Have you tried re-installing Works? If the launcher exe got corrupted 'normally,' that should fix the problem. Also, have you checked for any updates to Windows/IE that might have been applied since the last time the launcher worked for you? You might be able to use System Restore to step back out and see if that is what broke the launcher on your rig.
Or, as Rudebaz implied, have you considered ditching that Built-to-Sell-Office suite and using something like OpenOffice, or, gasp, Office?
p.s. I haven't messed with Works since around the turn of the century, but I vaguely recall that some folks in our shop did manage to 'break' the task launcher and then fix it with a reinstall. We were writing training for it and had installation media--you might be suffering with an OEM installation, which should theoretically come with some tech support that might be more accessible than the vast swamp that is microsoft.com.