Home ยป Celebrating Four Decades: Microsoft Word, A Venerable Word Processing Powerhouse Outliving Windows

Celebrating Four Decades: Microsoft Word, A Venerable Word Processing Powerhouse Outliving Windows

Yesterday (October 25th), Microsoft Word celebrated its 40th birthday. The first version of Word was released on October 25th, 1983, on the Xenix (Microsoft’s Unix) and MS-DOS platforms.

In its early days, Word was known as Multi-Tool Word and was developed by Charles Simonyi’s team, who previously worked at Xerox PARC and developed a word processing app called Bravo. Simonyi was later brought in to lead the development of Microsoft’s business application, giving birth to Excel.

Initially, Microsoft Word faced tough competition from WordStar and WordPerfect in that era. However, Word started gaining market share with its 6.0 version, released in 1993. As it transitioned into the Word for Windows era, Microsoft dominated the market, nearly wiping out its competitors. For a detailed history, you can refer to the Computer History Museum.

The current version of Microsoft Word is officially named Microsoft Word for Microsoft 365, with the version number being 16.0. It follows a year.month versioning system (e.g., 2310 for October 2023).

TLDR: Microsoft Word turned 40 yesterday. It initially faced competition but gained popularity with its 6.0 version. The current version is Microsoft Word for Microsoft 365, following a year.month versioning format.

(Source: The Register)

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