor and you can work arou
      • That stuff called "works" is meant for those having the most PALTRY of software-using skills. I saw it once, around 2000 when helping a lady decide whether or not to us SuSE, and "works" made me nauseated.

        It seems to be a testament that the ms answer de-complicating Orifice is to go the extreme opposite, and into totally dumbing down things. It seems toyish. OTOH, if anyone can't handle Orifice, and they marginally achieve things with "works", how the hell will they fare with OO.o, even IFFF ms or the manuf
      • Last time I tried was about ten years ago. As I remember, I could not read works files with ms-office either.
      • MS Works doesn't even read MS Office documents

        Share & edit Works Word Processor and Spreadsheet files with Microsoft® Office Word and Microsoft® Office Excel and vice versa. *MS Office versions 97-2007 Microsoft Works 9 [microsoft.com]

        There is absolutely no good reason to continue using this crap, even if it's free.

        There can be a reason if you are unfamiliar with - or uncomfortable with - what passes for home user support in open source.

        When you are Microsoft you can afford to put up a bright, colorful

    • Re:Switch! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kpau ( 621891 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:24PM (#20088927)
      I've heard tell legends of small cults of people who actually use Works but during my decades of travels as an IT wizard, I've only encountered one who actually *used* it. Typically people only use it until they figure out it is mostly incompatible with the rest of the freaking world... even within Microsoft's world.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by stevey ( 64018 )

        The last time I saw Works installed and being used actively was in the late 90's.

        Nowadays you sometimes see it as a "free bundle" with some cheap home PCs, the ones that don't come with office, but even there I can't imagine it being used for long.

      • Believe it or not, I have version 1.05 of MS Works. It runs on PC-DOS on my 286, and it's actually great, as it included a terminal emulator, which lets you use a modem to dial into another machine (or use a null-modem cable straight to another computer) and exchange data. If you set up another machine to be an internet gateway, Works becomes a useful, if rudimentary, way of accessing files on the internet on a computer from 1983.

        Let's see Works 9 do that.
    • Re:Switch! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by catbutt ( 469582 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:30PM (#20089029)
      I don't like defending Microsoft, but in this case....that's a reason to switch platforms, because you don't like an application that you don't have to use?

      Is it the ads that bother you? Slashdot is adware, you know.

      Personally, I'm happy to see Microsoft finding separate revenue streams for their apps, rather than just bundling them with Windows and claiming they are free. That would have been typical Microsoft....kill Google Docs by bundling something with the OS and covering its cost with the price of the OS.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by j2fraser ( 733576 )
        Is it the ads that bother you? Slashdot is adware, you know.

        Not with Adblock!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by catbutt ( 469582 )
          That's ok, the rest of us will just look at more, bigger, more obtrusive ads to cover for you and the rest of the freeloaders.

          Really, it's ok, we don't mind.
    • Jerks. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by norminator ( 784674 )

      [...]Microsoft has announced plans to pre-install an ad-laden version of Works on some manufacturers' PCs in coming months. [...]

      Can't think of a better reason to try Linux or Mac.
      Thanks, Microsoft!

      Seriously... Isn't Works already bundled with new PCs for free (to the end user) anyway? So isn't this just extra revenue for MS and/or the vendors, while reducing the value of the product?

      Jerks. Not that I've ever used anything in Works for more than 45 seconds, but still, it's the principle of the thing.

    • Ad laden, bin laden, all the same shit. Not in the best interest of the citizens/consumers.

      I'll be the first to start removing this crap from people's computers. Hell, for a lot less time and energy they can get open office and it is a direct full featured competitor to Office 2007. Sheesh, that's a real no brainer. No reason to even consider Microsoft in the software equation if you are smart. Move on to more advanced features with more privacy protection and less harassment.
    • By bundeling ad-ware with Works, it gives Ad-Ware a bad name ...
  • by Sh00tingstar ( 872530 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @12:55PM (#20088283) Homepage
    given that it's not a particularly functional package, and Open office is mature enough to offer most of what you need anyway. I think the adware-laden 'free' trials are one of the most irritating things about buying a new PC!
    • by Tom9729 ( 1134127 ) <tom9729.gmail@com> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:01PM (#20088399) Homepage
      A lot of people just don't know about OpenOffice. People will use this because they don't feel like paying for the full thing (MS Office). Sure, they'll mumble and groan about the ads and etcetera, but they'll use it.

      This is a great time for OpenOffice to get out there and let the common person know about them. Firefox had ads in the newspaper, why couldn't OOo?

      My only question is how long before we see ads in Windows.
      • This is a great time for OpenOffice to get out there and let the common person know about them. Firefox had ads in the newspaper, why couldn't OOo?


        Anyways, it's a great business opportunity - why all the negativity? OpenOffice could incorporate ads too. All proceeds to support development of open source. People have been comparing to Microsoft and wondering why they have such a market share. Well, it's money that's made the difference.

        Some people like a little imagination, newness, and pizzazz on their scre
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by JohnBailey ( 1092697 )

          So we don't just whine about how commercialized Microsoft is. They know how to play to win. If open source wants to get ahead, it has to pick up on good ideas and make them better.

          You don't by any chance work in an advertising related business?

          The only good idea in this case is getting a free Office suite, even if it is not very good, and finding a crack that will cut out the ads. Otherwise it will be a good incentive to find a different app to do the same job.

          I agree the open source world needs to pick up on good ideas. And a great idea is to never touch adware with a very long barge pole.

      • by misleb ( 129952 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:53PM (#20089523)

        A lot of people just don't know about OpenOffice. People will use this because they don't feel like paying for the full thing (MS Office). Sure, they'll mumble and groan about the ads and etcetera, but they'll use it.


        They'll use it until they find out (the hard way) that they can't share the resulting files with others. WEll, technically there is a Works to Word converter, but Microsoft, for some "strange" reason didn't see fit to include it in Office by default. I don't think Microsoft really wants people to use Works at all. They just want to get people using some Microsoft product and annoy them (with ads and document incompatibility) into "upgrading" to Office. Works is a gateway application.

        -matthew
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Why? because it costs 1/10 what Office costs. If you're a student and only need basic functionality, it's enough
      • Open Office does more than Works does, and zero is smaller than 1/10. The difference is knowledge and convenience --- people don't know about open office, or they don't need (or know they need) things that Works doesn't support and thus don't care to upgrade anyway.
      • If you are a student and you buy regular priced software at a regular software store, you fail as a student. There are usually many other options to follow through with, not limited to MSDN-AA, student priced software, software store through your school, and lab computers.
    • And OO has the coreldraw-like drawing program. Last I checked, M$ Office didn't have this (unless you count visio, which is a separate component to buy, and is more specific-purpose for flowcharts).

      OODraw kicks ass for doing CD Labels.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by westlake ( 615356 )
      given that it's not a particularly functional package

      MS Works appeals to home users who want to do some very ordinary, everyday things, without a lot of hassle. Print a greeting card, a poster for a garage sale.

      The Print Shop has been around for twenty years.

      But I've yet to see an open source replacement for this ageless "killer app" on any platform.

  • by rbochan ( 827946 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @12:55PM (#20088291) Homepage
    Even more people using a program that saves to proprietary formats that can't be used by other programs.
    Sigh.

  • Not that it isn't a decent package in its own right ... it's that it doesn't automatically save things in Microsoft Office formats.

    I constantly have people asking me to "translate" stuff they get from people at home.

    At least use .rtf! Come on!
    • Not that it isn't a decent package in its own right ... it's that it doesn't automatically save things in Microsoft Office formats.
      I like the versions of Microsoft Works that actually install an older version of Word to do their word processing, and then use some kind of plug-in to do the translation. That plug-in invariably breaks, and suddenly you've got folks who can't open their own documents anymore. Hours of fun for the whole family!
  • by also-rr ( 980579 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @12:56PM (#20088317) Homepage
    I'm pretty sure *I* have a free CD somewhere here, and I have never bought a computer with Windows on it. Maybe it came free with my digital watch.

    With some irony it isn't even a useful office suite for homework as it can't (or couldn't when I was 17) handle 'industry standard office files' - as required by UK schools.
    • by NickFortune ( 613926 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:07PM (#20088547) Homepage Journal

      Exactly. Now instead of just bundling office software that no one wants and no one uses with new PCs, they're going to bundle sotware that no one wants, no one uses, and that advertises at you.

      Of course, this being MS, they're going to try and sell this as an added value proposition: "seventy five percent of all the sock puppets that responded to our market research all said that they felt the lack of advertising was a serious lack in Microsoft Works"

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @12:57PM (#20088337) Journal
    Has any one actually shelled out money to buy works? It is installed as crapware by the vendors. How out of touch with reality is MSFT really?
    • by Zarhan ( 415465 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:12PM (#20088689)
      Actually...Back in old days, when it was MS Works 2.0 (DOS version!). Early 90's. I really liked the darn thing.

      The target segment for Works, I suppose, is to use it for "home accounting". For that purpose the 2.0 worked very well due to one nice fact:

      It came with it's own teaching program! No annoying clippy. No gazillion menus, and indexed helps where you cannot find anything. Basically a self-running tutorial for elementary word processing and doing some spreadsheets - some basic formulas (doing sums, etc). And it worked. Even my somewhat-of-a-luddite parents changed their home accounting from pen&paper to Works. It would nicely show off some examples, allow you to try it yourself, checked your input, and really taught how to do things.

      These days they are using Openoffice. So am I.

      What went wrong?

      Well, basically, at around version 4.0 Works became bloatware. So, might as well go for Excel/OOO. And the teaching functionality is no longer there in the basic package so it's no longer even useful as a "my first spreadsheet". (Ok, I don't know about the absolute latest versions).

  • ...so why on earth is MS pulling this stunt!

    Works is crapware even WITHOUT the ads! Works should be given a quick, painless death and MS should move on.

    This only makes the Apple ad more true.
  • HP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:03PM (#20088439) Homepage
    I just bought an HP laptop. It came with a trialware version of MS Office and a (non-adware) copy of MS Works.

    Guess which I uninstalled? Office, or Works? ...

    You guessed it, I zapped BOTH! Then installed OO.o.
  • who wants this? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by huckda ( 398277 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:03PM (#20088445) Journal

    The manufacturers involved were not disclosed.
    So as not to hurt the sale of said systems...

  • Just guessing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OpenSourced ( 323149 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:04PM (#20088489) Journal
    Microsoft has announced plans to pre-install an ad-laden version of Works on some manufacturers' PCs

    Lemme guess... Perhaps that offer will be done to the manufacturers that were "thinking about/already intalling" Open Office for free in their naked PCs ?

  • i have an idea (Score:2, Interesting)

    they should do that with the entire MS office. then we can find an ad blocker, just like we did for AIM .
  • by JeremyGNJ ( 1102465 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:07PM (#20088561)
    This is no different than Google Documents & Spreadsheets. It's just ad-supported office applications. However, the fact that it's locally installed is nice, because it allows for more advanced functionality than AJAX. I think Microsoft has a winner with this one. Not just because of the ad revenue, but because of the user lock-in. Users of works would be more likely to upgrade to MS office. smart move.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by l33t.g33k ( 903780 )
      I think the bigger issue is what people are willing to tolerate. Most users (including myself) don't have the same expectations of web applications and desktop applications. It's fine with me if a web application is ad-supported, because... well, it's on a website. However, if I were to have a desktop application that constantly displays ads, then I would have serious qualms about its quality, and I feel that my computer is "unclean" and I would perceive a decrease in performance. It's like crappy old Kaz
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by 1729 ( 581437 )

      his is no different than Google Documents & Spreadsheets. It's just ad-supported office applications.

      A large part of Google's success has been that they deliver targeted and relatively non-obtrusive ads. I often click on Google's ads, because they're relevant. When they aren't useful, they don't bother me, since they aren't animated or loud or otherwise distracting.

      Incidentally, I've never noticed an ad while using Google Docs & Spreadsheets, so I'm not sure how they are working advertising into t

    • I agree with everything you said with one exception where Microsoft is better than Google's idea: with the Microsoft package you get to keep local control of your files and data, whereas with Google you upload them to a central repository.

      However, the Microsoft package will still probably want to read the content of files, send something (???) back to Microsoft and then serve ads appropriately. (Snooping content for ad tie-ins is key to Google's success; just today in the Wall Street Journal that talked ab
    • I agree, (and not just because we have the same first name). The many, many, comments here focusing on the fact that Works is bloated and doesn't even use Office file formats are really missing the obvious.

      This will be a, uh... *new* version of Works won't it? So they can use their *new* OOOPS-XML file format right? And if they are going to integrate it with online stuff, that's pretty much a big re-write of the application right? None of these assumptions based on previous versions of Works are really
    • This is no different than Google Documents & Spreadsheets.
      I use a Google Spreadsheet occasionally, and I don't recall seeing any adverts. My brain tends to filter them out these days anyway, so I just opened it in FireFox (no ad blockers installed) and there were no ads.
  • works openoffice? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SolusSD ( 680489 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:09PM (#20088609) Homepage
    I don't think works even lets you write .doc files-- Openoffice supports most MS formats fairly well. Seems like the market just isn't there for Works, even if it was free and ad free.
  • Isn't the market already full of these 'pre-install'-infested computers with crippled votim-ware by an abusive monopoly. I mean, now that even Dell offers linux as an alternative OS with their machines, who could possibly find any positive aspects in a pre-installed Microsoft Works, free or otherwise, not even considering the fact that this 'free' version is full of ads?

    And why should I allow software whose functionality has nothing to do with the internet to access it for ads, registrations, autoupates,

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:11PM (#20088653)
    Excellent. Now how do we purchase adspace for Open Office and KOffice in this wonderful program?
    • The AC was modded as Funny, but, imagine if people were willing to micropay say, $0.25 per month to OO.o or KDE, etc., AND take ads. The ads could be funded by companies trying to market to OpenSource users or opportunities. The ad dollars could go to devs, or good causes. Maybe OpenSource should be tied to human suffering/freedom/self-determination rights. Might be political, but, honestly what ISN'T political.

      Then, at some point if the user tires of the adverts, s/he could lump pay the balance of a 1-year
  • by computerman413 ( 1122419 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:11PM (#20088659)
    Maybe OpenOffice should try and arrange to have their products put on Windows computers. It won't cost manufacturers anything, and it won't have annoying ads.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pegr ( 46683 )
      It won't cost manufacturers anything
       
      Except their Windows OEM license!
  • not to use Microsoft products. I run Open Office on all my personal machines.
  • Ad-Laden? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Shadow Wrought ( 586631 ) * <shadow.wrought@O ... il.com minus bsd> on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:27PM (#20088987) Homepage Journal
    Isn't he the number three Al Queda guy these days?
  • by khendron ( 225184 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:30PM (#20089017) Homepage
    Why would Microsoft do *anything* with works? This can't be a big money-maker for them, unless they are charging OEMs behind the scenes to have it installed (in which case the OEMs are stupid for installing it).

    I think Microsoft is just practicing the ad-supported software model with an application they don't really care about, just to see how well it works. They can iron out the wrinkles (or maybe drop the idea all together) without damaging the reputation of one of their core products.
    • Why would Microsoft do *anything* with works? This can't be a big money-maker for them, unless they are charging OEMs behind the scenes to have it installed (in which case the OEMs are stupid for installing it).

      I suspect it's because the OEMs need a cheap/free word processor to pre-install and Microsoft knows that if they don't supply one the OEMs will just install the alternatives (which are much more functional so would cut into the MS Office sales). I imagine a lot of people use Works on their shiny new
  • by msimm ( 580077 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:31PM (#20089049) Homepage
    but only so long as they use Clippy to present the ads. It would be like life in hell in a great cuddly way.
  • Oxymoron! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:35PM (#20089099) Journal
    Microsoft Works

  • by Jerry ( 6400 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:35PM (#20089109)
    the Vasoline.

    That's still the consumer's responsibility.

    What amazes me is that so many are still willing to bend over for this abuse... AND PAY FOR IT!
  • Finally! That should put to rest those arguments on /. about whether Microsoft is a classy company or not.
  • Monopoly (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fermion ( 181285 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:38PM (#20089173) Homepage Journal
    MS is a convicted monopolist, but we have not seen significant monopoly evidence in a while. The IE, WMP, etc are old hat and not really significant to the current OS. Increasingly sites are designed to meet a general audience, including firefox, and now Safari and iphone. iTunes has a majority of the legal download market, and Zune is not doing that much to change it. The one new success, xBox, has little to do with a monopoly. They invested enough money to make the xBox happen, something they may not be able to do with the Zune due to investor pressures.

    So I am surprised to see such a blatant abuse now. I think it indicates how desperate MS is to find a new profitable product. While losses for xBox and Zune for year might exceed 2 billion, Google has shown that is it possible to make money pushing ads if you provide a service that people want. However, even with leveraging the desktop monopoly, MS has not been able to compete with google, at least not in the developed world.

    So, they are back to thier old tricks. Exploiting the desktop monopoly in new way. Take a product that should be given away, implement some ads, and bribe people to use the MSN add network instead of googles. I am not saying that Google is any better than MSN, simply that instead of creating a better search product, something we desperately need, MS is taking a shortcut.

  • Ironically, I think that the OpenOffice team loves this idea about as much as the Works team does. I'm curious what the tagline will be. "Works w/ Ads: it's just like the old version, but Worse!"
  • The only thing worse than people passing around Word documents (especially for static forms and such) is passing aroudn Works documents. I guess it is possible to get converters from Works to Word (though Word doesn't open them natively AFAIK), but it is a pain the the ass for Mac users. Even if you have Office 2004, you can't open Works documents. You have to find a Windows machine with the converter. It is like Microsoft is competing with themselves.

    The other part of the "oh god, please, no" is more ads.
  • by Control Group ( 105494 ) * on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:44PM (#20089315) Homepage
    Microsoft still makes Works? And they charge money for it? Is it still one of the best document-encryption tools around?

    I haven't even seen a Microsoft Works installation since the days when I'd carry around a floppy with Norton Utilities on it - and use it often.
  • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Thursday August 02, 2007 @01:47PM (#20089381) Homepage
    #974: Airline Food

    #632: Civil War

    #232: Microsoft Works
  • but the deal-breaker would be the fact that the ads are probably driven by the collection of personal information as alluded to in the Vista EULA.
  • Will it include the full, latest version of MSWord? That's the only reason to even consider MSWorks in the first place.

    Of course, OO is better than Works, and free to boot. How about a download link to that?

    Of course, this better not be on Dell, since Dell has promised us no crapware any longer.

  • No, not saying to open it, but if they make it free it might increase their overall desktop market share. Even if its free, more desktops with their software on it can only help them in the long run.

    There will also be a percentage of people that will 'upgrade' to office when they need extra features/support.
  • This is so certain to fail that I really have to wonder what Microsoft's motivation could possibly be for trying it.

    All the "mom-n-pop" nontechnical users I know hate Clippy, and Clippy is at least genuinely trying to help you.

    They hate pop-ups and pop-unders on the Internet. They'd never buy or install a pop-up-blocker as such, but they really do discover and use whatever pop-up-blocker tools come free or preinstalled with whatever they're using.

    Listening to the radio or watching television is a passive ex
  • I can't wait until they start putting VibrantMedia ads into your text... spell-as-you-go, grammer-as-you-go, ads-as-you-go!! Those hover over word ads must be the worst thing on the web. Proof that companies have no clue what pisses off customers/visitors.
  • I still look back on the day when I realized that MS Office had no support to read files from MSWorks 95. Nothing like lock-in for your lowest-end office application... *goes to check his install of Excel 2003* ...Yep, still limited as MS Works 2.0. A new record for shooting yourself in the foot. Can anyone tell me if there's support for that disaster of an application in OOo? My parents (and, therefore, I) would greatly appreciate knowing. Something that can convert files from that abomination into so

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