Feeds

Microsoft and Apple: 25 years of couples therapy

Saved by a giant head

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Macworld Expo Microsoft wants you to know that it's not just the Mac that's holding a 25th birthday party: 2009 marks the 25th year that Redmond has developed software for Apple's quarter-centarian computer.

The Apple/Microsoft relationship has had its rocky moments, to say the least. But the fact remains that Microsoft has consistently been at the top of the heap among Mac-productivity software publishers since the company released Word 1.0 for Mac in 1984.

In the Beginning, There Was Word

Although it was Microsoft's first productivity app for the Mac, Word didn't originate at Microsoft. It's earliest ancestor was Bravo, arguably the first WYSI(sorta)WYG word processor, developed at Xerox PARC in 1974.

Seven years later, Microsoft hired Charles Simonyi, one of Bravo's lead developers, to head-up work on Word's most-direct progenitor, Multi-Tool Word, which was released in the spring of 1983 for Xenix, Microsoft's sole foray into the world of Unix.

In 1984, Multi-Tool Word was ported to the Apple's new Mac, and Microsoft has been publishing productivity software for the Mac ever since.

For its next trick, Microsoft released Excel 1.0 in 1985. Then it shipped PowerPoint 1.0 in 1987, which remained a Mac-only app until 1990.

Although obviously influenced by previous spreadsheets such as VisiCalc, Lotus 1-2-3, and Microsoft's own MultiPlan, Excel was developed inside Microsoft. After a brief vaporware scare from Lotus Jazz, Excel settled into its role as the Mac's go-to spreadsheet.

PowerPoint was developed by Forethought of Sunnyvale, California, just up the road from Apple's Cupertino home. Originally called Presenter, that name was changed by Forethought to PowerPoint when trademark problems surfaced.

Forethought and PowerPoint were bought by Microsoft in 1987, and in 1989 Microsoft bundled its three Mac apps together in the first version of Office for Mac: Word 4.0, Excel 2.20, and PowerPoint 2.01.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: Bumps in the Road

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Chumps stump up $1 MEELLLION for watch that doesn't exist
By the way, I have a really nice bridge you might like...
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.