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Microsoft Office is a set of interrelated desktop applications, servers and services, collectively referred to as an office suite, for the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. Office was introduced by Microsoft in 1989 on Mac OS, with a version for Windows in 1990. Initially a marketing term for a bundled set of applications, the first version of Office contained Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Additionally, a "Pro" version of Office included Microsoft Access and Schedule Plus. 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 (OBA) brand.


Desktop applications

Word : Microsoft Word is a word processor and was long considered to be the main program in Office, although with the rise of electronic communication that distinction has now passed to Outlook.Word possesses a dominant market share in the word processor market. Its proprietary DOC format is considered a de facto standard, although its most recent version, Word 2007 can also use a new XML-based, Microsoft Office-optimized format called .DOCX which has been standardized by ECMA as Office Open XML. Word is also available in some editions of Microsoft Works. It is available for the Windows and Mac platforms. The first version of Word, released in the fall of 1983, was for the 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 one was not required. The following spring Apple introduced the Mac, and Microsoft released Word for the Mac, which became the most popular Mac application and which, like all Mac apps, required the use of a mouse.

Excel : Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program. Like Word, it possesses a dominant market share.[citation needed] It was originally a competitor to the dominant Lotus 1-2-3, but it eventually outsold it and became the de facto standard. It is available for the Windows and Mac platforms. The current Mac version (Office 2008) has removed Visual Basic functionality so macros cannot be used and those generated in previous iterations of Office no longer work.


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+ (Plus) starting in Office 97, it includes an e-mail client, calendar, task manager and address book. Although historically it has been offered for the Mac, the closest to an equivalent for Mac OS X is Microsoft Entourage, which offers a slightly different feature set.


Microsoft PowerPoint is a popular presentation program for Windows and Mac. It is used to create slideshows, composed of text, graphics, movies and other objects, which can be displayed on-screen and navigated through by the presenter or printed out on transparencies or slides. This is convenient for school or work presentations.Office Mobile for Windows Mobile 5.0 and later features a version of PowerPoint called PowerPoint Mobile. It also possesses a dominant market share. Movies, videos,

Common features

Most versions of Microsoft Office is they use their own widget set and do not exactly match the native operating system. This is more apparent in the 2002 or XP release of Microsoft Office where the standard menus were replaced with a colored flat looking, shadowed menu style.

Visual elements of Office packages' widget systems have been included in next versions of Windows systems and have offered some cues into what user interface (UI) elements a major Windows incarnation would employ in the future: The toolbar, colour buttons and the usually gray-coloured '3D' look of Office 4.3 were added to Windows 95; The gradient title bar and flat buttons in Windows 9x/2000.

Similarly, Microsoft Office 2007 introduces a whole new widget system, dubbed "Ribbon", but now known as the "Fluent user interface". The same widget used in Microsoft Office is also used in the Visual Studio product line, though the "Fluent UI" was not announced to be included in future versions of Visual Studio. Later versions of Windows thus inherit the concepts of task-based user activities and easy discoverability of program functions.

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.