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Microsoft® Word® from 1990-1995

The first version of Word for Windows, released in 1989 at a price of 500 US dollars, showed the direction Microsoft was planning to take Word; like Windows itself, it had learned much from the Macintosh, and used standard commands (such as control-S to save a file). With the release of Windows 3.0 the following year, sales began to pick up (Word 1.0 worked much better with Windows 3.0 than with the previous Windows/386 and Windows/286 versions), and rival WordPerfect's failure to create a workable Windows version proved a fatal mistake. It was version 2.0 of WinWord, however, that firmly established Microsoft Word as the market leader.

Word on the Macintosh never had any serious rivals, despite programs such as Nisus that provided features such as non-contiguous selection that was not added to Word until Word2002 in Office XP, and despite some users' belief that the program had not had a major overhaul between versions 3.01 in 1987 and version 5.0 in 1991. But many computer users believe that Word 5.1 for the Macintosh is still the best word processor ever made, thanks to its elegance, relative ease of use, and feature set. However, version 6.0 for the Macintosh, released 1994, was widely derided. It was the first Word version in which the core code was the same between the Windows and Mac versions; many accused it of being slow, clumsy bloatware. The Windows version, although it followed version 2.0, was also numbered 6.0 to coordinate product naming.

Later versions of Word have more capabilities than just word processing. The Drawing tool allows simple desktop publishing operations such as adding graphics to documents, although a proper desktop publishing program is obviously better at these tasks. Collaboration, document comparison, multilingual support and many other capabilities have been added over the years.

Introduction | Begining | 1990-1995 | Formats | Viruses | MS-DOS Versions | Apple Macintosh Versions | Microsoft Windows Versions

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