I have OEM copies of both Word 97 and Word 2002. They come with editions of Works, Money and Autoroute attached but those programs are of little importance. Both laptops I have come with the latest versions of Works. And, unless you’re running some sort of business or a student, Word is all you need from the Office Suite.

Word 97 is on the new laptop and after running it a few times I noted that the find feature in particular was very slow. The dialog box would take a couple of seconds coming up on the screen and a further couple of seconds disappearing. It got a little annoying after a while.

The idea popped into my mind one day – no doubt placed there by some little devil – that I should put version 2002 on that laptop as it’s more modern (i.e. bloated) and would no doubt run better under Vista than the ancient 97 version.

So I dug out the disks and duly installed the software. It was quite clever and un-installed Word 97 too. I then activated the product over the net and started working with it.

Only I didn’t.

I didn’t expect Microsoft Word to fnurg up a Microsoft Word document but it did.

On trying to load a file the program promptly cried like a little girl and passed the buck to Vista. Reboot the machine I thought, Microsoft software (indeed any software) likes to do that. I rebooted but still no go. The document wouldn’t load, causing Word to crash each time. Works and Open Office wouldn’t open it either.

I spent at least an hour trying to recover the file, downloading shareware programs and such. None of them could get any more information that the ‘recover text from file’ option in the Word Open File dialog so they turned out to be a waste of time.

I was quite lucky in that I only lost about five, six hundred words, but it’s still five to six hundred words lost.

The problem solver in Vista suggests I download the XP service pack but I’m a bit wary of that. I may or may not install it, depends how soon I stop being pissed of at Word.

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