Today Microsoft Corp. unveiled Works 8, the latest version of the home productivity software designed to help PC users at any level organize, plan and create with ease and confidence. The new product includes all the familiar Works features and adds an improved Calendar, PowerPoint® Viewer and a new Dictionary. Works 8 makes it easy to become comfortable with technology and see immediate results.

“Whether juggling multiple schedules, staying in touch with friends and family, or creating professional-looking documents, anyone can easily use Works 8 to help get stuff done,” said Kim Schaefer, product manager for home productivity at Microsoft. “Works is great for small projects, such as tracking appointments or creating a grocery list, as well as more complex projects, like managing a sports team or planning a family reunion.”

Market research firm Gartner Inc. estimates that most consumer PCs are more than three years old, and it expects that nearly 100 million computers will be replaced this year.1 And there’s no shortage of options. Consumers in the market to buy a new PC can head to popular suppliers for affordably priced offerings that include Microsoft® Works.

“More than ever, our customers are turning to home PCs to help them stay connected and productive,” said Chris Homeister, vice president of strategic alliances at Gateway. “We are dedicated to providing high-quality personal computers with preloaded software, like Microsoft Works, that delivers the right combination of features. We look forward to working with Microsoft to bring the latest version of Works to our customers.”

Consumers looking for a more affordable route this year also can update their existing PC by acquiring Microsoft Works 8. For only $49.95 (U.S.)2 a PC can get the facelift it needs to be up to date and effective.

Works 8 includes the following new and updated features:

*New! Dictionary provides quick and easy access to definitions. The Dictionary is seamlessly integrated into the word processor and also is a stand-alone application in the Works Task Launcher. In addition, a Thesaurus is included, as well as the option to set Parental Controls .

*New! PowerPoint Viewer lets users view Microsoft PowerPoint presentations on their home PC without having Microsoft Office or PowerPoint. Users simply double-click on the file icon and the PowerPoint Viewer will automatically open and display the slides.

*Improved! Calendar has a variety of new features and enhancements that make it easy to manage schedules for the entire household.

*New! Personal, customizable Calendar allows up to four people in the household to create their own calendar. Each person can customize his or her calendar by color-coding in their favorite display color.

*New! View Together allows users to combine, or overlay, any combination of calendars. Each person’s appointments will show up on the combined calendar in his or her personal color, and when an appointment is shared between multiple users, it appears in black text with a special icon.

*New! iCalendar Format Support makes it easy for users to share personal appointments with other iCalendar calendar programs and import events and holidays into their calendar from Web sites such as iCalShare (

*Improved! Calendar Printing allows users to print a standard landscape calendar—theirs or the entire household’s—or a blank calendar that can be used to pencil in events before they are added to the official version. Other printing options include a standard binder-size format and daily, weekly or monthly calendars.

*Improved! Task Launcher gives users fast, easy access to the frequently used Calendar application from the home page and one-click access to their Address Book. It’s easier than ever to schedule appointments, monitor events, set reminders and send e-mail.

*Improved! Quick Launch provides easier access to the primary Works programs without having to navigate the step-by-step task types.

*Improved! Address Book is now easier to access. On the Task Launcher home page, users can click on the Contacts tab to view their Address Book contacts. To send e-mail to a contact, users just click on the envelope icon next to the contact’s name. The e-mail program will open a new message, already addressed to the contact. This integration works great with Outlook® Express, but it also will work with other default e-mail clients.

*Improved! Color and theme matching offers the option to coordinate the Works 8 Task Launcher with the colors and themes of users’ Microsoft Windows® operating system. All users need to do is change the settings in Windows to reflect their tastes, and Works 8 automatically matches those settings and preferences.

*New! Auto-backup and Document Recover increases reliability and helps prevent wasted time in front of the PC. Because users’ work is now automatically backed up every 10 minutes (or at the interval they specify) while the program is open, Auto-backup and Document Recover help prevent users from losing everything if they experience an unexpected power failure or system crash.


Microsoft Works 8 is scheduled for availability in August for an estimated retail price of $49.95 (U.S.). Microsoft offers a $10 mail-in rebate to qualified customers.