How Can I Download a Copy of Microsoft Works?

By Chris Lacefield

As part of the core consumer Microsoft software lineup, Microsoft Works is an affordable alternative to its popular Office Suite of programs. Many people are familiar with the Office Suite, which includes Word, Excel, and Outlook. Similarly, Microsoft Works provides word processing, spreadsheet creation, 32 different calendars, and database management. Geared toward home use with customizable templates, the Works word processor and spreadsheet software are completely compatible with Word and Excel. Alternately, Word and Excel files can be edited with Microsoft Works.

Microsoft Works 9 System Requirements

Check your computer system settings and features to ensure that your machine meets the minimum requirements for the programs. According to the Microsoft website, to run Microsoft Works 9 effectively, your computer should have a monitor resolution of 1024 x 768 and a 4x CD or DVD drive. The modem for your computer should be at least 14,400 bps. The minimum processor speed, RAM, and hard disk space depend on which operation system you have. For Windows XP, you will need a Pentium processor speed of at least 1GHz, 256 MB of RAM, and 470 MB of available hard drive space. Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate need Pentium 1.6 GHz or faster processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, and 860 MB of available hard-disk space.

Purchasing Microsoft Works

The official Microsoft Works website (see Resources) does not offer a full or trial download option, but the site does offer several options for ordering the software from approved retailers. To order, simply click "Order" next your favorite online retailer. Most retailers ship the product in the same day.Beware sites that offer free downloads of Microsoft Works. These sites may offer illegal copies of the program that could damage your computer.

Free Alternative

If you are searching for a free alternative to Microsoft Works or Office, you may want to examine Open Office. Open Office is an open-source, free suite of programs that function much like the traditional Office products.Open Office provides software for word processing (Writer), database management (Base), spreadsheets (Calc), graphics (Draw), and presentations (Impress). All of these programs have the ability to open, edit and save files that can be created by the commercial versions of the programs like Microsoft Office or Works. The Open Office website also offers a series of templates and support forums -- all for free.