- Platform: Windows 95 / 98 / NT / 2000
- Media: CD-ROM
- Item Quantity: 1
Money has quite a pedigree. Though Microsoft only entered the personal finance market a few years ago, it has quickly carved a big slice of the market. Microsoft knows we all want to get our finances in order; it also knows that, to most of us, they are a terrifying mystery. So, with yearly updates, it has honed Money so even the financially illiterate can compile a personal financial resume in around half-an-hour as the software pumps you with questions. Money then swallows the details of accounts, endowments, mortgages and investments--your whole financial life in fact--and handily regurgitates them in a tidy Web browser style.
This exercise is a useful financial discipline in itself, forcing you to take a short hard look at your finances, and get organised. Money then provides figures on your net worth, your projected wealth in the next month, year or decade and give you hints on making your cash work better. And the browser style makes it simple. You click links to take you to your bills and view quickly which are due (and which overdue). Click on accounts to see your current account, then click an Internet link to go online and download your account details from your bank, should you choose. Users of earlier editions, such as Money 2000 will find that Money 2001 seamlessly updates their existing files and you will receive a rebate too. --John Rennie
Autoroute 2001: You have a 10:30 meeting in Paris and a lunch date at noon. Time will be tight if the airport traffic's slow but with Microsoft Autoroute 2001 to plot your route in advance you may just make it. Enter your starting point and destinations and the program pops up a route for you, complete with point-to-point time estimates and detailed directions. Points of interest, restaurants and hotels along the way are marked on the map, with contact information and on occasion a review in a pop-up box. A few years ago, it would have looked like science fiction.
Microsoft Autoroute 2001 covers the UK and Europe, with maps for most major European cities and address-to-address routing in Britain, France and Germany. It may not cover the very minor streets (the ones your car might not fit down anyway) but the maps are reasonably clear and well delineated, and you can choose from three types--political, geographical or auto. If you use a handheld, running Windows CE 2 or later, you may want to try Pocket Streets, and there's GPS support. Getting started using this program is time consuming, as you have to fill out each address, but once you've built your database of destinations, Autoroute's intelligently plotted routes may just save you a bundle of time. --Kathleen Keefe
Microsoft Word 2000: Microsoft Word 2000 was designed to be the easiest way to create common Web, e-mail, and print documents around the world. Microsoft Word is currently the application of choice for creating print documents. Word 2000 embraces HTML as a first-class file format and extends Word's industry-leading ease of use to the Web and e-mail. Word 2000 also extends that ease of use to international users, making it easy to create multilingual documents.
Microsoft Picture It! Publishing 2001: Find 5000 project templates, choose from more than 20,000 images, get photo editing and desktop publishing all in one, and catalogue all your photos, sounds and animation with the Gallery.
Microsoft Encarta Interactive World Atlas: Wherever you want to go, someone has been there first. Desk-chair travellers and students alike will love Microsoft Encarta Interactive World Atlas 2001, which offers more detail than any other atlas yet available, plus multimedia tours of hundreds of locations world-wide. Almost 2 million place names include practically everybody's hometown; the dynamic maps let the user follow chains of association beyond simple geography. Traditionalists will approve of the flat maps outlining bioregions, political demarcations and other qualities--all printable in a wide array of styles.
Local place-name spellings, informative articles, and numbers galore pepper the software with features not found in other references, but the key to Encarta's success is its optimisation of multimedia. Using images, sounds and Web links to surround the user with information, the Interactive World Atlas is both dazzling and useful. Reports are easy to complete--use the researcher tool to gather, organise and export information to Microsoft Office tools. While you might not be able to discover new lands, you can certainly explore the world we know without ever leaving home. --Rob Lightner
Microsoft Works Suite 2001 contains: Microsoft Word 2000, Microsoft Works, Microsoft Encarta Interactive World Atlas 2001, Microsoft Money 2001 Standard, Microsoft Autoroute 2001 and Microsoft PictureIt! Publishing. Microsoft Works Suite 2001 gives you the tools you need to easily accomplish all your home tasks--whether you want to create documents, manage your money, explore the world, create cards and invitations, plan a trip, or use the Internet.