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Microsoft Office - Wikipedia
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Microsoft Office is an office suite of applications, servers, and services developed by Microsoft. It was first announced by Bill Gates on 1 August 1988, at COMDEX in Las Vegas. 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 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. On 10 July 2012, Softpedia reported that Office is used by over a billion people worldwide.[5]

Office is produced in several versions targeted towards different end-users and computing environments. The original, and most widely used version, is the desktop version, available for PCs running the Windows and macOS operating systems. The most current desktop version is Office 2016 for Windows and macOS, released on 22 September 2015[6] and 9 July 2015,[7] respectively.

More recently, Microsoft developed Office Mobile, which are free-to-use versions of Office applications for mobile devices. Microsoft also produces and runs Office Online, a web-based version of core Office apps, which is included as part of a Microsoft account.


  • 1 Desktop components
    • 1.1 Word
    • 1.2 Excel
    • 1.3 PowerPoint
    • 1.4 Access
    • 1.5 Outlook
    • 1.6 OneNote
    • 1.7 Sway
    • 1.8 Other desktop applications
    • 1.9 Mobile apps
    • 1.10 Server applications
    • 1.11 Web services
  • 2 Office Mobile
  • 3 Common features
  • 4 File formats and metadata
  • 5 Extensibility
  • 6 Password protection
  • 7 Versions
    • 7.1 Compatibility
    • 7.2 Licensing
    • 7.3 Support
  • 8 Discontinued applications and features
    • 8.1 Discontinued server applications
    • 8.2 Discontinued web services
  • 9 Criticism
  • 10 Version history
    • 10.1 Windows versions
      • 10.1.1 Microsoft Office for Windows
      • 10.1.2 Microsoft Office 3.0
      • 10.1.3 Microsoft Office 4.x
      • 10.1.4 Microsoft Office 95 and 97
      • 10.1.5 Microsoft Office 2000 to 2003
      • 10.1.6 Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010
      • 10.1.7 Microsoft Office 2013
      • 10.1.8 Microsoft Office 2016
    • 10.2 Mac versions
      • 10.2.1 Early Office for Mac releases (1989–1994)
      • 10.2.2 Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition
      • 10.2.3 Microsoft Office 2001 and v. X
      • 10.2.4 Office 2004
      • 10.2.5 Office 2008
      • 10.2.6 Office 2011
      • 10.2.7 OneNote and Outlook release (2014)
      • 10.2.8 Office 2016
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links

Desktop components[edit]


Main article: Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a word processor available for Windows and macOS (formerly known as OS X). Word is also included in some editions of the now discontinued Microsoft Works. 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.

Its proprietary Doc format is a de facto standard,[citation needed] although Word 2007 deprecated this format in favor of Office Open XML, which was later standardized by Ecma International as an open format. Support for Portable Document Format (PDF) and OpenDocument (ODF) was first introduced in Word for Windows with Service Pack 2 for Word 2007.[8]


Main article: Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program that originally competed with the dominant Lotus 1-2-3, and eventually outsold it. It is available for the Windows and macOS 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.


Main article: Microsoft PowerPoint

Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program for Windows and macOS. 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.


Main article: Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access is a database management system for Windows that combines the relational Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software-development tools. Microsoft Access stores data in its own format based on the Access Jet Database Engine. It can also import or link directly to data stored in other applications and databases.[9]


Main articles: Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Entourage

Microsoft Outlook (not to be confused with Outlook Express) is a personal information manager. 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 freeware notetaking program. It gathers notes (handwritten or typed), drawings, screen clippings and audio commentaries. Notes can be shared with other OneNote users over the Internet or a network. OneNote was initially introduced as a standalone app that was not included in any of Microsoft Office 2003 editions. However, OneNote eventually became a core component of Microsoft Office; with the release of Microsoft Office 2013, OneNote was included in all Microsoft Office offerings before eventually becoming completely free of charge. OneNote is available as a web application on Office Online, a Windows desktop app, a mobile app for Windows Phone, iOS, Android, and Symbian, and a Metro-style app for Windows 8 or later.


Main article: Office Sway

Microsoft Sway is a presentation app that allows users to create an interactive website combining text, images, and other media. Sway was originally released in August 2015. Sway is tied with the user's Microsoft account, where the Sways that the user creates are stored. Sway is available as a web app or mobile app and is included with Windows 10.

Other desktop applications[edit]

Other desktop applications included in Microsoft Office suite include:

  • Microsoft Publisher: desktop publishing app mostly used for designing brochures, labels, calendars, greeting cards, business cards, newsletters, web site, and postcards
  • Skype for Business: integrated communications client for conferences and meetings in real time (known as Microsoft Office Communicator in Office 2007 and as Microsoft Lync until 2015 when Microsoft acquired Skype).
  • Microsoft Project: project management software to keep track of events and to create network charts and Gantt charts, not bundled in any Office suite
  • Microsoft Visio: diagram and flowcharting program not bundled in any Office suite
  • Microsoft SharePoint Designer: a specialized HTML editor for Windows that develops SharePoint sites, now part of Microsoft SharePoint family and offered as an independent freeware download

Mobile apps[edit]

  • Office Lens: An image scanner optimized for mobile devices. It captures the document (e.g. business card, paper, whiteboard) via the camera and then straightens the document portion of the image. The result can be exported to Word, OneNote, PowerPoint or Outlook, or saved in OneDrive, sent via Mail or placed in Photo Library.
  • Office Remote: Turns the mobile device into a remote control for desktop versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Server applications[edit]

  • Microsoft SharePoint: collaboration server
    • Excel Services
    • InfoPath Forms Services
    • Microsoft Project Server: project management server
    • Microsoft Search Server
  • Microsoft Lync Server (formerly Office Communications Server and Live Communications Server) – real time communications server

Web services[edit]

  • Microsoft Office Online
    • Word Online: Free web app version of Microsoft Word
    • Excel Online: Free web app version of Microsoft Excel
    • PowerPoint Online: Free web app version of Microsoft PowerPoint
    • OneNote Online: Free web app version of Microsoft OneNote
    • Free webmail with a user interface similar to Microsoft Outlook and Mail on Windows 10
    • People: Address book web app that integrates with
    • Calendar: Calendaring web app that integrates with
    • A place where Office users can discover, upload and share Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Sway and PDF files on their profile page
    • OneDrive: A file hosting service that allows users to sync files and later access them from a web browser or mobile device.
    • Sway: A presentation web app in preview status released in October 2014. It also has a native app for iOS and Windows 10.
  • Delve: Allows Office 365 users to search and manage their emails, meetings, contacts, social networks and documents stored on OneDrive or Sites in Office 365.
  • Forms: A web-based online survey creator, available for Office 365 Education subscribers
  • Outlook on the web: Similar to but more comprehensive and available only through Office 365 and Microsoft Exchange Server offerings.
  • Planner: A planning application available on the Microsoft Office 365 platform.
  • Video: This video application works similar to Google's YouTube for enterprise users; the application, however, works exclusively with Microsoft Office 365 Academic or Enterprise editions

Office Mobile[edit]

Main article: Microsoft Office Mobile

Office Mobile includes the scaled-down and touch-optimised versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Other Office applications such as OneNote, Lync and Outlook are available as standalone apps.[11] It is supported on Android, iOS, Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile.

Office Mobile enables users to save and access documents on OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint. Additionally, the Windows Phone version also allows users to save files locally on the device. According to Microsoft, Office Mobile for iPhone and Android are "very similar" to each other, whereas the Windows Phone version provides a "richer, more integrated experience".[12]

Office Mobile for iPhone was released on 14 June 2013 in the United States.[13] Support for 135 markets and 27 languages was rolled out over a few days.[14] It requires iOS 8 or later.[15] Although the app also works on iPad devices, excluding the first generation, it is designed for a small screen.[13] Office Mobile was released for Android phones on 31 July 2013 in the United States. Support for 117 markets and 33 languages was added gradually over several weeks.[12] It is supported on Android 4.0 and later.[16] Office Mobile for both iPhone and Android, available for free from the App Store and Google Play Store respectively, initially required a qualifying Office 365 subscription to activate, but in March 2014, with the release of Office for iPad, the apps were updated making them fully free for home use, although a subscription is still required for business use.[17][18][19][20]

On 27 March 2014, Microsoft released Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad. On 6 November 2014, Microsoft released updated versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPhone.[21]

On 29 January 2015, Microsoft released Word, Excel and PowerPoint for Android tablets. On 24 June 2015, Microsoft released updated versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint for Android phones.[22] The Android version is also supported on certain Chrome OS machines.[23]

In January 2015, Microsoft unveiled updated universal app versions of the Office applications for Windows 10 devices—including PCs, tablets and smartphones—that are based upon the previously released Android and iOS apps.[24][25]

Office Mobile is or was also available, though no longer supported, on Windows Mobile, Windows Phone and Symbian. There is also Office RT, a touch-optimized version of the standard desktop Office suite, pre-installed on Windows RT.[26]

Common features[edit]

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 programs bundled with Windows 7 and later. In 2012, Office 2013 replicated the flat, box-like design of Windows 8.

Users of Microsoft Office may access external data via connection-specifications saved in Office Data Connection (.odc) files.[27]

Both Windows and Office use service packs to update software. Office had non-cumulative service releases, which were discontinued after Office 2000 Service Release 1.

Past versions of Office often contained Easter eggs. For example, Excel 97 contained a reasonably functional flight-simulator. Office XP and later do not have any Easter eggs, in compliance with Trustworthy Computing guidelines.

File formats and metadata[edit]

Microsoft Office prior to Office 2007 used proprietary file formats based on the OLE Compound File Binary Format.[28] This forced users who share data to adopt the same software platform.[29] 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.[30][31] Previously, Microsoft had supplied such documentation freely but only on request.[32]

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[33] and has made available free downloadable converters for previous versions of Microsoft Office including Office 2003, Office XP, Office 2000[34] and Office 2004 for Mac OS X. Third-party implementations of Office Open XML exist on the Windows platform (LibreOffice, all platforms), macOS 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 on Windows (Microsoft Office for Mac has never included ODF support).

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.[35] 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.[36] 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.[37]Plugins and other tools can be downloaded by users.[38] Developers can make money by selling their applications in the Office Store. The revenue is divided between the developer and Microsoft where the developer gets 80% of the money.[39] Developers are able to share applications with all Office users.[39]

The app travels with the document, and it is for the developer to decide what the recipient will see when they open it. The recipient will either have the option to download the app from the Office Store for free, start a free trial or be directed to payment.[39] With Office's cloud abilities, IT department can create a set of apps for their business employees in order to increase their productivity.[40] 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.[39] Developers can use web technologies like HTML5, XML, CSS3, JavaScript, and APIs for building the apps.[41] 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.[41] The type of add-ins supported differ by Office versions:

  • Office 97 onwards (standard Windows DLLs i.e. Word WLLs and Excel XLLs)
  • Office 2000 onwards (COM add-ins)[42]
  • Office XP onwards (COM/OLE Automation add-ins)[43]
  • Office 2003 onwards (Managed code add-ins – VSTO solutions)[44]

Password protection[edit]

Main article: Microsoft Office password protection

Microsoft Office has security feature which allows users to encrypt Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) documents with user provided password. User password can contain up to 255 characters and uses AES 128-bit advanced encryption by default.[45] Passwords can also be used to restrict modification of the entire document, worksheet or presentation. Due to lack of document encryption, though, these passwords can be removed using a third-party cracking software.[46]



Microsoft supports Office for the Windows and macOS platforms, as well as mobile versions for Windows Phone, Android and iOS platforms. Beginning with Mac Office 4.2, the macOS 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,[47] then reintroduced in Office for Mac 2011.[48]

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.[49]

Stuart Cohen, CEO of Open Source Development Labs, conjectured in 2006 that Microsoft would eventually release a Linux port of Office,[50] which occurred via Microsoft Office Mobile for Android phones (OS 4.0 or later) in 2013 and tablets (OS 4.4 or later) in 2015. Office is also available for iOS, another Unix-like platform. Office for Windows Phone and the older Windows Mobile are distinguished from Windows NT versions.

List of Office versions, the operating systems on which they run, and their support end dates Office version Version number Minimum operating systemOffice support end date Mainstream Extended
2016 16.0 Windows
(Client versions)
7 SP1[51] Current stable version: 13 October 2020[52] Current stable version: 14 October 2025[52]
2013 15.0 7[53] Older version, yet still supported: 10 April 2018 Older version, yet still supported: 11 April 2023
2013 RT 15.0 Windows RT only Older version, yet still supported: 10 April 2018[citation needed] Older version, yet still supported: 10 April 2023[citation needed]
2010 14.0 XP SP3 or Vista SP1[54] Old version, no longer supported: 13 October 2015 Older version, yet still supported: 13 October 2020
2007 12.0 XP SP2[55] Old version, no longer supported: 9 October 2012[56] Older version, yet still supported: 10 October 2017[56]
2003 11.0 2000 SP3 or XP[57] Old version, no longer supported: 14 April 2009 Old version, no longer supported: 8 April 2014
XP 10.0 98 or NT 4 SP6a [58][59] Old version, no longer supported: 11 July 2006[60] Old version, no longer supported: 12 July 2011[60]
2000 9.0 95 or NT 4 SP3[61] Old version, no longer supported: 30 June 2004 Old version, no longer supported: 14 July 2009
97 8.0 NT 3.51, NT 4.0, 95, 98 Old version, no longer supported: 31 August 2001 Old version, no longer supported: 28 February 2002
95 7.0 NT 3.51, NT 4.0, 95 Old version, no longer supported: 31 December 2001[62] N/A[62]
4 (mixed numbering) 3.1 Unknown Unknown
2016 for Mac 15.0 OS X 10.10, 10.11 Current stable version: 13 October 2020[63] N/A[63]
2016 for Mac
(OneNote and Outlook only)
15.0 10.9 Older version, yet still supported: 13 October 2020 (Outlook)[64] N/A[64]
2011 for Mac
14.0 10.5 (Intel) – 10.11 Older version, yet still supported: 10 October 2017[65] N/A[65]
2008 for Mac 12.0 10.4, 10.5 (PPC) Old version, no longer supported: 9 April 2013[66] N/A[66]
2004 for Mac 11.0 10.2, 10.3 Old version, no longer supported: 10 January 2012[67] N/A[67]
v. X 10.0 10.1 Old version, no longer supported: 9 January 2007[68] N/A[68]
2001 9.0 Classic Mac OS 8.1 – 9.2.2 (PPC) Old version, no longer supported: 31 December 2005[69] N/A[69]
98 Macintosh Edition 8.0 7.5 – 8.0 (PPC) Old version, no longer supported: 30 June 2003[70] N/A[70]
4.2.1 7.0 7.0 – 8.1 (68K) Old version, no longer supported: 31 December 1996 N/A
for Word, Excel, PowerPoint
15.0 Android KitKat Based on Office 365 subscription
for Word, Excel, PowerPoint
iOS iOS 8 Based on Office 365 subscription


Microsoft Office is licensed through retail, volume licensing and software as a service channels. Volume licensing includes OEM licenses for bundling Microsoft Office with personal computers and Microsoft Software Assurance. The software as a service channel is called Microsoft Office 365 which was started on 28 June 2011.

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.[71]

Post-secondary students may obtain the 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 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. In addition, students eligible for DreamSpark program may receive select standalone Microsoft Office apps free of charge.


On 15 October 2012, Microsoft announced their Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy.[72] Versions earlier than Office 2007 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[edit]

  • Microsoft Binder – Incorporates several documents into one file and was originally designed as a container system for storing related documents in a single file. The complexity of use and learning curve led to little usage, and it was discontinued after Office XP.
  • Microsoft FrontPage – a WYSIWYG HTML editor and website administration tool for Windows. It was branded as part of the Microsoft Office suite from 1997 to 2003. FrontPage was discontinued in December 2006 and replaced by Microsoft SharePoint Designer and Microsoft Expression Web.
  • Microsoft InfoPath – Windows application for designing and distributing rich XML-based forms. Last version was included in Office 2013.[73]
  • Microsoft Mail – Mail client (in old versions of Office, later replaced by Microsoft Schedule Plus and subsequently Microsoft Outlook).
  • Microsoft Office Accounting
  • Microsoft Office Document Image Writer – a virtual printer that takes documents from Microsoft Office or any other application and prints them, or stores them in an image file as TIFF or Microsoft Document Imaging Format format. It was discontinued with Office 2010.[74]
  • Microsoft Office Document Imaging – an application that supports editing scanned documents. Discontinued with Office 2010.[74]
  • Microsoft Office Document Scanning – a scanning and OCR application. Discontinued with Office 2010.[74]
  • Microsoft PhotoDraw 2000 – A graphics program that was first released as part of the Office 2000 Premium Edition. A later version for Windows XP compatibility was released, known as PhotoDraw 2000 Version 2. Microsoft discontinued the program in 2001.
  • Microsoft Photo Editor – Photo-editing/raster-graphics software in older Office versions up to Office XP. It was supplemented by Microsoft PhotoDraw in Office 2000 Premium edition.
  • Microsoft Schedule Plus – Released with Office 95. It featured a planner, to-do list, and contact information. Its functions were incorporated into Microsoft Outlook.
  • Microsoft Virtual PC – Included with Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2004 for Mac. Microsoft discontinued support for Virtual PC on the Mac in 2006 owing to new Macs possessing the same Intel architecture as Windows PCs.[75] It emulated a standard PC and its hardware.
  • Microsoft Vizact 2000 – A program that "activated" documents using HTML, adding effects such as animation. It allows users to create dynamic documents for the Web. Development has ended due to unpopularity.
  • Microsoft Data Analyzer 2002 – A business intelligence program for graphical visualization of data and its analysis.
  • Office Assistant, included since Office 97 (Windows) and Office 98 (Mac) as a part of Microsoft Agent technology, is a system that uses animated characters to offer context-sensitive suggestions to users and access to the help system. The Assistant is often dubbed "Clippy" or "Clippit", due to its default to a paper clip character, coded as CLIPPIT.ACS. The latest versions that include the Office Assistant were Office 2003 (Windows) and Office 2004 (Mac).
  • Microsoft SharePoint Workspace (formerly known as Microsoft Office Groove) – a proprietary peer-to-peer document collaboration software designed for teams with members who are regularly offline or who do not share the same network security clearance.
  • 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
  • Microsoft Entourage

Discontinued server applications[edit]

  • Microsoft Office Forms Server – Lets users use any browser to access and fill InfoPath forms. 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 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

Discontinued web services[edit]

  • 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 Online
  • Office Live Meeting – Web conferencing service


Microsoft Office has been criticized in the past for using proprietary file formats rather than open standards, which forces users who share data into adopting the same software platform.[76] However, on February 15, 2008, Microsoft made the entire documentation for the binary Office formats freely available under the Open Specification Promise.[77] Also, Office Open XML, the document format for the latest versions of Office for Windows and Mac, has been standardized under both Ecma International and ISO. Ecma International has published the Office Open XML specification free of copyrights and Microsoft has granted patent rights to the formats technology under the Open Specification Promise[78] and has made available free downloadable converters for previous versions of Microsoft Office including Office 2003, Office XP, Office 2000 and Office 2004 for the Mac. Third-party implementations of Office Open XML exist on the Mac platform (iWork 08) and Linux ( 2.3 - Novell Edition only).

Another point of criticism Microsoft Office has faced was the lack of support in its Mac versions for Unicode and Bi-directional text languages, notably Arabic and Hebrew. This issue, which had existed since the first release in 1989, was only addressed in the 2016 version.[79][80]

Version history[edit]

Main article: History of Microsoft Office

Windows versions[edit]

Microsoft Office 4.0, inside Windows 3.1

Microsoft Office for Windows[edit]

Microsoft Office for Windows[81] 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.[82]

Microsoft Office for Windows 1.5 updated the suite with Microsoft Excel 3.0.[83]

Version 1.6[84] added Microsoft Mail for PC Networks 2.1 to the bundle.[85]

Microsoft Office 3.0[edit]

Microsoft Office 3.0,[86] also called Microsoft Office 92, was released on 30 August 1992 and[87] 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.[88] In 1993, The Microsoft Office Professional[89] was released, which added Microsoft Access 1.1.[90]

Microsoft Office 4.x[edit]

Microsoft Office 4.0 was released containing Word 6.0, Excel 4.0a, PowerPoint 3.0 and Mail in 1993.[91] 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,[92] MIPS and PowerPC[93] architectures, containing Word 6.0 and Excel 5.0 (both 32-bit,[94] PowerPoint 4.0 (16-bit), and Microsoft Office Manager 4.2 (the precursor to the Office Shortcut Bar)).

Microsoft Office 95 and 97[edit]

Microsoft Office 95 was released on 24 August 1995. Software version numbers were altered again 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 Microsoft Access 7.0. If the professional version was purchased in CD-ROM form, it also included Bookshelf.[citation needed]

The logo used in Office 95 returns in Office 97, 2000 and XP. Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition also uses a similar logo.

Microsoft Office 97 (Office 8.0) included hundreds of new features and improvements, such as introducing 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. In Brazil, it was also the first version to introduce the Registration Wizard, a precursor to Microsoft Product Activation.

Microsoft Office 2000 to 2003[edit]

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. The Registration Wizard, a precursor to Microsoft Product Activation, remained in Brazil and was also extended to Australia and New Zealand, though not for volume-licensed editions. Academic software in the United States and Canada also featured the Registration Wizard.

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 by bypassing a corrupted registry or a faulty add-in. Smart tag is a technology introduced with Office XP in Word and Excel and discontinued in Office 2010. Office XP includes integrated voice command and text dictation capabilities, as well as handwriting recognition. It was the first version to require Microsoft Product Activation worldwide and in all editions as an anti-piracy measure, which attracted widespread controversy.[95] Product Activation remained absent from Office for Mac releases until it became introduced in Office 2011 for Mac..

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 new, more colorful icons. Outlook 2003 provides improved functionality in many areas, including Kerberos authentication, RPC over HTTP, Cached Exchange Mode, and an improved junk mail filter.

Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010[edit]

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,[96] 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.[97]

Microsoft Office 2010 (Office 14.0, because Microsoft skipped 13.0[98]) was finalized on 15 April 2010 and made available to consumers on 15 June 2010.[99][100] 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 featured a new logo, which resembled the 2007 logo, except in gold, and with a modification in shape.[101]

Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Office 2010 on 28 June 2011.[102]

Microsoft Office 2013[edit]

A technical preview of Office 2013 (Build 15.0.3612.1010) was released on 30 January 2012, and a Customer Preview version was made available to consumers on 16 July 2012.[103] 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 includes more templates and transition effects, and OneNote includes a new splash screen.[104] On 16 May 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.[105] 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.[106] This version can read and write ODF 1.2 (Windows only).[107]

On 24 October 2012, Office 2013 Professional Plus was released to manufacturing and was made available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers for download.[108] On 15 November 2012, the 60-day trial version was released for public download.[109]

Microsoft Office 2016[edit]

Main article: Microsoft Office 2016

On 22 January 2015, the Microsoft Office blog announced that the next version of the suite for Windows desktop, Office 2016, was in development. On 4 May 2015, a public preview of Microsoft Office 2016 was released.[24][25][110] Office 2016 was released for OS X on 9 July 2015[7] and for Windows on 22 September 2015.[6]

Mac versions[edit]

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.[111] 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.[112][113] However, Microsoft Office for Mac has been long criticized for its lack of support of Unicode and for its lack of support for right-to-left languages, notably Arabic, Hebrew and Persian.[114][115]

Early Office for Mac releases (1989–1994)[edit]

Microsoft Office for Mac was introduced for Mac OS in 1989, before Office was released for Windows.[116] It included Word 4.0, Excel 2.2, PowerPoint 2.01, and Mail 1.37. 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.

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.[111]

Microsoft Office 3.0 for Mac was released in 1992. It included Word 5.0, Excel 4.0, PowerPoint 3.0 and Mail Client. Excel 4.0 was the first application to support the new AppleScript.[111]

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. It was the first Office suite for the Power Macintosh.[111] Its user interface was identical to Office 4.2 for Windows, leading many customers to comment that it wasn't Mac-like enough.[112] 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[edit]

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.[121] Office 98 was re-engineered by Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit to satisfy customers' desire for software they felt was more Mac-like.[112] 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.[112]

Microsoft Office 2001 and v. X[edit]

Microsoft Office v. X box art

Microsoft Office 2001 was launched in 2000 as the last Office suite for the classic Mac OS. It required a PowerPC processor. This version introduced Entourage, an e-mail client that included information management tools such as a calendar, an address book, task lists and notes.[113]

Microsoft Office v. X was released in 2001 and was the first version of Microsoft Office for Mac OS X.[122] Support for Office v. X ended on 9 January 2007 after the release of the final update, 10.1.9[123] 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.[124]

Office 2004[edit]

Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac was released on 11 May 2004.[125] It includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Entourage and Virtual PC. It is the final version of Office to be built exclusively for PowerPC and to officially support G3 processors, as its sequel lists a G4, G5 or Intel processor as a requirement. It was notable for supporting Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), which is unavailable in Office 2008. This led Microsoft to extend support for Office 2004 from September 10, 2009 to January 10, 2012. VBA functionality was reintroduced in Office 2011, which is only compatible with Intel processors.

Office 2008[edit]

Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac was released on 15 January 2008. It was the only Office for Mac suite to be compiled as an universal binary, being the first to feature native Intel support and the last to feature PowerPC support for G4 and G5 processors, although the suite is unofficially compatible with G3 processors. New features include native Office Open XML file format support, which debuted in Office 2007 for Windows,[111] and stronger Microsoft Office password protection employing AES-128 and SHA-1. Benchmarks suggested that compared to its predecessor, Office 2008 ran at similar speeds on Intel machines and slower speeds on PowerPC machines.[126] Office 2008 also lacked Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) support, leaving it with only 15 months of additional mainstream support compared to its predecessor. Nevertheless, 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."[127]

Office 2011[edit]

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 was released on 26 October 2010,.[48] It is the first version of Office for Mac to be compiled exclusively for Intel processors, dropping support for the PowerPC architecture. It 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.[128] Office 2011 includes a Mac-based Ribbon similar to Office for Windows.

OneNote and Outlook release (2014)[edit]

Microsoft OneNote for Mac was released on 17 March 2014. It marks the company's first release of the note-taking software on the Mac. It is available as a free download to all users of the Mac App Store in OS X Mavericks.[129]

Microsoft Outlook 2016 for Mac debuted on 31 October 2014. It requires a paid Office 365 subscription, meaning that traditional Office 2011 retail or volume licenses cannot activate this version of Outlook. On that day, Microsoft confirmed that it would release the next version of Office for Mac in late 2015.[130]

Despite dropping support for older versions of OS X and only keeping support for 64-bit-only versions of OS X, these versions of OneNote and Outlook are 32-bit applications like their predecessors.

Office 2016[edit]

Main article: Microsoft Office 2016

The first Preview version of Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac was released on 5 March 2015.[131] On 9 July 2015, Microsoft released the final version of Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. It was immediately made available for Office 365 subscribers with either a Home, Personal, Business, Business Premium, E3 or ProPlus subscription. A non-Office 365 edition of Office 2016 was made available as a one-time purchase option on 22 September 2015.[6]


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External links[edit]

  • Official website
  • Visual history of Office versions
  • Microsoft Office at DMOZ

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