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Microsoft Word for Windows Version 1.1a Source Code (2014) (computerhistory.org)
280 points by rmason on Dec 28, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 134 comments

The article is missing a bit, since Word for Mac (1985) was more the model for the eventual Windows 1.X version, but isn't even mentioned in the article. There were also versions for other "windowed" OS's during the same 5 year period before Windows was sufficiently viable to make it work. People often forget that new apps appeared first on the Mac until around 1990 or so when Windows 3.0 shipped (Word appeared a bit before); basically MacOS was much more advanced than Windows up until that point. After Windows 3 the first platform flipped completely to Windows. I shipped my first MacOS app in 1987.

I'd be interested in learning about the DOS version. I remember using it but it was a text mode application as far as I can remember (2.0?)

It was text only. The article says it was WYSIWYG, but that was only the later Mac and Windows versions. The early text versions only did some stuff like underlining, bold and alignment.

Microsoft released Word for DOS even after the Windows version came out, and I remember a lot of people were surprised that they bothered -- 5.5 was even transformed into a curses-style "graphical" DOS app [1] with colour, drop down menus (with shadows!) and mouse support (but drawn with ASCII characters), similar to Borland's DOS apps, but it seemed like a perfunctory release -- at that point it was obvious DOS was legacy and that Windows was the future of Microsoft.

[1] https://www.google.com/search?q=microsoft+word+5.5+dos&num=3...

The article isn't really wrong. From the very first DOS version it had support for mouse, (non-overlapping) windows, color and some limited WYSIWYG (it can display bold, italic, underline and so on).

Here's a screenshot from version 1.15: https://winworldpc.com/res/img/screenshots/1x-dos-e22144b8ec...

>similar to Borland's DOS apps

And to Visual Basic for DOS.

This one was more similar to QBASIC and QuickBASIC, and also EDIT.COM. All of these used the same UI toolkit, so far as I know.

VB for DOS was a bit different, and tried harder to look like Windows (3.x). You can tell by looking at push buttons and window decorations: http://toastytech.com/guis/textvbdos.png

EDIT.COM was actually just a shortcut to QBASIC.EXE with the /EDITOR flag

Wow. That makes so much sense now... I remember using those for ages and I never realised.

If I remember correctly, EDIT.COM was a separate binary back when QBASIC didn't ship with DOS. When they started shipping the latter in the box (DOS 5.0?), it became a shortcut.

Wikipedia says it was the other way around - EDIT didn't even exist until they bundled QBASIC in DOS 5.0, but after they killed QBASIC in the DOS bundled with Windows 95 it became it's own binary.

I wish they would release that textui used by qbasic, edit and Microsoft works.

As rzzzt says, you can get Turbo Vision [1], which is the framework that Borland used for all their apps. Borland released the C++ source code in the public domain, and it's since been ported to a bunch of platforms, including Linux. Google Images has lots of screenshots [2].

It supports multiple overlapping windows, including modals, and since window rendering is based on buffers, it automatically supports things like region repaint and shadows; it comes with an extensible file editor that supports selection, clipboard and undo/redo; form validation; and even persistence (any UI widget, or set of widgets, can be written to disk and read back again).

It's quite an advanced object-oriented toolkit that's impressive even now, though it seems a bit insane today that they spent so much effort on something that could render only VGA's 80x25 characters.

Documentation is spotty, but it exists [3].

[1] http://tvision.sourceforge.net

[2] http://bit.ly/2iJuckO

[3] http://www.sigala.it/sergio/tvision/html/index.html

What's more, Turbo Vision source code was eventually adopted by FreePascal, and they ship with it to this day. Their text-mode IDE that looks a great deal like Borland Pascal (but with a lot more features) is written in it.

Oh, and it's available on all platforms, not just Windows!


Borland's version is called Turbo Vision, and it was available as a framework to build applications on in their Pascal IDE.

And their DOS C and C++ IDEs as well.

Is this the first source code with Hungarian notation released to the public?(https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_notation)

The oldest maybe, unless there is other code written previously by Simony on the wild. It's called hungarian notation because Charles Simony is hungarian and he was the father of both hungarian notation and Word's source code.

Simonyi, I think he goes by. His example code from his dissertation where (again - I think) he first espoused the theory would have earlier examples still. Word was his first major project, though, and probably the most canonical "first exemplar", if such a thing is meaningful.

The Bravo text editor grew out of the second example in his thesis, and was one of the first WYSIWYG editors. Its source code is available here: http://xeroxalto.computerhistory.org/Indigo/AltoSource/BRAVO... . Start here for more background: http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/xerox-alto-source-code/ .

With the wrong way or the right way of doing it?

Simonyi invented the correct way, so it's most likely to be correctly used. Supposedly the Windows team tried to implement Hungarian notation (because it worked so well for the Office guys), which is where the incorrect usage originates.

So not only is this one of the earliest examples, but probably the largest example of correct Hungarian.

I believe it's first time I opened mobile wikipedia on desktop. Much more readable than desktop version. Thank you.

Earliest code? Maybe but there are other codebases that are open source that use hungarian notation.

I meant the earliest code written in that notation released to the public.

It could be interesting to list them here. If you know one ancient piece of code with Hungarian notation please tell!

    Morristown, NJ  07960
That's Bell Labs isn't it?

The 'obscure language' used is troff: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troff

Bell Labs is in Murray Hill, Morristown is ~30mins away.

Bellcore/Telcordia was spun out from Bell Labs as the R&D lab of the Baby Bells after the early 1980s antitrust suit against AT&T. Before the breakup, there were a number of labs that composed Bell Labs in NJ, not only in Holmdel.

My father worked in Morristown at Telcordia Technologies/Bellcore in the 1980s/90s and before that at Bell Labs in the 70s.

This mentions Morristown:


Seems somehow related though, what with the troff commands.

Here's where the example is from, it appears:


Also: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1986-05-14/business/86020...

So... not Bell Labs, I guess, but maybe something related?

See my comment in this thread.

Telcordia/Bellcore was a spinout from Bell Labs after the DOJ antitrust action in the early 1980s. Bell Labs stayed with AT&T and Bellcore was the R&D lab for the newly created Baby Bells composed of many staff from Bell Labs.

Bell Labs was not in Morristown. Murray Hill and Holmdel. Holmdel is where they found the noise from the Big Bang


Not necessarily. Wasn't _Creative Computing_ magazine based there?

A file "filewin.c" has the following comment:

FUTURE: MacWord does a DoJump(&venvMainLoop) !! (which,according to DavidLu is "guaranteed to crash soon there after"). we should really figure out a better way...

Who is DavidLu and did this ever get fixed?


sp2tab.bat which calls tabify.sed to replace spaces with tabs. Nice to know that some things never change.

Edit: Also a 16bit windows executable version of GREP, just tested on a 32bit version of Windows and it still works (but not on 64bit)

Unfortunately no 16-bit Windows executables work on 64 bit, since x86-64 processors lack the ability to run in 16-bit mode.

> Unfortunately no 16-bit Windows executables work on 64 bit,

True. But the do work on Wine on modern 64-bit Linux. :) In fact, even DOSEMU works on modern 64-bit Linux -- take that, Windows backwards compatibility! (But use DOSEMU2 if you do this -- it's better supported.)

> since x86-64 processors lack the ability to run in 16-bit mode.

Not true.

64-bit processors running in "long mode" (i.e. running a 64-bit kernel) can't enter "virtual 8086" mode, which makes various real mode emulation (DOS non-protected mode, for example) awkward. But modern CPUs are so fast that they can emulate this kind of code very well, and CPUs with virtualization extensions can run real mode or virtual 8086 mode code in a VM even when the host is 64-bit.

(64-bit kernels can, in theory, switch out of long mode temporarily, but this is an incredible mess. Linux used to do it for certain UEFI compatibility scenarios, but this proved to be deeply problematic, and Linux doesn't do that any more.)

Could you talk a little more about DOSEMU2 versus DOSEMU?

I'm literally spinning up DOSEMU today to run a bunch of old DOS compilers (Watcom). I can't find much on DOSEMU2 other than its release logs, which seem focused on games and amd64. I think that Lredir/emufs (access to the Linux filesystem) and "dumb" stdin/out are important features to me.

I think Stas Sergeev wanted a place to do bigger changes to dosemu at the same time as Bart Oldeman has been stepping back / busy with other things.

So Stas made a dosemu2 repo on github, with the additional benefits of being a more modern development environment than sourceforge.

It's worth having a play with, some of the older more knarly parts of the source are getting dealt with.

Stas also tells me when I accidentally break dosemu2, and dosemu gets updated to take advantage of newer kernel features. Headline features include espfix64 (for more accurate returns to DOS code from interrupts) and proper SS sigcontext support (ditto). Lifechanging, I know :)

Pretty sure it was MS cutting the 16bit API and amd64 has 16bit real and protected modes

Yup! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86-64

the VDM used for 16-bit Windows on WinNT required "Virtual 8086 Mode" which is not accessible while in long mode (64 bit)[1]

Now Microsoft probably could have engineering a real solution to continue DOS/16-bit support - either via VT-x or just a different solution. But it would have cost engineering hours - for what is a diminishing return.

[1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_8086_mode#64-bit_and_V...

I keep seeing this statement, and it's making me wonder: how hard would it have been for Windows 10 to simply ship with a 16-bit WinAPI-binary transpiler (ala Rosetta) or emulator (ala DOSBox)?

Pretty hard. It's not just a matter of executing 16bit assembly, you also need to handle mapping every single window message and callback between 16bit handles and the real native handles, of which there are thousands and the meaning/interpretation of parameters are unique for each one.

This guy is doing just that in .NET. While he uses a full blown CPU emulator for executing 16bit x86, the hard part is all the thunking and bidirectional mapping of handles and memory pointers and stuff: https://medium.com/@CantabileApp/implementing-window-messagi...

This seems like the harder strategy of the two. What about simply having a small Windows 3.1 or 95 VM that gets run in the background under HyperV, with fresh VXDs written for it to allow it to use paravirtualized resources, so as to allow it to do the same sort of "infinite framebuffer canvas used to back native windows for the compositor" tricks VMWare's Unity mode and the like do?

Doesn't MS already ship this as a "Virtual Windows XP Mode" based on VirtualPC?

The huge downside is of course the lack of integration with your main OS - copy&paste and drag&drop of rich/dynamic content, OLE embedding, keyboard settings, shared file systems and drive letters, printer drivers, all sorts of windows preferences, applications installing random global windows hooks, etc etc.

I doubt it would be hard, but I don't see why anyone would bother.

At my last job, we would occasionally need to dig up old code because Microsoft finally removed something they had deprecated several years before. I think it was always amusing.

One case that stands out was a utility program that would update data for our users each month. I needed to change something about the string handling. After updating the data, the program would enumerate all running software and kill any copies of our program (so that they would need to read the new data on startup). I noticed that we went through the trouble of enumerating 32-bit and 16-bit programs. Since we hadn't shipped a 16-bit version of our software since the '90s, and we had changed our data format significantly since then, I happily ripped that code out. I don't think you can find information on 16-bit Windows on MSDN anymore.

I guess, to put it another way, who's shipping 16-bit programs?

There was something called WoW, not sure it did that

But at this point I can see why MS would not bother with it

IIRC WoW just provided a layer to point 32bit binaries to 32bit libraries on 64bit systems.

So you have the ass-backwards situation where %WINDIR%\System32 is full of 64bit dlls, and %WINDIR\SysWOW64 is full of 32bit dlls.

The original WOW was doing a 16-bit to 32-bit layer.

WOW64 (in 64-bit Windows OSes) does 32-bit to 64-bit.

The naming of System32 made sense back when they came up with it, but now it's a bit ridiculous. However, since there are so many incompetent Windows programs using hard-coded paths instead of SHGetFolderPath (including, BTW, literally every Java desktop app that doesn't include its own shim-- the JVM itself has this bug!), it's something Microsoft doesn't have the ability to fix.

In traditional Microsoft fashion, it's both [0]. WoW is the 16bit compatibility layer on 32bit systems, WoW64 is the 32bit compatibility layer on 64bit systems.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_on_Windows

Naive question: Is it possible to build/run this source in a simulator, VM or something?

Is there any way, we can run windows 1.1, and get this up and running as of today?

Yes. You can take ms-dos with Windows 1.1, run it in a VM and build this using the compiler tools included in the package. I've done it and it works. If I remember correctly, there are instructions in some blogs to do this.

UPDATE: This is the thread from the time of the release: https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=31096

(see my question in the thread)

Profanity check:

  $ grep -i fuck * -r
  Opus/asm/wordgrep.asm:; BP  is used as always, the other registers are free to fuck with.
  Opus/asm/wordgrep.asm:  je      another_fucking_out_of_range_jump

haha, good one.

> We are grateful to Roy Levin, Managing Director of Microsoft Research, Silicon Valley, for working hard to find the source code and getting permission for us to release it.

Ironic as MSR-SVC was shut down a few months after this article was written.

It's still dark ages of word processing today but "cryptic commands" are in markdown and html.

I remember the joy of writing a 200 page book in FrameMaker on a smallish SPARCstation in 1994. Even in 1998 it was easy to convince my boss to license FrameMaker for Windows as writing software. Word was still too buggy to write anything exceeding a few pages or with embedded images with it. Sadly, Adobe never marketed FrameMaker to a mass market.

They didn't because competing with the numerous low-end DTP solutions at a price that would make it remotely competitive in the mass market would have been fairly pointless for them.

And they still would probably have lost that market to Word for the same reason the whole stack of players that did compete in that market did: no one in the mass market is regularly writing and laying out books, they are either mostly writing documents of a few pages with the occasional longer work, or preparing copy and art.that ia going to be fed into some publisher's layout system.

I wonder how much of this code still lives on in current generation Word.

Word 1.1 is the catalyst that got me to try Windows. I was familiar with word for DOS at the time, and the potential of proportional fonts and OS-level printer drivers caught my imagination - it was the future, I was sure. It didn't hurt that I got a promotional copy for cheap with Windows bundled. I still have the floppies around somewhere.

Many years later, and I'm still writing Windows programs. Excellent strategy on Microsoft's part.

Nice to see this hugely transformative software available in an archive.

Comes on 33 disks, 28 of which are printer drivers.

Opus/sort.c implements Merge Sort, limited to 16383 records.

"Will Office be open source in future?"

"Yes. I give you my Word."

The 1984 BYTE magazine review said it was "clever, put together well, and performs some extraordinary feats" but "extremely frustrating to learn and operate efficiently."

This still describes Word, 32 years later.

For context, the author said this as a side-note to his distainful comments about being expected to use a "mouse". He goes on to say "It's very frustrating to miss the mark with the mouse's selector and destroy what has taken a good bit of time and effort to achieve, or to continually run the mouse headlong into the keyboard and risk ruining the keyboard or the mouse module itself."

(I'm currently using a mouse which has been operating in close proximity to a keyboard for some years now, so I can attest that at least his latter complaint hasn't weathered the test of time.)

Don't forget that mice during this era were of generally low quality and were "ball mice" which would frequently become clogged with dirt. They were a nightmare to use.

I have only experience with Amiga mice, but if they were good enough for me as a kid to play Civilization and Sim City, then mouse technology should have been good enough for using MS Word.


Maybe he had a bad mouse and you had a good one.

I still have a ball mouse, I think it's the first I bought way back in 2000 or some such and it's fine to use provided it's kept clean and used on a good surface.

A ball mouse from the year 2000 is quite different than one from the 80s. The old ones were clunky.

And apparently they fell to pieces when they careened into the side of a keyboard.

Something Word does, for better or worse, is encourage lazy behaviour which produces hard to maintain documents. This is fine if you have a one page letter or a one off simple text document. However if you are trying to manage something sizeable then it can be hellish to make document wide changes. It's like the php of document editors, easy to start and forgiving, but hard to do correctly.

Compare this to, for example, in design, and you'll see why Word is hated by the print industry.

In both Word and InDesign, it's up to the user to create styles and use them. The only difference is that InDesign users are a little more knowledgeable and are more likely to stick to best practices. I have seen large InDesign documents with everything manually formatted, no styles whatsoever.

Word is far from being frustrating to learn nowadays but it does remain frustrating to operate efficiently.

I think to actually operation Word efficiently you have to learn the object model which underlies documents. You don't necessary have to be able to program in it, but if you understand how the various objects are contained and composed together then the UI makes a lot more sense and it's usually easy to figure out how to get the desired effect on the page.

Of course it may not be practical for casual users to learn the object model.

While Word is still widely used today, I expect it to gradually fade away as people produce fewer documents for the printed page. Per-capital paper consumption in the USA has been slowly declining since 2008.

The thing is, learning that model is often made more difficult by the wysiwig because it is hiding the model.

Word is significantly harder to use efficiently than lets say Atom+Asciidoctor. Also Word version control is a living hell, in contrast with format like asciidoc one could use standalone tools like Mercurial and that is both powerful and easy to use.

Have you tried teaching version control to non-programmers?

I have, and I think you highly overestimated how easy to use mercurial or these other tools are.

> Have you tried teaching version control to non-programmers?

I had with various success, in the end it all comes down to how open minded those people are. I wish version control would be more prevalent in academia and research where it's really needed for transparency reasons, I wish more groups would also use csv, tsv ,JSON files + Python data wrangling tools instead of Excel.

I have various non-programmers (project managers, CEOs) checking files in and out of Subversion using TortoiseSVN on Windows and that works acceptably. About once a month they get stuck and need help but they use TortoiseSVN daily so that's still acceptable.

Microsoft SharePoint does basic version control and is fairly well integrated with Word. It's limited in that it basically just tracks revisions and doesn't support branching, but it's simple enough that most casual users can learn it easily.

It still makes creating a ToC and index slow, painful and somewhat unpredictable. 20 years ago it was straightforward and utterly reliable in Wordperfect.

as long as you use headers, it has a button that does it in one click? (The only part is you have to make sure to keep it up to date manually)

I think the per-capita paper consumption declines due to decline of newspapers and paper advertising, not due to decline of documents prepared with word processors and printed on paper (even though I do see that "paperless office" is more of a reality now than it was before when there was a lot of talk about it).

I get annoyed learning every new version of word. Change for change sake while annoying 1+ Billion people requires some serious sadists to be working for Microsoft.

The ribbon has been present since Office 2010 (or was it 2007?). I'm of the opinion that it was a great UX improvement, especially if you weren't used to 2003's UI. I don't recall many significant changes to options and features since the introduction of the ribbon, so it has made transitioning to newer versions much easier.

2007 was the first edition of the ribbon, but 2010 changed the look of it a fair amount.

2010 added support for Ribbon customization. I wouldn't say it changed the behavior dramatically though.

Some people linked the notion of user evolution pace. Evolving a system faster than their user is asking for troubles. Even if the ribbon was a beautiful idea, well executed by Microsoft; it imposed a massive relearning phase.

I guess they had to make such a huge change eventually. I'm sure they weighed the benefits of improved UX for new users against the learning required for existing users. In any case, they had (and still have) a near-complete monopoly on office productivity software, so they wouldn't lose much either way. Worst case scenario is going back to the older UI if the backlash was too much.

People seem to have kept up.

Thus the rule oft forgotten in the UX circles - if your user has no alternative to switch to, they will learn the interface.

...Which explains every enterprise software UI ever made.

I've always felt that the ribbon is much less scannable than the menus in previous versions of Word. I've learned to deal with it like everybody else, but I still don't think it's an improvement.

The ribbon has it's upsides and downsides. I would argue it would have been much better if you could place it on the side not just the top due to a decade of wide screen laptops. Office needed larger icons and lost a lot of functionality. But, they clearly needed larger Icons.

My problem is more when the UI is changed without any benefits.

The ribbon was the UI change that got the most people upset, but in retrospect, I feel it was complaint for complaint's sake. Once you learned to use it, I'd argue the ribbon is a vastly superior UI. While it is less customizable, and very obscure features can be harder to find, the most common features are better arranged, better presented, and more usable. There are some changes I dislike in newer versions of Office since, but I wonder how I'll feel about them down the line too.

I like the ribbon pretty well, although it was clearly designed in the days of 4:3 displays. Would be nice to have an option to put it on the side instead.

The one thing I really dislike in Office 2013/2016 is the animated cursor. In Word it's just a distraction, but in Excel it is ludicrous: when I click on a cell, I'm looking at that cell, I'm not thinking about the cell the cursor used to be on at all, but for some reason Excel wants to draw my attention back to the previous cell just so I can watch the cursor box move. This is not something to benefit the user, it's a designer screaming "Look at me!"

Fortunately, there is a way to turn off these Office animations and a lot of other animations too. Open the Ease of Access Center in the Windows control panel and select "Make the computer easier to see". There's an option there to "Turn off all unnecessary animations".

This stops the animated cursor and some other animations in Office, and it also turns off the goofy Start menu animation. To my eyes it is a nice improvement.

> although it was clearly designed in the days of 4:3 displays. Would be nice to have an option to put it on the side instead.

I just double-click a menu item to collapse the entire bar, which ends up using the same space as an old school File menu would. Then I tap `Alt` to bring up the shortcut letters and tap them to activate features. It's incredibly fast and essentially modal. Gives me a good Vimy feel.

Office 2013 and newer also has a full-screen mode which hides all the menus and lots of chrome, giving you mostly data. It's the only way to use Outlook and Excel with maximum screen efficiency.

Nice tips, thank you!

> I like the ribbon pretty well, although it was clearly designed in the days of 4:3 displays.

This. The only reason I fire up any Office app these days is if something I'm doing has gone horribly wrong (as in, causing an Office app to be the best tool for the job) but if the ribbon was down the side of the screen instead of the top, I wouldn't be nearly so mad at it.

Ribbon is brilliant. When nicely designed and really needed (in certain applications and only them!) it is the most important GUI evolution of the last years.

I liked the ribbon once they added the search box, at which point you could mostly ignore the confusing and inconsistent layout of options and just treat the thing as a giant garish version of Emacs.

As an intermittent Word user, I've never learned the ribbon.

I could see how you could conclude that your complaining was for complaint's sake, but mine?

I think he would probably say "I don't like it because I haven't taken any time to learn it" is complaining for complaining's sake.

I guess that means most of the complaints against vim & latex are then complaining for complaining's sake. (Not necessarily disagreeing, though...)

Huh. As a software professional I stopped blaming the user for that a looong time ago.

That's a learned disability in our industry, coming from the mindset of maximizing short-term business goals (like "paying user is always right" or "more 'intuitive' UI -> more people will like it initially -> more growth -> more $$$"). Vim and LaTeX were primarily made to be efficient tools, and thus don't shy away from requiring users to utilize the long forgotten skill of sitting on their butts and learning for goddamn 5 minutes, to the clock.

Our industry-standard reasoning is good when all you make is cheap shiny toys that need to get popular quick to attract investor money. Much less so if you want to design software that empowers its users to do more.

EDIT: Vim/LaTeX mention borrowed from parallel comment of 'beefield.

I know that Emacs and LaTeX both have newcomer-friendly tutorials, that's how I learned them initially. In Vim, I only know about 5 commands, that's enough to get simple edits done when emacs is not installed. So I don't rate any of these as poor for new users, as long as the new users can find the tutorial.

Let me give you an example of a complicated product where the user-interface can be made friendlier. I worked on a C/C++/Fortran compiler (PathScale) for a while. Users would compile non-standard-conforming programs, get the wrong answer, and then tell us that we had a bug in our compiler. I got the compiler guys to add some compilation flags for things like "use C argument aliasing rules in Fortran". Then when a user reported this class of bug, we had a section of the manual which said: "Compile with these flags. If you now see the correct answer, figure out which flag fixed your program, and then go read the appropriate paragraph in the manual explaining how your program is not standard-conforming." It worked great for both our in-house customer support people (who used it all the time) and customers (who might use it once or twice, usually after being prompted by our customer service people.)

Interestingly, Word on MacOS has both the ribbon and the old menu interface

> learning every new version of word

I do appreciate Office maintaining support for all its legacy keyboard shortcuts in Word and Excel. Literally run Office in a Windows VM on my Mac for those shortcuts...

I've been using Mac for 6?+ years, and _still_ hit key combinations from Windows' Excel. It's getting better as Microsoft seems to marginally care about Mac with Office 365, but only barely, as it does improve with each update. It still feels a decade behind Excel for Windows.

Word 4 on the Mac was pretty sweet.

Agreed! Word 4 on the Mac remains one of the nicest word processors I've used.

Three'd. I do recall that being the pinnacle of word-processor efficiency for me. 5 was when the Windows-UI started invading, it became massively slower, and wouldn't run off a floppy, thus couldn't be used in my school's Mac lab.

After I got out of school, I switched to BBEdit, and Pagemaker if I needed formatting. And now vim is my world. Libreoffice gets to annoy me if I need paginated formatting, but that happens less and less.

More or less my experience: Word 4 was snappy on my SE/30, had all the features you ever needed, and then some, and the interface didn't get in the way of anything.

Now 95% of my tube time is in Emacs, and most things are written in LaTeX. Though occasionally I still need Word, and I've been happy with Office for Mac (2016?) so far. (I really want to like LibreOffice, but...)

Word 6 for Mac was the sluggish one, as it was when they introduced that new Windows based code generation.

"extremely frustrating to learn and operate efficiently."

This is pretty much same for everything. Could describe me trying to use a Mac after years on Windows.

I switched from XP → Mac in 2008 and I was always surprised by how pleasant it was. "It just works" wasn't just marketing bs.

You think WORD is hard to learn......?!?! You sure it's not a joke?!

There's a whole bunch of sed files in the source code!

What was "PC Word" and how did it relate to "Microsoft Word"? Was it also for Windows?

(References to both found in http://antitrust.slated.org/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/...)

It seems that Microsoft Word unseated far more established player WordPerfect even before OS dominance. Any insights on how this happened?

So I was an IT manager (well the only IT person for a ~50 person accountancy firm) back in 1995 and I can tell you how it unseated wordperfect in my org. Easy really... it was free!

So basically if you bought Gateway PCs with Windows 95 you got Office 95 Pro for free with them. In a cost-constrained environment it was a no brainer compared to spending money on Wordperfect licenses.

When I got there it was mainly Wordperfect for DOS and Lotus 1,2,3 for spreadsheets but when we rolled out new PCs with Windows 95 we migrated to Excel and Word.

In terms of productivity there was a definite hit for "pro" users where they were faster with Wordperfect than Word but it was possible to get past that and Word used to have a pretty useful compatibility layer so you cold use Wordperfect commands in Word.

Microsoft was the office suite for the masses. WordPerfect acolytes were secretaries, writers, attorneys, etc who had mastered the keyboard shortcut system. WordPerfect broke some of that when they went GUI. They also had a weaker spreadsheet.

There are still grumpy graybeard lawyers today using WordPerfect v.whatever from 1996.

Later on they got squeezed between IBM muscling their customers onto Lotus Notes and Microsoft. That put them in the grave and Exchange filled it in.

This actually might be useful in rendering old documents for The Document Foundation's file format project.

> To access this material you must agree to the terms of the license displayed here, which permits only non-commercial use and does not give you the right to license it to third parties by posting copies elsewhere on the web.

Does this conflict with the terms of the Open Specification Promise? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Open_Specification_P... If so, does that taint anyone working on a project involving DOC word documents?

That risk alone is why I never even open Microsoft source code.

Those early Word version didn't use the 97-2003 Word format, so it doesn't matter ;)

Which also reminds me that I wish that MS shipped PP4X322.DLL and PP7X32.DLL separately from PowerPoint 2003.

reading comments gave me a illusion that only the smartest people deserve to use Word. seems I can get a Mensa certification on using every editions of Word well without too much learning.....God I need to test my IQ, should be 9999.

We use GSuite (Google Apps and Email) at work. Though I have MS Word installed on my machine, I find that I increasingly use Google Docs for most of my document needs. Only when I need to something that just can't be done in Google Docs, I open MS Word. This is becoming increasingly rare.

I mainly use MS Word to open documents shared by Clients and to check the resumes of candidates which are generally in MS Word format in India.

Google Sheets also have improved a lot over the past year or so.

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