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Word 1981 to 1990 Many concepts and ideas of Word were brought from Bravo, the original GUI word processor developed at Xerox PARC. Bravo's creator Charles Simonyi left Xerox PARC to work for Microsoft in 1981. Simonyi hired Richard Brodie, who had worked with him on Bravo, away from PARC that summer. In 1982, development on what would become Multi-Tool Word began. Microsoft released the program in 1983 for Xenix systems. Word featured a concept of "What You See Is What You Get", or WYSIWYG, and was the first application with such features as the ability to display bold text. Later Microsoft renamed it to Microsoft Word for its first general release was for MS-DOS computers on May 2, 1983. Free demonstration copies of the application were bundled with the November 1983 issue of PC World, making it the first program to be distributed on-disk with a magazine. However, it was not well received, and sales lagged behind those of rival products such as WordPerfect.  Word made full use of the mouse, which was so unusual at the time that Microsoft offered a bundled Word-with-Mouse package. Although MS-DOS was a character-based system, Word for DOS was the first word processor for the IBM PC that showed actual line breaks and typeface markups such as bold and italics directly on the screen while editing, although this was not a true WYSIWYG system because available displays did not have the resolution to show actual typefaces. Other DOS word processors, such as WordStar and WordPerfect, used simple text-only display with markup codes on the screen or sometimes, at the most, alternative colors.  As with most DOS software, each program had its own, often complicated, set of commands for performing functions that had to be learned (for example, in Word for DOS, a file would be saved with the sequence Escape-T-S; the only similar interface belonged to Microsoft's own Multiplan spreadsheet), and as most secretaries had learned how to use WordPerfect, companies were reluctant to switch to a rival product that offered few advantages. Word for Macintosh, despite the major differences in look and feel from the DOS version, was ported by Ken Shapiro with only minor changes from the DOS source code, which had been written with high-resolution displays and laser printers in mind although none were yet available to the general public. After Word for Mac was released in 1985, it gained wide acceptance. There was no Word 2.0 for Macintosh; this was the first attempt to synchronize version numbers across platforms. The second release of Word for Macintosh, named Word 3.0, was shipped in 1987. It included numerous internal enhancements and new features but was plagued with bugs. Within a few months Word 3.0 was superseded by Word 3.01, which was much more stable. All registered users of 3.0 were mailed free copies of 3.01, making this one of Microsoft's most expensive mistakes up to that time. Word 4.0, released in 1989, was a very successful and solid product. Word 1990 to 1995 Microsoft Word 6.0 (Windows 98) Microsoft Word 5.1a (Macintosh)The first version of Word for Windows was released in 1989 at a price of 500 US dollars. With the release of Windows 3.0 the following year, sales began to pick up (Word for Windows 1.0 was designed for use with Windows 3.0, and its performance was poorer with the versions of Windows available when it was first released). The failure of WordPerfect to produce a Windows version proved a fatal mistake. It was version 2.0 of Word, however, that firmly established Microsoft Word as the market leader. After AppleWriter, Word for Macintosh never had any serious rivals, although programs such as Nisus Writer provided features such as non-contiguous selection which were not added until Word 2002 in Office XP. In addition, many users complained that major updates reliably came two years apart; too long for most business users at that time. Word 5.1 for the Macintosh, released in 1991, was a popular word processor due to its elegance, relative ease of use, and feature set. However, version 6.0 for the Macintosh, released in 1994, was widely derided. It was the first version of Word based on a common codebase between the Windows and Mac versions; many accused it of being slow, clumsy and memory intensive. The Windows version was numbered 6.0 to coordinate product naming across platforms, despite the fact that the previous version was Word for Windows 2.0. Word 6.0 was the second attempt to develop a common codebase version of Word. The first, code-named Pyramid, was an attempt to completely rewrite the existing Word product. It was abandoned when it was determined that it would take the development team too long to rewrite and then catch up with all the new capabilities that could have been added in the same time without a rewrite. Proponents of Pyramid claimed it would have been faster, smaller, and more stable than the product that was eventually released for Macintosh, which was compiled using a beta version of Visual C++ 2.0 that targets the Macintosh, so many optimizations have to be turned off (the version 4.2.1 of Office is compiled using the final version), and sometimes use the Windows API simulation library included . Pyramid would have been truly cross- platform, with machine-independent application code and a small mediation layer between the application and the operating system. More recent versions of Word for Macintosh are no longer based on Word for Windows although code is often appropriated from the Windows version for the Macintosh version. Later versions of Word have more capabilities than just word processing. The Drawing tool allows simple desktop publishing operations such as adding graphics to documents. Collaboration, document comparison, multilingual support, translation and many other capabilities have been added over the years. Word 2000 to 2004 File formats Word document formats (.DOC) as of the early 2000s were the de facto standard of document file formats due to their popularity. Though usually just referred to as "Word document format", this term refers primarily to the range of formats used by default in Word version 2-2003. In addition to the default Word binary formats, there are actually a number of optional alternate file formats that Microsoft has used over the years. Rich Text Format (RTF) was an early effort to create a format for interchanging formatted text between applications. RTF remains an optional format for Word that retains most formatting and all content of the original document. Later, after HTML appeared, Word supported an HTML derivative as an additional full-fidelity roundtrip format similar to RTF, with the additional capability that the file could be viewed in a web browser. Word 2007 (currently in beta) uses the new Microsoft Office Open XML format as its default format, but retains the older Word 97-2003 format as an option. It also supports (for output only) PDF and XPS format, which is much like an open-source PDF system. However, due to disagreements with Adobe, the "Save As PDF" feature will only be available as a free download from Microsoft's web site, not included in the box. The document formats of the various versions of Word change in subtle and not so subtle ways; formatting created in newer versions does not always survive when viewed in older versions of the program, nearly always because that capability does not exist in the previous version. Wordart also changed drastically in a recent version causing documents that used it to get messed up when moving in either direction. The DOC format of Word 97 was publicly documented by Microsoft, but later versions have been kept private, available only to partners, governments and institutions. People who don't use MS Office sometimes find it difficult to use a Word document. Various solutions have been created. Since the format is the de-facto standard, many word processors such as AbiWord or OpenOffice.org need file import and export filters for Microsoft Word's document file format to compete. Furthermore, there is Apache Jakarta POI, which is an open-source Java library that aims to read and write Word's binary file. Most of this interoperability is achieved through reverse engineering since documentation of the file format, while available to partners, is not openly available. For the last 10 years Microsoft has also made available free viewer programs for Windows that can read Word documents without a full version of the MS Word software.  The aforementioned Word format is a binary format. Microsoft has stated that they will move towards an XML-based file format for their office applications: Microsoft Office Open XML. Word 2003 has an XML file format as an option using a publicly documented schema called WordprocessingML, endorsed by such institutions as the Danish Government.  It is possible for a user to write a plug-in to allow Word to understand any file format. When Microsoft was not the market leader and Word Perfect was, an SDK was developed to allow advanced users to give support to other formats. This SDK is called the WinWord Converter SDK and is still available at the Microsoft web site, though is not maintained. The "professional" edition of Word 2003 includes the ability to handle non-Microsoft XML data schemas directly in Word. Macros Like other Microsoft Office documents, Word files can be highly customised using a built-in macro language (originally WordBasic, but changed to Visual Basic for Applications as of Word 97). However, this capability can also be used to embed viruses in documents, as was demonstrated by the Melissa worm. Some anti-virus software can detect and clean common macro viruses, and firewalls may prevent worms from transmitting themselves to other systems. The first virus known to affect Microsoft Word documents was called the Concept virus, a relatively harmless virus created to demonstrate the possibility of macro virus creation. Layout issues As of Word 2003 for Windows (and Word 2004 for Macintosh), the program has been unable to handle ligatures defined in TrueType fonts: those ligature glyphs with Unicode codepoints may be inserted manually, but are not recognized by Word for what they are, breaking spellchecking, while custom ligatures present in the font are not accessible at all. Other layout deficiencies of Word include the inability to set crop marks or thin spaces. Various third-party workaround utilities have been developed. Similarly, combining diacritics are handled poorly: Word 2003 has "improved support", but many diacritics are still misplaced, even if a precomposed glyph is present in the font. Additionally, as of Word 2002, Word does automatic font substitution when it finds a character in a document that does not exist in the font specified. It is impossible to deactivate this, making it very difficult to spot when a glyph used is missing from the font in use. In Word 2004 for Macintosh, complex scripts support was inferior even to Word 98, and Word doesn't support Apple Advanced Typography features like ligatures or glyph variants.  Word 2007 Microsoft Word 2007 Beta 2 running on Windows VistaMain article: Microsoft Office 2007 Word 2007, part of the Microsoft Office 2007 suite, is a currently in-development followup to the current Word 2003. This release includes support for a new XML-based file format.
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