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Microsoft Office v. X

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Microsoft Office v. X

Microsoft Office
Developer(s) Microsoft
Initial release November 19, 1990; 23 years ago (1990-11-19)
Stable release

Microsoft Office 2013

15.0.4535.1507 (October 8, 2013; 9 months ago (2013-10-08)) [±]
Development status Active
Written in C++[1]
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Available in 35 languages[2]
Type Office suite
License Trialware (Retail, volume licensing, SaaS)
Microsoft Office for Mac
Developer(s) Microsoft
Initial release August 1, 1989; 25 years ago (1989-08-01)
Stable release 2011 (14.3.8 SP3) / October 8, 2013; 9 months ago (2013-10-08)
Operating system OS X
Type Office suite
License Proprietary commercial software (Retail, volume licensing, SaaS)

Microsoft Office is an office suite of desktop applications, servers and services for the Microsoft Windows and OS X operating systems, introduced by Microsoft on August 1, 1989. Initially a marketing term for a bundled set of applications, the first version of Office contained Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. 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 brand. Office is reported to now be used by over a billion people worldwide.[3]

The current versions are Office 2013 for Windows, released on October 11, 2012;[4] and Office 2011 for OS X, released October 26, 2010.[5] On 24 October 2012, the RTM final code of Office 2013 Professional Plus was released to TechNet and MSDN subscribers for download.[6] On 15 November 2012, the 60-day trial version of Office 2013 Professional Plus was released for download.[7]

A version of Office called Microsoft Office Mobile is available for Android phones, iPhone and Windows Phone.[8]



Main article: Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a word processor and was previously considered 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 supports PDF and a limited ODF.[9] Word is also available in some editions of Microsoft Works. It is available for the Windows and OS X platforms. The first version of Word, released in the autumn of 1983, was for the MS-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 none was required. Following the precedents of LisaWrite and MacWrite, Word for Macintosh attempted to add closer WYSIWYG features into its package. Word for Mac was released in 1985. Word for Mac was the first graphical version of Microsoft Word.


Main article: Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program that originally competed with the dominant Lotus 1-2-3, but eventually outsold it. It is available for the Windows and OS X platforms. Microsoft released the first version of Excel for the Mac OS in 1985, and the first Windows version (numbered 2.05 to line up with the Mac and bundled with a standalone Windows run-time environment) in November 1987.


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+ starting in Office 97, it includes an e-mail client, calendar, task manager and address book.

On the Mac OS, Microsoft offered several versions of Outlook in the late 1990s, but only for use with Microsoft Exchange Server. In Office 2001, it introduced an alternative application with a slightly different feature set called Microsoft Entourage. It reintroduced Outlook in Office 2011, replacing Entourage.[10]


Main article: Microsoft OneNote

Microsoft OneNote is a note-taking and free-form information gathering program, used with both tablet and conventional PCs. It gathers users' notes (handwritten or typed), drawings, screen clippings and audio commentaries. Notes can be shared with other OneNote users over the Internet or a network. Initially introduced as an optional Windows product that was not included in any of Microsoft Office 2003 editions, OneNote became a core component of Microsoft Office. With the release of Microsoft Office 2013, OneNote was included in all Microsoft Office offerings. OneNote is available as a freeware web application on SkyDrive or Office Web Apps, as a Windows desktop application, as a mobile app for Windows Phone, iOS, Android, and Symbians, and as a Metro-style app for Windows 8 or later.


Main article: Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program for Windows and OS X. It is used to create slideshows, composed of text, graphics, and other objects, which can be displayed on-screen and shown by the presenter or printed out on transparencies or slides.

Other desktop applications

Other desktop applications included in Microsoft Office suite include:

The following applications are no longer part of Microsoft Office family:

Server applications

Web services

Common features

Most versions of Microsoft Office (including Office 97 and later) use their own widget set and do not exactly match the native operating system. This is most apparent in Microsoft Office XP and 2003, where the standard menus were replaced with a colored flat looking, shadowed menu style. The user interface of a particular version of Microsoft Office often heavily influences a subsequent version of Microsoft Windows. For example, the toolbar, colored buttons and the gray-colored '3D' look of Office 4.3 were added to Windows 95, and the Ribbon, introduced in Office 2007, has been incorporated into several applications bundled with Windows 7.

Users of Microsoft Office may access external data via connection-specifications saved in "Office Data Connection" (.odc) files.[12]

Both Windows and Office use Service Packs to update software, Office used to release non-cumulative Service Releases, which were discontinued after Office 2000 Service Release 1.

Programs in past versions of Office often contained substantial Easter eggs. For example, Excel 97 contained a reasonably functional flight-simulator. Versions starting with Office XP have not contained any easter eggs in the name of Trustworthy Computing.

File formats and metadata

Microsoft Office prior to Office 2007 used proprietary file formats.[13] This forced users who share data to adopt the same software platform.[14] In 2008, Microsoft made the entire documentation for the binary Office formats freely available for download and granted any possible patents rights for use or implementations of those binary format for free under the Open Specification Promise.[15] Previously, Microsoft had supplied such documentation freely but only on request.

Starting with Office 2007, the default file format has been a version of Office Open XML, though different than the one standardized and published by Ecma International and by ISO/IEC. Microsoft has granted patent rights to the formats technology under the Open Specification Promise[16] and has made available free downloadable converters for previous versions of Microsoft Office including Office 2003, Office XP, Office 2000[17] and Office 2004 for OS X. Third-party implementations of Office Open XML exist on the Windows platform (LibreOffice, all platforms), OS X platform (iWork '08, LibreOffice) and Linux (LibreOffice and 3.0). In addition, Office 2010 and Service Pack 2 for Office 2007 supports the OpenDocument Format (ODF) for opening and saving documents.

Microsoft provides the ability to remove metadata from Office documents. This was in response to highly publicized incidents where sensitive data about a document was leaked via its metadata.[18] Metadata removal was first available in 2004, when Microsoft released a tool called Remove Hidden Data Add-in for Office 2003/XP for this purpose.[19] It was directly integrated into Office 2007 in a feature called the Document Inspector.


A major feature of the Office suite is the ability for users and third party companies to write add-ins (plug-ins) that extend the capabilities of an application by adding custom commands and specialized features. One of the new features is the Office Store.[20] Plugins and other tools can be downloaded by users.[21] Developers can make money by selling their applications in the Office Store. The revenue is divided between the developer and Microsoft where developer gets 80% of the money.[22] Developers are able to share applications with all Office users (who Microsoft says number at 1 billion).[22] One such example of Office app is a heat map for Excel. The app travels with the document, and it's up to the developer what the recipient will see when they open it. They'll either have the option to download the app from the Office Store for free, start a free trial or be directed to payment.[22] With Office's cloud abilities, IT department can create a set of apps for their business employees.[23] When employees go to the Office Store, they'll see their company's apps under My Organization. The apps that employees have personally downloaded will appear under My Apps.[22] Developers can use web technologies like HTML5, XML, CSS3, JavaScript, and APIs for building the apps.[24] An application for Office is a webpage that is hosted inside an Office client application. User can use apps to amplify the functionality of a document, email message, meeting request, or appointment. Apps can run in multiple environments and by multiple clients, including rich Office desktop clients, Office Web Apps, mobile browsers, and also on-premises and in the cloud.[24] The type of add-ins supported differ by Office versions:

Versions available


Microsoft supports Office for the Windows and OS X platforms. Beginning with Mac Office 4.2, the OS X and Windows versions of Office share the same file format, and are interoperable. Visual Basic for Applications support was dropped in Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac,[28] then reintroduced in Office for Mac 2011.[5]

Microsoft tried in the mid-1990s to port Office to RISC processors such as NEC / MIPS and IBM / PowerPC, but they met problems such as memory access being hampered by data structure alignment requirements. Microsoft Word 97 and Excel 97 however did ship for the DEC Alpha platform. Difficulties in porting Office may have been a factor in discontinuing Windows NT on non-Intel platforms.

Stuart Cohen, CEO of Open Source Development Labs, conjectured in 2006 that Microsoft would eventually release a Linux port of Office,[29] but no release was ever published. Other operating systems were only supported by Microsoft Office Mobile, which supports the more popular features of Microsoft Office, and is available for Windows Mobile.

In the "Office for Mac" table, a yellow check mark indicates that compatibility is achieved through either Apple's Mac 68k emulator, Classic Environment or Rosetta.

Office for Windows support dates and supported platforms
Office Windows version Support end date
3.1x NT 3.51 NT 4.0 95 98 2000 ME XP WS 2003 Vista WS 2008 7 8 WS 2012 Mainstream Extended
4.3 ? ?
95 ? ?
SP1 +
SP2 +
SP2 +
SP3 +
SP2 +

SP1 +


SP1 +
Office for Mac support dates and supported platforms
Office 68K PowerPC Intel Support end date
7.08.1 7.1.2 7.58.0 10.1 10.210.4 10.5 10.4 10.510.6 10.710.8
98 [31]
2001 [32]
v. X [33]
2004 [34]
Office 2008 [35]
Office 2011 [36]


In addition to supporting retail sales and site-wide installations, Microsoft offers a "Home Use Program" (HUP) permitting employees of a participating organization access to home-use Microsoft Office products.[37]

Post-secondary students may obtain academic software pricing on a University edition of Microsoft Office 365 subscription. Despite the name, college students are also eligible. It is limited to one user and two devices, plus the subscription price of $79.99 is valid for four years instead of just one. Apart from this, the University edition is identical in features to the Home Premium version. This marks the first time Microsoft does not offer physical or permanent software at academic pricing, in contrast to the University versions of Office 2010 and Office 2011.


On October 15, 2002, Microsoft announced their Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy.[38] Versions earlier than Office 2003 are no longer supported. For current and future versions of Office mainstream support will end five years after release, or two years after the next release, whichever time is later, and extended support will end five years after that.

Discontinued applications and features

Discontinued server applications

Discontinued web services

  • Office Live
    • Office Live Small Business — Web hosting services and online collaboration tools for small businesses.
    • Office Live Workspace — Online storage and collaboration service for documents, superseded by Office Web Apps and SkyDrive
  • Office Live Meeting — Web conferencing service.

Version history

Windows versions

Microsoft Office for Windows

Microsoft Office for Windows[41] started in October 1990 as a bundle of three applications designed for Microsoft Windows 3.0: Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1, Microsoft Excel for Windows 2.0, and Microsoft PowerPoint for Windows 2.0.[42]

Microsoft Office for Windows 1.5 updated the suite with Microsoft Excel 3.0.[43] Version 1.6[44] added Microsoft Mail for PC Networks 2.1 to the bundle.[45]

Microsoft Office 3.0

Microsoft Office 3.0,[46] also called Microsoft Office 92, was released on August 30, 1992 and[47] contained Word 2.0, Excel 4.0, PowerPoint 3.0 and Mail 3.0. It was the first version of Office also released on CD-ROM.[48] In 1993, The Microsoft Office Professional[49] was released, which added Microsoft Access 1.1.[50]

Microsoft Office 4.x

Microsoft Office 4.0 was released containing Word 6.0, Excel 4.0a, PowerPoint 3.0 and Mail in 1993.[51] Word's version number jumped from 2.0 to 6.0 so that it would have the same version number as the MS-DOS and Macintosh versions (Excel and PowerPoint were already numbered the same as the Macintosh versions).

Microsoft Office 4.2 for Windows NT was released in 1994 for i386, Alpha,[52] MIPS and PowerPC [53] architectures, containing Word 6.0 and Excel 5.0 (both 32-bit,[54] PowerPoint 4.0 (16-bit), and Microsoft Office Manager 4.2 (the precursor to the Office Shortcut Bar).

Microsoft Office 4.3 was released as the last 16-bit version, containing Word 6.0, Excel 5.0, PowerPoint 4.0. Office 4.3 (plus Access 2.0 in the Pro version) is 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

Microsoft Office 95 was released on August 24, 1995. Again, the version numbers were altered to create parity across the suite—every program was called version 7.0 meaning all but Word missed out versions. It was designed 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 consisted of Word 7.0, Excel 7.0, PowerPoint 7.0, and Schedule+ 7.0. The professional edition contained all of the items in the standard version plus Access 7.0. If the professional version was purchased in CD-ROM form, it also included Bookshelf.

Microsoft Office 97

Microsoft Office 97 (Office 8.0), was a major milestone release. It included hundreds of new features and improvements, and 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 grammar checking. Office 97 was the first version of Office to include the Office Assistant.

Microsoft Office 2000

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 VBA 6) that were digitally signed from authors who have been previously designated as trusted. Office 2000 is the last version to support Windows 95.

Microsoft Office XP

Microsoft Office XP (Office 10.0 or Office 2002) was released in conjunction with Windows XP, and was a major upgrade with numerous enhancements and changes over Office 2000. Office XP introduced the Safe Mode feature, which 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 faulty add-in. Smart tag is a technology introduced 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. Office XP is the last version to support Windows 98, ME and NT 4.0. It was the first version to require Product Activation as an anti-piracy measure, which attracted widespread controversy.[55]

Microsoft Office 2003

Microsoft Office 2003 (Office 11.0) was released in 2003. It featured 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, Cached Exchange Mode, and an improved junk mail filter. 2003 is the last Office version to support Windows 2000.

Microsoft Office 2007

Microsoft Office 2007 (Office 12.0) was released in 2007. Office 2007's new features include a new graphical user interface called the Fluent User Interface,[56] replacing the menus and toolbars that have been the cornerstone of Office since its inception with a tabbed toolbar, known as the Ribbon; new XML-based file formats called Office Open XML; and the inclusion of Groove, a collaborative software application.[57] It is the last version to support Windows XP and Server 2003 x64 versions due to a lack of Windows Imaging Component for those OSs, which is needed by Office 2010.

Microsoft Office 2010

Microsoft Office 2010 (Office 14.0) was finalized on April 15, 2010, and was made available to consumers on June 15, 2010.[58][59] The main features of Office 2010 include the backstage file menu, new collaboration tools, a customizable ribbon, protected view and a navigation panel. This is the first version to ship in 32-bit and 64-bit variants. Microsoft Office 2010 also features a new logo, which is similar to the 2007 logo, except in gold, and with a slightly modified shape.[60] Service Pack 1 for Office 2010 was released on June 28, 2011.[61]

Microsoft Office 2013

Microsoft Office 2013 (Office 15.0) was made available to consumers on July 16, 2012 as a Customer Preview version. A Milestone 2 build of Microsoft Office 2013 Build 15.0.2703.1000 (version 15) leaked during May 2011. It sports a revamped application interface; the interface is based on Metro, the interface of Windows Phone and Windows 8. Microsoft Outlook has received the most pronounced changes so far; for example, the Metro interface provides a new visualization for scheduled tasks. PowerPoint will include more templates and transition effects, and OneNote will include a new splash screen.[62] On May 16, 2011, new images of Office 15 were revealed, showing Excel with a tool for filtering data in a timeline, the ability to convert Roman numerals to Arabic numerals, and the integration of advanced trigonometric functions. In Word, the capability of inserting video and audio online as well as the broadcasting of documents on the Web were implemented.[63] Microsoft has promised support for Office Open XML Strict starting with version 15, a format Microsoft has submitted to the ISO for interoperability with other office suites, and to aid adoption in the public sector.[64] This version can read and write ODF 1.2.[65]

As of January 30, 2012, Microsoft has released a technical preview of Office 15 Build 15.0.3612.1010 . A public preview of Office 15 was released on July 16, 2012.[66]

On 24 October 2012, the RTM final code of Office 2013 Professional Plus has been released to TechNet and MSDN subscribers for download.[6]

On 15 November 2012, the 60 days trial version of Office 2013 Professional Plus has been released to everyone for download.[7]

Mac OS versions

Prior to packaging its various office-type Mac OS 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.[67] 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.[68][69] However, Microsoft Office for Mac has been long criticized for its lack of support of Unicode and right-to-left languages, notably Persian, Arabic and Hebrew.[70][71]

Microsoft Office for Mac

Microsoft Office for Mac was introduced for Mac OS in 1989, before Office was released for Windows.[72] It included Word 4.0, Excel 2.2, PowerPoint 2.01, and Mail 1.37.[73] It was originally a limited-time promotion but later became a regular product. With the release of Office on CD-ROM later that year, Microsoft became the first major Mac publisher to put its applications on CD-ROM.[74]

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.[67]

Microsoft Office 3.0 for Mac

Microsoft Office 3.0 for Mac was released in 1992. It included Word 5.0, Excel 4.0, and PowerPoint 3.0. Excel 4.0 was the first application to support the new AppleScript.[67]

Microsoft Office 4.2 for Mac

Microsoft Office 4.2 for Mac was released in 1994. (Version 4.0 was skipped to synchronize version numbers with Office for Windows.) Version 4.2 included Word 6.0, Excel 5.0, PowerPoint 4.0, and Mail 3.2.[75] It was the first Office suite for the Power Macintosh.[67] Its user interface was identical to Office 4.2 for Windows,[76] leading many customers to comment that it wasn't Mac-like enough.[68] The final release for Mac 68K was Office 4.2.1, which updated Word to version 6.0.1, somewhat improving its performance.

Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition

Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition was unveiled at MacWorld Expo/San Francisco in 1998. It introduced the Internet Explorer 4.0 web browser and Outlook Express, an Internet e-mail client and usenet newsgroup reader.[77] Office 98 was re-engineered by Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit to satisfy customers' desire for software they felt was more Mac-like.[68] It included drag–and-drop installation, self-repairing applications and Quick Thesaurus, before such features were available in Office for Windows. It also was the first version to support QuickTime movies.[68]

Microsoft Office 2001

Microsoft Office 2001 launched in 2000, was the last Office suite for the classic Mac OS; 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.[69]

Microsoft Office v. X

Microsoft Office v. X was released in 2001 and was the first version of Microsoft Office for Mac OS X.[78] Support for Office v. X ended on January 9, 2007 after the release of the final update, 10.1.9[79] Office v.X includes Word X, Excel X, PowerPoint X, Entourage X, MSN Messenger for Mac and Windows Media Player 9 for Mac; it was the last version of Office for Mac to include Internet Explorer for Mac.[80]

Office v. X requires:

  • G3, G4, G5, (or Intel under Rosetta) Mac OS X compatible processor or faster
  • Mac OS X version 10.1 - 10.6.8, not 10.7 or 10.8
  • 128 MB RAM
  • 196 MB of available hard disk space for a default installation

Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac

Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac was released on 11 May 2004.[81] It includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Entourage and Virtual PC.

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac was released on 15 January 2008. It was the first Office for Mac suite that was a universal binary, running natively on both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs, and it supported Office Open XML file formats first introduced in Office 2007 for Windows.[67] Five months after it was released, Microsoft said 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."[82]

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 was released on October 26, 2010,[5] and features an OS X version of Outlook to replace the Entourage email client. This version of Outlook is intended to make the OS X version of Office work better with Microsoft's Exchange server and with those using Office for Windows.[83] Office 2011 includes a Mac-based Ribbon similar to Office for Windows.

Password protection

Main article: Microsoft Office password protection


External links

  • Microsoft Office | Official website
  • Visual history of Office versions

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