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New laptop, I need to buy & install WIndows Office software, vista is £180!!!!! Do I really have to spend that much?

(9 Posts)
Meglet Mon 31-Aug-09 13:14:12

My Microsoft Vista 90 day trial has just expired on my new laptop so as far as I understand I need to purchase the full product - I've never done this before.

Just looked on the John Lewis website and Vista (which I think is pants) is £180! I probably only need the basic word / excel functions.

Any recommendations on what I should get that might be cheaper and suit me more. Can I just down grade to the previous windows, which I prefer, or would that not be in the shops anymore?


Grandhighpoohba Mon 31-Aug-09 13:23:33

You can download Openoffice online for free. Just google it. Not the same as Microsoft, but just as good and is compatible with Office documents. We use all the time, have never had a problem with it, and I can open docs at work where they use Microsoft, no problem.

WebDude Tue 01-Sep-09 00:53:06

Meglet - do you mean some version of MS Office has expired?

If Vista had "expired" the PC would probably not boot. I assume Vista is still going strong.

As mentioned OpenOffice is free and can just be download. Only thing it doesn't have is MS Access database but you don't need that.

If you really mean downgrade to Windows XP, it's not supported and they have taken away option (which was on some websites selling PCs, but in the 'business' section) for 'downgrade' to Windows XP.

If you are really after Windows XP, there are some versions around (bought with a PC).

WebDude Tue 01-Sep-09 01:14:33

Just had a quick check on the Comet ( site and spotted a Toshiba L300-29X for about 360 pounds. It is running Vista but has a 250 GB hard drive and 4 GB of RAM which means it should handle Windows 7, and you can get MS Office (2007 version) for 70 quid.

There was another laptop for 300 (again with offer of MS Office for 70 quid).

Would still hold on for Windows 7. The PC might be more costly, but Win 7 will be supported by Microsoft for the next 10 years whereas Vista will get ~5 years support.

Meglet Tue 01-Sep-09 14:09:44

Yes webdude I meant that it was Office that had expired (I have no idea about all of this!).

I was looking on Amazon and they have office for about £70, but I didn't realise that outlook was seperate, and another £70 hmm.

Hassled Tue 01-Sep-09 14:16:57

I bought a laptop with Vista last year and in PC World they had a Student version of Office for around £35. Has Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc. You don't need the whole Bells & Whistles version - look for Student or Home packages.

WebDude Tue 01-Sep-09 18:02:32

Meglet - over the years I've helped a number of clients who have the full version of MS Office including Outlook (rather than Outlook Express which is standard on 'home' PCs).

Outlook has a few extra bells and whistles (like diary and synchronising with some personal organisers) but overall it's a major pain for e-mail account setup compared with the 'cut down' version Outlook Express.

I would say that unless you need it, then sticking with MS Outlook Express (you should be able to find it in your 'start' menu, and when it says 'Outlook Express is not your default mail client, do you want it to be' say YES and it should replace Outlook on Start menu, and will be used after than if you hit a web link that holds an e-mail address.

Outlook gets 2/10 from me, compared with Outlook Express at about 9/10, but that's just my view, from about 20 years of using e-mail software.

Webme1 Wed 23-Sep-09 01:38:39

A good alternative to Microsoft Office is as mentioned in an above post Open Office

It contains:

Writer A word processor similar to Microsoft Word. It can export Portable Document Format (PDF) files with no additional software, and can function as a basic WYSIWYG editor for creating and editing web pages.
Calc A spreadsheet similar to Microsoft Excel. Calc provides a number of features not present in Excel.
Impress A presentation program similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. It also includes the ability to create PDF files, and the ability to read Microsoft PowerPoint's .ppt format.
Base A database management program similar to Microsoft Access. Base allows the creation and manipulation of databases, and the building of forms and reports to provide easy access to data for end-users.
Draw A vector graphics editor and diagramming tool, similar to Microsoft Visio. It features versatile "connectors" between shapes, which are available in a range of line styles and facilitate building drawings such as flowcharts. It has similar features to Desktop publishing software such as Scribus and Microsoft Publisher. Draw can also export its creations to the PDF format.
Math A tool for creating and editing mathematical formulae, similar to Microsoft Equation Editor. Formulae can be embedded inside other documents, such as those created by Writer. It supports multiple fonts and can export to PDF.

You may also like to consider Windows Live Mail (particularly if you use Hotmail)as an alternative to Outlook (depending on how much you used all its features). 'Get multiple e-mail accounts in one program – Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo!* and more. And now Windows Live Mail has a calendar, too. Mail combines the ease of use of Outlook Express, with the speed of Windows Live'.

PortAndLemon Wed 23-Sep-09 02:00:58

Vista includes (free) Windows Mail which is basically Outlook Express under a new name. You don't need the full version of Outlook unless you are running a business and need the full-on contact management functionality, TBH. Windows Mail will be fine for most purposes.

Do you have school-age children? Do they use your laptop? You could probably legitimately get a (much cheaper) educational licensed version of Office, in that case.

Do you have your installation disks from prior edition of Office (from an old laptop, say)? If you're not using them on the old machine any more you can just install them on the new machine instead of Office 2007. I have Office 2003 running on my Vista laptop and will only "upgrade" (ha!) to Office 2007 if absolutely forced to do so.

Or OpenOffice as previously mentioned is good, and free, and less annoying than Office 2007.

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