It’s one of the most-used pieces of software in the world, utilised by students, professionals and almost anyone who needs to dash off a missive. But who invented it? When was it released? And which platforms is it compatible with? Read on, and all will be revealed.

What is Microsoft Word?

Microsoft Word is a word processing program made by Microsoft. It’s one of the most-used word processors in the world, and has been released for numerous platforms over the years.

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What does Microsoft Word do?

Like any word processor, it lets you write in a range of different formats, whether it’s a letter, an article, a report, essay, CV or just taking notes. It also lets you import images, so you can design posters, leaflets, fliers and the like.

When did Microsoft Word come out?

The software was first released on October 25th 1983, though then it was known as Multi-Tool Word. After being released, its name was quickly shortened to the much snappier Microsoft Word. Free demonstration copies of the program were released on a CD-ROM bundled with the November 1983 issue of PC World, making it the first application to be distributed in this way.

Who invented Microsoft Word?

Word was primarily the work of two programmers called Charles Simonyi and Richard Brodie. Simonyi was the man behind Bravo, the first word processor that used a graphical user interface, while Brodie was a former intern from Xerox.

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What was different about Microsoft Word?

Word stood out because it was one of the first applications for MS-DOS designed to be used with a mouse. At the time, most programs worked with just a keyboard, requiring the user to type in lots of complicated commands and effectively learn MS-DOS, which was like another language.

Which platforms does Microsoft Word work with?

Microsoft has ported Word to all sorts of platforms over the years, including PCs running DOS, Apple Macs running both the earlier Mac OS and the current macOS operating system, AT&T Unix PC, Atari ST, OS/2, Microsoft Windows and SCO Unix.

Are Microsoft Word files compatible with Mac?

Yes they are. Microsoft Word files have the file format .docx, which can be opened by Apple’s Pages software. Once you’ve opened them, you can edit them as if you were using Word, and save them in the same format, allowing seamless operation between Macs and PCs.

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