Access the NEW Basecamp Support Portal

Microsoft Word

« Back to Glossary Index

History and Origins of Microsoft Word
– Microsoft Word was first released on October 25, 1983, under the name ‘Multi-Tool Word’ for Xenix systems.
– It was later written for other platforms including IBM PCs running DOS, Apple Macintosh running the Classic Mac OS, AT&T UNIX PC, Atari ST, OS/2, Microsoft Windows, SCO Unix, macOS, Web browsers, iOS, and Android.
– Word for Mac OS had higher sales than its MS-DOS counterpart for at least four years.
– Word for Windows was released in 1989 and became the market leader for word processors for IBM PC-compatible computers.
– Microsoft Word 5.5 for DOS was made available for free downloads due to the Year 2000 problem.
– Charles Simonyi, the primary developer of Bravo, the first GUI word processor, was hired by Microsoft in 1981.
– Simonyi started work on a word processor called ‘Multi-Tool Word’ and hired Richard Brodie as the primary software engineer.
– Microsoft announced Multi-Tool Word for Xenix and MS-DOS in 1983.
– The name was soon simplified to ‘Microsoft Word’.
– Free demonstration copies of Word were bundled with the November 1983 issue of PC World, making it the first to be distributed on-disk with a magazine.

Word for Mac OS
– Word for Mac OS was released in 1985 and had features like WYSIWYG and unlimited undo operations.
– Word 3.0 for Mac OS included the first implementation of the Rich Text Format (RTF) specification.
– Word 5.1 for Mac OS, released in 1992, was highly regarded as the best version of Word for Mac OS.
– Word for Mac OS never had any serious rivals after MacWrite Pro was discontinued.
– Subsequent versions of Word for macOS are a mixture of ported code and native code.

Word for Windows
– Word for Windows is available stand-alone or as part of the Microsoft Office suite.
– Word 6 for Windows NT was the first 32-bit version, released with Microsoft Office for Windows NT.
– Word 2007 introduced a redesigned user interface that emphasized the most common controls.
– Word files are commonly used for sending text documents via email.
– Each release of Word after Word 95 is named after the year of its release.

Licensing and Availability
– Commercial versions of Word are licensed as a standalone product or as part of Microsoft 365.
– Microsoft Word is available for macOS, iOS, Windows 10, and later, and Windows 10 Mobile.
– Word for iOS and Word Mobile for Windows 10 have freemium licenses.
– Microsoft Word is developed by Microsoft Corporation.
– More information about Microsoft Word can be found on the Microsoft Office website.

Updates and Features
– Ribbon interface introduced in Excel, PowerPoint, and Access 2007 and later introduced in other Office applications with Office 2010.
– Word 2007 allows saving documents as Adobe Acrobat or XPS files and ability to upload Word documents as blog posts on platforms like WordPress.
– Word 2019 introduced dictation function and Word 2021 added co-authoring feature.
– Word 2021 also included a visual refresh on start experience and tabs, automatic cloud saving, dark mode, line focus, updated draw tab, and support for ODF 1.3.
– Evolution of Word for Mac includes Word X, Word 2004, Word 2008, Word 2011, and Word 2001.

Microsoft Word (Wikipedia)

Microsoft Word is a word processor developed by Microsoft. It was first released on October 25, 1983, under the name Multi-Tool Word for Xenix systems. Subsequent versions were later written for several other platforms including: IBM PCs running DOS (1983), Apple Macintosh running the Classic Mac OS (1985), AT&T UNIX PC (1985), Atari ST (1988), OS/2 (1989), Microsoft Windows (1989), SCO Unix (1990), macOS (2001), Web browsers (2010), iOS (2014) and Android (2015). Using Wine, versions of Microsoft Word before 2013 can be run on Linux.

Microsoft Word
Initial releaseOctober 25, 1983; 40 years ago (1983-10-25) (as Multi-Tool Word)
Stable release
2209 (16.0.15629.20208) / October 11, 2022; 14 months ago (2022-10-11)
Written inC++ (back-end)
Operating system
Office 365 only
PlatformIA-32, x64, Arm, Arm64
TypeWord processor
Microsoft Word for Mac
Stable release
16.64 (Build 22081401) / August 16, 2022; 16 months ago (2022-08-16)
Written inC++ (back-end), Objective-C (API/UI)
Operating systemmacOS
TypeWord processor
LicenseProprietary software plus services
Microsoft Word for Android
Developer(s)Microsoft Corporation
Initial releaseJanuary 29, 2015; 8 years ago (2015-01-29)
Stable release
16.0.16529.20146 / July 8, 2023; 5 months ago (2023-07-08)
Operating systemAndroid Pie or later
LicenseProprietary commercial software
Microsoft Word for iOS
Developer(s)Microsoft Corporation
Initial releaseMarch 27, 2014; 9 years ago (2014-03-27)
Stable release
2.78 / October 9, 2023; 2 months ago (2023-10-09)
Operating systemiOS 15 or later
IPadOS 15 or later
LicenseProprietary, freemium
Word Mobile for Windows 10
Operating systemWindows 10 and later, Windows 10 Mobile
TypeWord processor

Commercial versions of Word are licensed as a standalone product or as a component of Microsoft 365 suite of software, which can be purchased either with a perpetual license or as part of a Microsoft 365 subscription, respectively.

« Back to Glossary Index

Request an article

Please let us know what you were looking for and our team will not only create the article but we'll also email you to let you know as soon as it's been published.
Most articles take 1-2 business days to research, write, and publish.
Content/Article Request Form

Submit your RFP

We can't wait to read about your project. Use the form below to submit your RFP!
Request for Proposal

Contact and Business Information

Provide details about how we can contact you and your business.

Quote Request Details

Provide some information about why you'd like a quote.