Microsoft Office 2010 is the big brother of Microsoft Works in many ways. With Office, you can do everything that you can do in Works, and much more. Office will also open Works files, which is nice when sharing data between the programs. Office 2010 is available in three different suites - Office Home and Student ($149.99), Office Home and Business ($279.99), and Office Professional ($499.99). There's also a a Professional Plus package with even more specialized programs. Here's what you get with the full suite of Microsoft Office Professional 2010:
Microsoft Word 2010 - This feature-rich program takes word processing to a new level with a wide variety of formatting options to create simple documents or intricate works. It can be adapted for nearly any print size or format.
Microsoft Excel 2010 - This spreadsheet utility is used by big and small business and is the standard of accounting template creation and record keeping. From simple budgets to complex financial reports, Excel is a money manager's primary tool.
Microsoft Powerpoint 2010 - This powerful presentation software can be found in classrooms and boardrooms all over the world. It allows the user to create slideshows with text, images, sound, video and more.
Microsoft OneNote 2010 - This is a new addition to the Office suite and is available in all additions. It's basically an idea board that is a cross between a database and a word processor.
Microsoft Outlook 2010 - This is one of the world's most popular and powerful email clients and is packed with features like shareable calendars. Outlook is basically the gold standard by which all other email programs are compared, and it is widely used in offices across the globe. It is not available with the Home and Student suite.
Microsoft Access 2010 - This extremely powerful database program is only available in the Office Professional suite, and it is used for a wide variety of applications ranging from database-driven websites running on Windows based servers to server-based applications with local clients.
Microsoft Publisher 2010 - Available only in Office Professional, this is a full-featured desktop publishing program designed for making things like newsletters, brochures, and other marketing type presentation material. You can do some similar things in Word, but not nearly as well as you can with Publisher.