If you need some basic Office software, but don’t want to shell out $300+ on Microsoft Office, there are alternatives. I’m a big fan of Open Office and Page Plus (see Open Source), but there are plenty of other options to choose from.
CNET has provided a comparison of the various office software packages out there. While they all can boast a special advantage, my lot is still cast with Open Office since it’s free. If you’re missing anything, it’s easy to find a free version online. Most of the programs listed are missing some kind of e-mail management program such as Outlook or Outlook Express, but with GMail and Thunderbird out there, you’ll have everything you need.