Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is an office suite of interrelated desktop applications, servers and services for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Microsoft Office was introduced by Microsoft in 1989 for the Mac OS,[1] with a version for Windows in 1990.[2] Initially a marketing term for a bundled set of applications, the first version of Office contained Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Additionally, a “Pro” (Professional) version of Office included Microsoft Access and Schedule Plus. Over the years, Office applications have grown substantially closer with shared features such as a common spell checker, OLE data integration and Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications scripting language. Microsoft also positions Office as a development platform for line-of-business software under the Office Business Applications (OBA) brand.

The current versions are Office 2007 for Windows which was released on January 30, 2007,[3] and Office 2008 for Mac OS X, released January 15, 2008. Office 2007/Office 2008 introduced a new user interface and new Office Open XML document formats (docx, xlsx, pptx). Consequently, Microsoft has made available, free of charge, an add-on known as the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack to allow Office 2000-2003 for Windows and Office 2004 for Mac editions to open, edit, and save documents created under the new formats for Office 2007.

According to Forrester Research, as of June 2009, some version of Microsoft Office is used in 80% of enterprises and the latest Office versions hold roughly 80% of those installations.

History of Microsoft Office

The first version of Microsoft Office was released in 1989, for the Apple Macintosh. Microsoft Office has long been the dominant player when it comes to software that offers word-processing, spreadsheet, and presentation tools.[5][6][7]

History of Microsoft Office for Microsoft Windows

The logo of Microsoft Office 2000, which was one of the most popular versions.

Microsoft Office 3.0 was the first version of Office to be released for the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Microsoft Office 4.0 was released in 1994, containing Word 6.0, Excel 5.0, PowerPoint 4.0, Mail, and Access. Word was called Word 6.0 at this point despite the fact the previous version number was 2.0. The purpose was to use common version numbering with the Mac OS version.

Microsoft Office 4.3 was the last 16-bit version, and is also the last version to support Windows 3.x, Windows NT 3.1 and Windows NT 3.5 (Windows NT 3.51 was supported up to and including Office 97).

Microsoft Office 95 (Office 7.0 – The version number skipped 5.0 and 6.0 in order to show that its applications were contemporary. The previous Word 6.0 had the highest number, so 7.0 were chosen for all of them. Excel 5.0, PowerPoint 4.0, Schedule+ 1.0 and Access 2.0 were the predecessors to Office 95’s applications). It was done as a fully 32-bit version to match Windows 95. Office 95 was available in two versions, Office 95 Standard and Office 95 Professional. The standard version consists of Word 7.0, Excel 7.0, PowerPoint 7.0, and Schedule+ 7.0. The professional edition contains all of the items in the standard version plus Access 7.0. If the professional version is purchased in CD-ROM form, it also includes Bookshelf.

Microsoft Office 97 (Office 8.0), a major milestone release which included hundreds of new features and improvements, introduced command bars, a paradigm in which menus and toolbars were made more similar in capability and visual design. Office 97 also featured Natural Language Systems and sophisticated grammar checking. Office 97 was the first version of Office to include the Office Assistant.

Microsoft Office 2000 (Office 9.0) introduced adaptive menus, where little-used options were hidden from the user. It also introduced a new security feature, built around digital signatures, to diminish the threat of macro viruses. Office 2000 automatically trusts macros (written in VBA6) that were digitally signed from authors who have been previously designated as trusted.

Office 2000 is the last version to support Windows 95. 2000 is also the last Office release which does not include Microsoft Product Activation.

Microsoft Office XP (Office 10.0 aka Office 2002), released in conjunction with Windows XP, is a major upgrade with numerous enhancements and changes. Office XP introduced the Safe Mode feature. It allows applications such as Outlook to boot when it might otherwise fail. Safe Mode enables Office to detect and either repair or bypass the source of the problem, such as a corrupted registry or a misbehaving add-in. Smart tag is a technology delivered with Office XP. Some smart tags operate based on user activity, such as helping with typing errors. These smart tags are supplied with the products, and are not programmable. For developers, though, there is the ability to create custom smart tags. In Office XP, custom smart tags could work only in Word and Excel. Microsoft Office XP includes integrated voice command and text dictation capabilities, as well as handwriting recognition. Another feature introduced with Office XP is Product Activation, which is also implemented in Windows XP (and later versions of Windows and Office).

Office XP is the last version to support Windows 98, ME and NT 4.0. Office XP is also the earliest Office reported to work well with Windows Vista.

Microsoft Office 2003 (Office 11.0) was released in 2003. It features a new logo. Two new applications made their debut in Office 2003: Microsoft InfoPath and OneNote. It is the first version to use Windows XP style icons. Outlook 2003 provides improved functionality in many areas, including Kerberos authentication, RPC over HTTP, and Cached Exchange Mode. The key benefit of Outlook 2003 is the improved junk mail filter. 2003 is the last Office version to support Windows 2000.

Microsoft Office 2007 (Office 12.0) was released in 2007. It includes Groove, a collaborative software application.[8] Office 2007 contains a number of new features, the most notable of which is the entirely new graphical user interface called the Fluent User Interface[9] (initially referred to as the Ribbon UI), replacing the menus and toolbars that have been the cornerstone of Office since its inception with a tabbed toolbar, known as the Ribbon. Microsoft revealed the “Ribbon” UI used on new Office versions on March 9, 2006 at CeBIT, Germany.[10]

Office 2007 requires Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or 3, Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 or higher, or Windows Vista.[11]

On May 21, 2008, Microsoft announced that Office 2007 Service Pack 2 will add native support for the OpenDocument Format.[12] The EU announced it is going to investigate Microsoft Office OpenDocument Format support.[13]

Microsoft Office 2010 (Office 14.0) is currently under development. It is due to be released in 2010.[14] Version 13.0 was skipped because of superstition relating to the number thirteen.[15]. The Technical Preview 1 (Version: 14.0.4006.1010) has been leaked on May 15th, 2009.[16] On July 13th Microsoft officially announced Office 2010 at the WPC 09. July 13th was also the date on which a new Technical Preview leaked Version 14.0.4302.1000.

History of Microsoft Office for Macintosh

Box cover shot of an early Macintosh version of Office.

Prior to packaging its various office-type Macintosh software applications into Office, Microsoft released Mac versions of Word 1.0 in 1984, the first year of the Macintosh computer; Excel 1.0 in 1985; and PowerPoint 1.0 in 1987.[17] Microsoft does not include its Access database application in Office for Mac.

Microsoft has noted that some features are added to Office for Mac before they appear in Windows versions, such as Office for Mac 2001’s Office Project Gallery and PowerPoint Movie feature, which allows users to save presentations as QuickTime movies.[18][19]

Microsoft Office for Mac was introduced for Macintosh in 1989, before Office was released for Windows.[20] It included Word 4.0, Excel 2.20 and PowerPoint 2.01.[17]

Microsoft Office 1.5 for Mac was released in 1991 and included the updated Excel 3.0, the first application to support Apple’s System 7 operating system.[17]

Microsoft Office 2.9 for Mac was released in 1992. Excel 4.0 was the first application to support the new AppleScript.[17]

Microsoft Office 4.0 for Mac was released in 1993. It was the first Office suite for the Power Macintosh.[17] However, Microsoft later acknowledged that “(m)any customers commented that Office 4.2 wasn’t enough like the Macintosh.”[18] The final release for Mac 68K: Office 4.2.1

Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition was unveiled at MacWorld Expo/San Francisco on Jan. 6, 1998. It introduced the Internet Explorer 4.0 browser and Outlook Express, an Internet e-mail client and usenet newsgroup reader.[21] Office 98 was re-engineered by Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit to satisfy customers’ desire for software they felt was more Mac-like.[18] It included drag–and-drop installation, self-repairing applications and Quick Thesaurus before such features were available in a version of Office for Windows. It also was the first version to support QuickTime movies.[18]

Microsoft Office 2001, launched in 2000, was the last Office suite for pre-Mac OS X, or Classic, operating system; it required Mac OS 8, although version 8.5 or later was recommended. Office 2001 introduced Entourage, an e-mail client that included information management tools such as a calendar, an address book, task lists and notes.[19]

Microsoft Office v. X was released in 2001 for the new Mac OS X platform.[22]

Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac was released in 2004.[23]

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac was released in 2008. It is the first Office for Mac suite that is a universal binary — meaning it runs natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs — and uses XML file formats.[17] Microsoft announced on May 13, 2008, that Office 2008 was “selling faster than any previous version of Office for Mac in the past 19 years” and affirmed “its commitment to future products for the Mac.”

Desktop applications

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a word processor and was previously considered to be the main program in Office. Its proprietary DOC format is considered a de facto standard, although Word 2007 can also use a new XML-based, Microsoft Office-optimized format called .DOCX which has been standardized by Ecma International as Office Open XML and its SP2 update will support ODF and PDF.[25] Word is also available in some editions of Microsoft Works. It is available for the Windows and Mac platforms. The first version of Word, released in the fall of 1983, was for the DOS operating system and had the distinction of introducing the mouse to a broad population. Word 1.0 could be purchased with a bundled mouse, though one was not required. The following spring Apple introduced the Mac, and Microsoft released Word for the Mac, which became the most popular Mac application and which, like all Mac apps, required the use of a mouse.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program. It was originally a competitor to the dominant Lotus 1-2-3, but it eventually outsold it. It is available for the Windows and Mac platforms. The current Mac version (Office 2008) has removed Visual Basic functionality so macros cannot be used and those generated in previous iterations of Office no longer work. Microsoft announced in May 2008, that Visual Basic would be returning to Excel in future versions.

Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Entourage

Microsoft Outlook, not to be confused with Outlook Express, is a personal information manager and e-mail communication software. The replacement for Windows Messaging, Microsoft Mail and Schedule+ (Plus) starting in Office 97, it includes an e-mail client, calendar, task manager and address book. Although historically it has been offered for the Mac, the closest to an equivalent for Mac OS X is Microsoft Entourage, which offers a slightly different feature set.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint is a popular presentation program for Windows and Mac. It is used to create slideshows, composed of text, graphics, movies and other objects, which can be displayed on-screen and navigated through by the presenter or printed out on transparencies or slides. This is convenient for school or work presentations.Office Mobile for Windows Mobile 5.0 and later features a version of PowerPoint called PowerPoint Mobile. Movies, videos, sounds and music, as well as Wordart and Autoshapes can be added to slideshows.

Other desktop applications (Windows version only)

Microsoft Access – Database manager.

Microsoft Publisher – software for creating newsletters, business cards, flyers, greeting cards or postcards.

Microsoft InfoPath – an application to design rich XML-based forms.

Microsoft OneNote – Note-taking software for use with tablet PCs or regular PCs.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer – a WYSIWYG HTML editor and web design program for customizing SharePoint applications, it replaces Microsoft Office FrontPage (it is not bundled in any Office 2007 suite).

Microsoft Project – Project management software to keep track of events and to create network charts and Gantt charts (it is not bundled in any Office 2007 suite).

Microsoft Visio – Diagram and flowcharting software (it is not bundled in any Office 2007 suite).

Microsoft Office Accounting – a tool for managing business finances (it is not bundled in any Office 2007 suite, except for the Express edition).

Microsoft Office Communicator – Integrated communications client for conferences and meetings in real time (it is bundled with Office 2007 Professional Plus and Enterprise 2007.[26]).

Microsoft Office Document Imaging – an application that supports editing scanned documents.

Microsoft Office Document Scanning – a scanning and OCR application.

Microsoft Office Groove – a proprietary peer-to-peer collaboration software leveled at businesses.

Microsoft Office InterConnect – Business-relationship database available only in Japan.

Microsoft Office Picture Manager – Basic photo management software (similar to Google’s Picasa or Adobe’s Photoshop Elements). Replaced Microsoft Photo Editor.

Server applications

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server – collaboration server

Excel Services

InfoPath Forms Services

Microsoft Office Communications Server (formerly Live Communications Server) – real time communications server

Microsoft Office Forms Server – allows InfoPath forms to be accessed and filled out using any browser. Office Forms Server is a standalone server installation of InfoPath Forms Services.

Microsoft Office Groove Server – centrally managing all deployments of Microsoft Office Groove in the enterprise

Microsoft Office Project Server – project management server

Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server – allows creation of a project portfolio, including workflows, hosted centrally

Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server – allows customers to monitor, analyze, and plan their business

Web services

Microsoft Office Live Small Business (formerly known simply as Office Live) – Web hosting services and online collaboration tools for small businesses.

Microsoft Office Live Workspace – Online storage and collaboration service for documents.

Live Meeting – Web conferencing service.

Microsoft Office Online – Web site. Provides support for all Microsoft Office products.

Microsoft Update – Web site. Patch detection and installation service for Microsoft Office.


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