Microsoft 365

The evolution and history of Microsoft Word_

19th Jun 2023 | 5 min read

The evolution and history of Microsoft Word_

Over the years Microsoft Word has proven to be the industry leader in word processing. The innovative application facilitates writing and the creation of comprehensive documents. As a part of the Microsoft suite of applications, Word allows users to collaborate with team members on projects from any location. It enhances productivity and helps you make the most out of documents. 
The fast-paced digital era that exists today is largely powered by smart and intelligent software such as Word. In this blog, we’ll be discussing the history of Microsoft Word and how it has evolved over the period. 

At Infinity Group, we love to do ‘IT’ better. We also love nostalgia – we hope this look into our much-loved word processing tool rekindles your love too. 

 

What is Microsoft Word and how did it all begin?

In 1981, Xerox programmer, Charles Simonyi, was brought to Microsoft to develop Word. The first version of the productivity software was eventually launched in 1983. It was the first word processing application to use the WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) design framework which ensured that whatever was displayed on screen translated to print. This allowed users to create documents on the computer so they could see them exactly as they would appear when printed.  

 

Microsoft Word was the first application to incorporate bold-faced and italic fonts, as well as line breaks. It was also one of the earliest programs to appear on Mac computers.  
In 1985, version 2 of MS Word which included spell check and word count features was released.   

The first version of the application for Windows was released in 1989, two years before WordStar and WordPerfect were introduced to the new Windows operating system.

 

The early 1990s saw Microsoft develop original code for Macintosh software. In 2003, both Windows and Mac versions were renamed to Microsoft Office Word, to align with the wider Microsoft Office suite of applications. Subsequent versions have since been developed over the years to allow for versatility and the ability to operate on several operating systems, such as Mac, Android, Windows. 
MS word has since become the world’s most used word processing software. 

 

Global dominance of the word processor_

Microsoft Word has had a huge impact in the fast-developing world of technology and AI. Due to its unique functionalities, it has dominated the market and is the most preferred tool by working professionals for the creation of day-to-day documents and other complex projects. According to a recent report, Word has an estimated 6.01% productivity market share as compared to other competitor products in the same category. The report went on to further state that in 2023, over 85,611 companies have started using Word as a tool for productivity and collaboration.  Despite the constant influx of numerous technologies on the current digital scene, the market growth and dominance of Microsoft Word is still high due to its AI competence and algorithms. Some of the top industries that use the application include Education, Health, Engineering and Technology.  

 

Microsoft 365 integrations_

Word is an essential part of the Microsoft 365 suite of applications. The Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) ecosystem is an integrated group of cloud-based software designed to enhance collaboration and productivity among team members. It creates an inter-connected platform for hybrid and remote workforces to work together more efficiently. Some of the programs include Word, Teams, SharePoint, Outlook, PowerPoint and OneDrive. Microsoft Word is a pivotal tool in this chain of programs. Its quick text editing features boosts productivity and the flow of work.   MS Word has proven useful for both individuals and organisations at large. It simplifies projects in workplaces, educational centres and beyond. It also promotes team collaboration for on-premises and remote environments via real-time edits on documents and write-ups. The ability to cross-collaborate this way enhances creativity and innovation among modern workforces.  With Microsoft Word, you can create high quality documents with in-built design, layout, spelling and review features, while also improving your writing style and structure. 

 

MS Word is championing the future of AI_

Word has undergone a lot of enhancements over the past decades. Recently, Microsoft launched Copilot, a unique Artificial Intelligence tool powered by large language models (LLMs) with data in Microsoft Graph and Microsoft 365 apps to transform words into powerful productive tools. As an integral part of the familiar 365 software, Microsoft Word will function closely with Copilot to unlock productivity and skills upgrade in businesses.  Copilot synchronises with Word to assist with writing, editing and summarising. Copilot in Word also creates drafts by combining key information from across a business. Additionally, it can add new content to existing MS Word documents or rewrite sections when needed; making updates easier. Copilot also makes suggestions while you write to ensure clarity and consistency in writing. 

 

ChatGPT integration with Word_

ChatGPT has taken over the tech space currently. The AI chatbot developed by OpenAI has fast advanced features to assist users in a variety of tasks and research in a matter of seconds. The generative AI tool, according to reports will soon be integrated into Word via Ghostwriter, a third-party app, developed by software programmer, Patrick Husting. The introduction of ChatGPT into Microsoft Word will lead to the introduction of advanced AI based writing functionalities in the renowned word processing software. 

 

Limitless opportunities abound_

The opportunity to scale Word even further is infinite. Microsoft developers are working around the clock to ensure that the application is up to date with emerging technologies and improvements for the prevention of bugs and malware. The software has for over 40 years empowered employees and businesses across the board. It has contributed to the success of evolving working setups and is slated to unleash more productivity across the board.    If you want to speak to us about how we can help you with your digital transformation project, get in touch with us today.  

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