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Responding to the message of <1359737068-1153374014@sec.micro.umn.edu>
from     Joan Kimball <jkim@BORG.COM>:
> Our district is considering Microsoft Office as the program of choice for
> all the classroom computers.  Do you have experience with this?
> Would you prefer Microsoft Office to ClarisWorks or Microsoft Works?

We prefer Microsoft Office in several respects, and have been using
it with great success for the kids at Hillside Elementary.

First, we beleive in giving kids real tools to do real work.  The
Works packages (of any flavor) are abbreviated versions of real
software.  My feeling is that it would be a little like buying
the Reader's digest version of books for your library--they're
cheaper and shorter, but not appropriate for education.

Second (PC-only), Office97 will be available in mid-January.  (If you
buy it now you get a free upgrade)  If you haven't seen a demo of
Office97, it would be well worth your time to track down someone
(the local Microsoft headquarters?) and beg, borrow, or buy
a demo.  Office97 has the best built-in help concept I've ever
seen (something completely new!), it is fully integrated with
the web (imagine browsing the web within Word!), you can create
and edit HTML documents directly in any package (Word, Excel,
PowerPoint or Access), and much more.

More info about Office97 is at:  http://www.microsoft.com/office/

Stephen E. Collins sec@umn.edu

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