When talking about Microsoft software, I used them most in school. Now I feel like going back to school, I learned how to use them in the college, then made good use of them when I was working in a company.
One thing should mention is it is not cheap to buy a Microsoft software if you don't know a good provider. www.costcaptain.com is a good provider, you can get Microsoft Office, Microsoft Vista, Publisher 2007 and more with much cheaper prices at cost captain. The truth is, CostCaptain.com is a Microsoft Authorized Education Reseller. They sell the brand new Office 2007 Suite and Vista to students and staff of schools, libraries and research labs. This is why their prices are much cheaper. You can't ask high price to students.
So if you want to get Microsoft software with cheap price, you should try costcaptain.