Tesco Complete Office
There are four full applications and three applets within the package and all in all while there may be some things it cannot do most people only use 20% of the features of a package like Microsoft Office and unless you need something special this could fulfil your needs at a tiny percentage of the cost of Microsoft Office.
Of course any non Microsoft Office Suite faces a huge uphill task, the excellent WordPerfect once king itself, Lotus Smart Suite with the original king spreadsheet Lotus 1-2-3 are perhaps the most famous while Star Office and it's free Open Office offering all have some following. However while Ability Office was always there being sold mainly on price buying it along with the loo rolls and baked beans is a new departure.
I have been running it on a PC for a couple of months and while I am not a huge user of spreadsheets, databases and presentation products all seem to work correctly.
Write the Tesco Complete Office word processor seems to work rather well and while I certainly fall into the '80%' category I have gone out of my way to use some features that I normally have no need off. Tables, columns and frames all seem to work correctly, while - by default - it will try to save in it's own .aww format it is simple to either select another more known format such as .doc or .rtf as a one off or by going to 'Open and Save formats' you can change the default open and or save options. The interface is quite like Microsoft Word but of course certain things are found in different places and some work in a slightly different way.
My one slight criticism is that the dictionary seems small with a lot of words found in the Microsoft main one not found at all in the Ability offering. Anyone used to another Word Processor will not find any real problems in using Tesco Complete Office.
The spreadsheet module is said to be compatible to Microsoft Excel, in my basic tests I found no real differences. The presentations module makes the same claims about Microsoft Power Point. Microsoft Ability is not something I use but the Tesco Complete Office blurb claims compatibly.
Now onto the 'extra' applets, PhotoAlbum is an Image Organiser to allow sharing and easy location of most image file formats. It has a slideshow feature and also allows batch conversion of files.
Draw is the next applet and does offer more than the Free paint within Windows but does not of course offer anything like the options within specialised products.
I found the help files somewhat basic but you can get free email support. The user licence allows you to install the software on one desktop and one notebook PC.
The specifications seem low nowadays it works on Windows 98 or later with any Pentium or better processor. It requires only 100MB or hard disc space and only 64MB of RAM, however I note Internet Explorer 5.01 or later is required and of course a CD-ROM drive to do the original install from. Installation takes two minutes and uses less than 100MB of hard disc space. That by the size of other similar packages is minute.The stated price of Tesco Complete Office is £19.97 and it should be available in most larger Tesco stores or online at http://www.tescosoftware.com/officeinfo.php
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