What's Inside: Microsoft, Lotus, and Corel Suites
Eric C. Evarts, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor
Three big software companies, led by Microsoft, produce "suites," bundles of workplace/productivity software.
All the suites offer programs that can be purchased separately but are cheaper as a package. Users can get special "upgrade" prices if they have any company's universal "Works" program loaded on their computer.
Here's a rundown on each package, plus prices and market share for the earlier versions of the software in 1996. Microsoft Office 97 Unit sales for 1996: 18.8 million Microsoft's new suite comes in four versions, for different audiences. Office Standard Price: $499, $249 upgrade (if you own the predecessor, Office 95.) Target market: Business Includes: Microsoft Word (word processing), Excel (spreadsheet), PowerPoint (business presentations), and Outlook (e-mail and an organizer) Office Pro Price: $599, $349 upgrade. Target market: Large business Includes: Same programs as standard, plus Access (database), and Bookshelf (dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia). Office Small Business Edition Price: $499, $249 upgrade Target market: Small business Includes: Word, Excel, and Outlook, plus Small Business Financial Manager (links spreadsheets to an accounting program such as Intuit's Quicken), Publisher (Microsoft's "marketing department in a box"), and Auto Map Streets (a street mapping and location finder). …