Microsoft Word vs. Microsoft Works
Students on a tight budget may want to use Microsoft Works, as the price is much lower. However, Microsoft does offer some great deals to college students to purchase Microsoft Word at a much cheaper price. Students tend to spend a lot of time creating documents, so Microsoft Word may be a more appropriate choice, as they may need the extra formatting capabilities of Word. In addition, Microsoft Word is the standard for most businesses so it would be a plus if a student about to enter the workforce was already familiar with Microsoft Word.
A home user who only needs to do basic word processing and everyday tasks might be happy with Microsoft Works. Microsoft Word is a better choice if you need to do heavy-duty word processing with a lot of formatting, such as in a home business. Word is loaded with features and can do almost anything except make a cup of coffee.
If you are going to share documents with other people, it will be easier to use the Word format (.doc), as Microsoft Word is more popular. Many other programs can read Word files but Works documents. If you choose to use Microsoft Works vs Word, you can convert a Works file so it can be opened in Word. Simply open the file in Works. Go to the File menu, select Save As and choose Word File or RTF in the Save as Type list.
To read some more about the differences between Microsoft Word and Works, read Choose the Right Office Tools - Microsoft Word vs. Microsoft Works.