Microsoft Office

Template:Infobox Software Microsoft Office is a suite of productivity programs created by Microsoft and developed for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh operating systems. As well as the office applications, it includes associated servers and Web-based services.

Office is considered to be the de facto standard for productivity programs, and has many features not present in other suites. However, the reverse is also true, with other programs having capabilities Office doesn't.


Essential programs on Windows platform

These programs are included in all editions of Microsoft Office 2003, except Microsoft Office Basic Edition 2003. Microsoft Office Basic Edition includes Word, Excel and Outlook only.


Microsoft Word is a word processor. It is considered to be the main program of Office. It 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 11.0/2003, also supports an XML-based format. Word is also available in some editions of Microsoft Works. It is available for the Windows and Macintosh platforms. Its main competitors are Writer, StarOffice, Corel WordPerfect and Apple Pages


Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program. Like Microsoft Word, it possesses a dominant market share. 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 Macintosh platforms. Its main competitors are Calc, StarOffice and Corel Quattro Pro.


Microsoft Outlook, not to be confused with Outlook Express, is a personal information manager and e-mail communication software. The replacement for Microsoft Mail starting in the 1997 version of Office, it includes an e-mail client, calendar, task manager and address book. Its e-mail program's main competitors are Mozilla Thunderbird/Mozilla and Eudora. Its personal information manager's main competitors are Mozilla and Lotus Organizer. It is available for Windows; a version is also included with most Pocket PC handhelds. Its Macintosh equivalent is Microsoft Entourage.


Microsoft PowerPoint is a popular presentation program for Windows and Macintosh. 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. It possesses a dominant market share. Its main competitors are Impress, Corel WordPerfect and Apple Keynote

Other programs and Web-based services sometimes included

  • Microsoft Accessdatabase manager. For the 2003 version, included in Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, and Microsoft Office Professional Enterprise Edition 2003.
  • Microsoft Binder – incorporates several documents into one file.
  • Binder was a major flop for Microsoft, and is not very widely used. Newer versions of Office often do not include it for this reason.

Beginning with the 1997 edition, Microsoft Agent (in 9.0/2000 and up) and a similar actor technology (in 8.0/'97) have been used to provide the Office Assistant, an interactive help tool. The "Assistant" is often dubbed "Clippy" or "Clippit," due to its default to CLIPPIT.ACS.

Also, beginning with Macintosh Office 1998, the Macintosh and Windows versions of Office share the same file format. Consequently, any Macintosh with Office 1998 or later can read documents created with Windows Office 8.0 (1997) or later, and vice-versa.

Office 11.0/2003 introduced a new, optional file format for the entire suite, built on XML technology. Office X for Mac is also built to handle this file format.


The Windows version of Microsoft Office 11.0/2003 is available in six editions. These are:

  • Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 11.0/2003 (MSRP New User Price $149 US)
  • Microsoft Office Basic Edition 11.0/2003 (bundled with new computers only)
  • Microsoft Office Standard Edition 11.0/2003 (MSRP New User Price $399 US; Upgrade Price $239 US)
  • Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 11.0/2003 (MSRP New User Price $449 US; Upgrade Price $279 US)
  • Microsoft Office Professional Edition 11.0/2003 (MSRP New User Price $499 US; Upgrade Price $329 US)
  • Microsoft Office Professional Enterprise Edition 11.0/2003 (volume licensing only)

The Macintosh version, Microsoft Office for Mac 2004, is available in three editions. All include Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Entourage. They are identical except for pricing and the inclusion of Virtual PC in the Professional Edition.

  • Office for Mac 2004 Standard Edition (MSRP New User Price $399 US; Upgrade Price $239 US)
  • Office for Mac 2004 Student and Teacher Edition (MSRP New User Price $149 US)
  • Office for Mac 2004 Professional Edition (MSRP New User Price $499 US; Upgrade Price $329 US)

Pricing as of April 9, 2005 [3] ( [4] (

Cross-platform use

Microsoft develops Office primarily for Windows and secondarily for Macintosh. However, most versions of the suite can also be run on Unix-like operating systems through the use of a compatibility layer such as CrossOver Office or WINE.

As a general rule of thumb, the older, simpler versions do tend to run considerably better on Wine; however, newer versions have been known to work as well.


Major Microsoft Windows versions

  • Office 3.0 (CD-ROM version: Word 2.0c, Excel 4.0a, PowerPoint 3.0, Mail) - released August 30 1993
  • Office 4.0 (Word 6.0, Excel 4.0, PowerPoint 3.0) - released January 17 1994
  • Office for NT 4.2 (Word 6.0 [32-bit, i386 and Alpha], Excel 5.0 [32-bit, i386 and Alpha], PowerPoint 4.0 [16-bit], "Microsoft Office Manager") - released July 3 1994
  • Office 4.3 (The last 16-bit version; Word 6.0, Excel 5.0, PowerPoint 4.0 and in the pro version: Access 2.0) - released June 2 1994
  • Office 7.0/'95 (Word '95, etc.) - released August 30 1995; not very widely used.
  • Office 8.0/'97 (Word '97, etc.) - released December 30 1996 (was published on CD-ROM as well as on a set of 45 3½-inch floppy disks)
  • Office 9.0/2000 (Word 2000, etc.) - released January 27 1999
  • Office 10.0/2002/XP (Word 2002, etc.) - released May 31 2001
  • Office 11.0/2003 (Word 2003, etc.) - released November 17 2003

There have been variants of the later versions such as Small Business Edition, Student and Teacher Edition, Professional Edition and Developer Edition with slightly different collections of applications.

Apple Macintosh versions

  • Office 1 (Word 3, etc.)
  • Office 2 (Word 4, etc.)
  • Office 3 (Word 5, etc.)
  • Office 4.2 (The first Power Mac-aware version; Word 6.0, etc.) - released June 2 1994
  • Office 97 (Word 97, etc.) - released November 1997
  • Office 98 (Word 98, etc.) - released March 15 1998
  • Office 2001 (Word 2001, etc.) - released October 11 2000
  • Office v.X (The first Mac OS X/Aqua edition; Word X, etc.) - released September 3 2001
  • Office 2004 (Word 2004, etc.) - released May 11 2004

Add ins

A major feature of applications in the Office suite is the ability for users and third party companies to write Office COM add-ins. Component Object Model (COM) add-ins are supplemental programs that extend the capabilities of an application by adding custom commands and specialized features that can accommodate specific tasks.


For some reason, most versions of Microsoft Office (including 97 and later, and possibly 4.3) use their own widget set, and as a result do not blend in with the native operating system.

Whereas Windows uses "Service Packs", Office used to release "Service Releases". However, after Office 2000 Service Release 1, Office now only release Service Packs.

See also

External links

de:Microsoft Office es:Microsoft Office fr:Microsoft Office hu:Microsoft Office nl:Microsoft Office ja:Microsoft Office pl:Microsoft Office pt:Microsoft Office ro:Microsoft Office fi:Microsoft Office sv:Microsoft Office zh:Microsoft Office


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