|Initial release||19 November 1990|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Available in||40 languages|
|License||Proprietary commercial software (retail, volume licensing, SaaS)|
Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac apps from top left to bottom right: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
|Initial release||1 August 1989|
|Stable release||2016 (15.18.0) / 12 January 2016|
|Operating system||Mac OS|
|Available in||16 languages|
|License||Proprietary commercial software (retail, volume licensing, SaaS)|
Microsoft Office is an office suite of applications, servers, and services developed by Microsoft. It was first announced by Bill Gates on August 1, 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.
The desktop version of Office is available for Windows and OS X. A touch-optimised version of Microsoft Office is available pre-installed on Windows RT tablets. A mobile version of Office, Office Mobile, is available for free on Windows Phone, iOS and Android. A web-based version of Office, Office Online, is also available. Microsoft has stated that it plans to create a version of Office for "other popular platforms" as well.
- 1 Desktop components
- 2 Office Mobile
- 3 Common features
- 4 File formats and metadata
- 5 Extensibility
- 6 Password protection
- 7 Versions available
- 8 Discontinued applications and features
- 9 Version history
- 9.1 Windows versions
- 9.1.1 Microsoft Office for Windows
- 9.1.2 Microsoft Office 3.0
- 9.1.3 Microsoft Office 4.x
- 9.1.4 Microsoft Office 95
- 9.1.5 Microsoft Office 97
- 9.1.6 Microsoft Office 2000
- 9.1.7 Microsoft Office XP
- 9.1.8 Microsoft Office 2003
- 9.1.9 Microsoft Office 2007
- 9.1.10 Microsoft Office 2010
- 9.1.11 Microsoft Office 2013
- 9.1.12 Microsoft Office 2016
- 9.2 Mac versions
- 9.1 Windows versions
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Microsoft Word is a word processor available for Windows and OS X. Word is also available in some editions of 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, 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.
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 OS X 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. It provided more functionality than the previous version.
Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program for Windows and OS X. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Other desktop applications
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, bundled with Professional Plus and Enterprise editions). Originally called Microsoft Lync, it was renamed in 2015 after acquiring 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
- Microsoft SharePoint: collaboration server
- Microsoft Lync Server (formerly Office Communications Server and Live Communications Server) – real time communications server
- Docs.com: A place where Office users can discover, upload and share Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Sway and PDF files on their profile page
- Microsoft Office Online: A suite of web-based versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint
- Microsoft Office website: The official website of Microsoft Office
- Microsoft Update: Web site. Patch detection and installation service for Microsoft Office.
- Microsoft Office 365: Subscription-based software services that licenses Microsoft Office products for on-premises or cloud-based use.
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. 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".
Office Mobile for iPhone was released on 14 June 2013 in the United States. Support for 135 markets and 27 languages was rolled out over a few days. It requires iOS 8 or later. Although the app also works on iPad devices, excluding the first generation, it is designed for a small screen. 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. It is supported on Android 4.0 and later. 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.
In January 2015, Microsoft unveiled updated universal app versions of the Office applications for Windows 10 devices—including tablets and smartphones—that are based upon the previously released Android and iOS apps.
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.
Users of Microsoft Office may access external data via connection-specifications saved in Office Data Connection (.odc) files.
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
Microsoft Office prior to Office 2007 used proprietary file formats based on the OLE Compound File Binary Format. This forced users who share data to adopt the same software platform. 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. Previously, Microsoft had supplied such documentation freely but only on request.
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 and has made available free downloadable converters for previous versions of Microsoft Office including Office 2003, Office XP, Office 2000 and Office 2004 for OS X. Third-party implementations of Office Open XML exist on the Windows platform (LibreOffice, all platforms), OS X platform (iWork '08, LibreOffice) and Linux (LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org 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. 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. It was directly integrated into Office 2007 in a feature called the Document Inspector.
- Office 97 onwards (standard Windows DLLs i.e. Word WLLs and Excel XLLs)
- Office 2000 onwards (COM add-ins)
- Office XP onwards (COM/OLE Automation add-ins)
- Office 2003 onwards (Managed code add-ins – VSTO solutions)
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. Password could be used to restrict modification of the entire document, worksheet or presentation. Due to lack of document encryption most passwords could be cracked using a third-party cracking software.
Microsoft supports Office for the Windows and OS X platforms, as well as mobile versions for Windows Phone, Android and iOS platforms. Beginning with Mac Office 4.2, the OS X 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, then reintroduced in Office for Mac 2011.
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.
Stuart Cohen, CEO of Open Source Development Labs, conjectured in 2006 that Microsoft would eventually release a Linux port of Office, 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.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2013)|
|Office version||Operating system||Office support end date|
|7, 8, 8.1, 10||Current stable version: 13 October 2020||Current stable version: 14 October 2025|
|2013||7, 8, 8.1, 10||Older version, yet still supported: 10 April 2018||Older version, yet still supported: 11 April 2023|
|2013 RT||Windows RT||Unknown||Unknown|
|2010||XP SP3, Vista SP2, 7, 8, 8.1, 10||Old version, no longer supported: 13 October 2015||Older version, yet still supported: 13 October 2020|
|2007||XP SP2, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10||Old version, no longer supported: 10 April 2012||Older version, yet still supported: 11 April 2017|
|2003||2000 SP4, XP, Vista, 7||Old version, no longer supported: 14 April 2009||Old version, no longer supported: 8 April 2014|
|XP||NT 4, 98, ME, 2000 SP2, XP, Vista, 7||Old version, no longer supported: 11 July 2006||Old version, no longer supported: 12 July 2011|
|2000||95, 98, 2000, ME, XP, Vista||Old version, no longer supported: 30 June 2004||Old version, no longer supported: 14 July 2009|
|97||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||NT 3.51, NT 4.0, 95||Old version, no longer supported: 31 December 2001||N/A|
|2016 for Mac||OS X||10.10, 10.11||Current stable version: 13 October 2020||N/A|
|2011 for Mac
with OneNote and Outlook 15
|10.9||Older version, yet still supported: 10 October 2017
excluding version 15
|2011 for Mac
||10.5 (Intel) – 10.11||Older version, yet still supported: 10 October 2017||N/A|
|2008 for Mac||10.4, 10.5 (PPC)||Old version, no longer supported: 9 April 2013||N/A|
|2004 for Mac||10.2, 10.3||Old version, no longer supported: 10 January 2012||N/A|
|v. X||10.1||Old version, no longer supported: 9 January 2007||N/A|
|2001||Mac OS||8.1 – 9.2.2 (PPC)||Old version, no longer supported: 31 December 2005||N/A|
|98 Macintosh Edition||7.5 – 8.0 (PPC)||Old version, no longer supported: 30 June 2003||N/A|
|4.2.1||7.0 – 8.1 (68K)||Old version, no longer supported: 31 December 1996||N/A|
for Word, Excel, PowerPoint
|Android||KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow||Based on Office 365 subscription|
for Word, Excel, PowerPoint
|iOS||iOS 8, iOS 9||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.
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 2002, Microsoft announced their Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy. 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
- 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. As the expansion of the web proved it very difficult for one program to handle everything related to web content development, 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.
- 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.
- Microsoft Office Document Imaging – an application that supports editing scanned documents. Discontinued with Office 2010.
- Microsoft Office Document Scanning – a scanning and OCR application. Discontinued with Office 2010.
- 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. 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
- 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
- Office Live
- Office Live Meeting – Web conferencing service
Microsoft Office for Windows
Microsoft Office for Windows 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.
Microsoft Office for Windows 1.5 updated the suite with Microsoft Excel 3.0.
Microsoft Office 3.0
Microsoft Office 3.0, also called Microsoft Office 92, was released on 30 August 1992 and 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. In 1993, The Microsoft Office Professional was released, which added Microsoft Access 1.1.
Microsoft Office 4.x
Microsoft Office 4.0 was released containing Word 6.0, Excel 4.0a, PowerPoint 3.0 and Mail in 1993. 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, MIPS and PowerPC  architectures, containing Word 6.0 and Excel 5.0 (both 32-bit, PowerPoint 4.0 (16-bit), and Microsoft Office Manager 4.2 (the precursor to the Office Shortcut Bar)).
Microsoft Office 95
Microsoft Office 95 was released on 24 August 1995. Again, the version numbers were altered 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.
Microsoft Office 97
Microsoft Office 97 (Office 8.0), included hundreds of new features and improvements, and introduced 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.
Microsoft Office 2000
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.
Microsoft Office XP
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. Safe Mode enables Office to detect and either repair or bypass the source of the problem, such as a corrupted registry or a faulty add-in. Smart tag is a technology introduced with Office XP. Some smart tags operate based on user activity, such as helping with typing errors. These smart tags are supplied with the products, and are not programmable. For developers, though, there is the ability to create custom smart tags. In Office XP, custom smart tags could work only in Word and Excel. Microsoft Office XP includes integrated voice command and text dictation capabilities, as well as handwriting recognition. It was the first version to require Product Activation as an anti-piracy measure, which attracted widespread controversy.
Microsoft Office 2003
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 Windows XP-style 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
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, 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.
Microsoft Office 2010
Microsoft Office 2010 (Office 14.0, because Microsoft skipped 13.0) was finalized on 15 April 2010 and made available to consumers on 15 June 2010. 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.
Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Office 2010 on 28 June 2011.
Microsoft Office 2013
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. 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. 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. 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. This version can read and write ODF 1.2 (Windows only).
On 24 October 2012, Office 2013 Professional Plus was released to manufacturing and was made available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers for download. On 15 November 2012, the 60-day trial version was released for public download.
Microsoft Office 2016
|This section is outdated. (September 2015)|
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.
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. 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. However, Microsoft Office for Mac has been long criticized for its lack of support of Unicode and right-to-left languages, notably Arabic, Hebrew and Persian.
Early Office for Mac releases (1989–1994)
Microsoft Office for Mac was introduced for Mac OS in 1989, before Office was released for Windows. 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 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. Its user interface was identical to Office 4.2 for Windows, leading many customers to comment that it wasn't Mac-like enough. 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
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. Office 98 was re-engineered by Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit to satisfy customers' desire for software they felt was more Mac-like. 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.
Microsoft Office 2001 and v. X
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.
Microsoft Office v. X was released in 2001 and was the first version of Microsoft Office for Mac OS X. Support for Office v. X ended on 9 January 2007 after the release of the final update, 10.1.9 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.
Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac was released on 11 May 2004. It includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Entourage and Virtual PC. It was notable for supporting Visual Basic Applications (VBA), a feature omitted in its sequel, Office 2008. For this reason, Microsoft extended support for Office 2004 from 10 September 2009 to 10 January 2012. VBA functionality was reintroduced in Office 2011.
Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac was released on 15 January 2008. It was the first Office for Mac suite that was a universal binary, running natively on both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs, and it supported Office Open XML file formats first introduced in Office 2007 for Windows. 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."
Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 was released on 26 October 2010, and 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. Office 2011 includes a Mac-based Ribbon similar to Office for Windows.
OneNote and Outlook release (2014)
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.
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.
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.
The first Preview version of Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac was released on 5 March 2015. On 9 July 2015 Microsoft released the final version of Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote. It is immediately 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.
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