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Software suites are groups of related programs that interact nearly seamlessly with each other to make certain tasks easier among different programs. The popularity of software suites has only increased in recent years as people have turned more to computing for tasks that used to done without the aid of newer technology. However, as with most types of software, the true value of the programs is in their usage. Not everyone will need a software suite.
The main benefit of software suites is in the integration of some data sets between the programs. While most software will be able to cut and paste different sets of data fairly easily, software suites take it a step further. Often, the data will retain any other information, such as formatting and any other embedded information. While it may not be guaranteed to carry over, it will in most cases. This may be harder to accomplish, if not impossible, among completely non-related programs.
The other benefit of software suites is the cost savings that often come with purchasing the programs in a bundle. To purchase each program individually would likely cost much more. Depending on which suite is used, the programs included can be anywhere from two programs to more than five.
The most common suites are business software suites and Internet security software suites. While they each perform different functions, they tend to work to accomplish a greater goal. Business suites may need reports, which can be written in a word processor, but may also need a slide show, which a presentation program can produce. Internet security software usually focuses on one particular task, such as defending against viruses. Spyware and adware protection, along with a firewall, may call for an entirely different program or set of programs.
The most common and recognizable software suite is the Microsoft Office™ line of products. This will include Microsoft Word™, Microsoft Excel™, Microsoft Outlook™, and Microsoft PowerPoint™ in the most basic form, which is for home and student use. Other versions, such as Microsoft Office Small Business™, and Microsoft Office Pro™, will include additional programs.
It should be noted that while purchasing the software titles bundled in a suite is a much more cost effective method than purchasing them individually, they may not all be needed. Instead of buying something you may not need, carefully consider what you will need and whether purchase one or two titles individually may make more sense economically. In most cases, all titles in a software suite are usually available separately.
I am surprised that no one has mentioned the media suite software like the Adobe products. I think a lot of people are familiar with Photoshop even if they haven't used it before. Adobe makes a ton of other programs, though, for different uses.
I used to make a lot of movies, so I got a lot of use out of After Effects and Premiere. Once you start looking, Adobe makes a ton of products that most people have never heard of unless you have the special need for the software.
What I like is that they usually package their software into groups that go together. For example, they make have a suite of software for people who need to edit movies and another suite for people who do graphical design or website design.
Compared to buying all of the products separately, getting one of the Adobe suites can save several hundred dollars.
@titans62 - For people who don't have the money to buy all of the Office software, there are other options that are free. OpenOffice offers free downloads of the basic Microsoft products like Word, Powerpoint, and Excel. I have never personally used them, but I have been told that they word pretty well. The documents you make with them are also supposed to be compatible with the Microsoft programs so that you can send them to other people.
The programs that I think are often very useful are antivirus software suites. The best part is that a lot of these can be gotten for free, too, and they usually work just as well as the expensive programs you can buy from the store.
The suite I have running on my computer comes with programs to block viruses, stop spyware and malware, and clean my registry. All of these programs have come in handy at some point.
I think software suites are very useful for most people, but they are so expensive. I don't know if they actually cost that much to make or if companies like Microsoft just realize that people aren't going to use anything else, so they raise the price on the software.
Fortunately for me, I have access to discounted products through the company I work for. Instead of having to pay several hundred dollars, I can get the entire Microsoft Office package for around 30 dollars, which is a great deal.
Even though the MS suite software is supposed to work together, I still notice that a lot of programs have issues moving information back and forth. For example, it is nearly impossible to move a table in Excel into Word without it losing its formatting.
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