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Microsoft Word is a word processor developed by Microsoft. It was first released on October 25, 1983, under the name Multi-Tool Word for Xenix systems. Subsequent versions were later written for several other platforms including IBM PCs running DOS (1983), Apple Macintosh running the Classic Mac OS (1985), AT&T Unix PC (1985), Atari ST (1988), OS/2 (1989), Microsoft Windows (1989), SCO Unix (1994), and macOS (formerly OS X; 2001).
Some highlights from the essay called ¨Word Processors: Stupid and Inefficient¨ written by Allin Cottrell
The word processor is a stupid and grossly inefficient tool for preparing text for communication with others. That is the claim I shall defend below. It will probably strike you as bizarre at first sight. If I am against word processors, what do I propose: that we write in longhand, or use a mechanical typewriter? No. While there are things to be said in favor of these modes of text preparation I take it for granted that most readers of this essay will do most of their writing using a computer, as I do. My claim is that there are much better ways of preparing the text, using a computer, than the word processor. The wording of my claim is intended to be provocative, but let me be clear: when I say word processors are stupid I am not saying that you if you are a user of a word processor, are stupid. I am castigating a technology, but one that is assiduously promoted by the major software vendors, and that has become a de facto standard of sorts. Unless you happen to have been in the right place at the right time, you are likely unaware of the existence of alternatives. The alternatives are not promoted by the major vendors, for good reason: as we shall see, they are available for free. Let's begin by working back from the end product. Text that is designed to communicate ideas and information to others is disseminated in two main ways: As "hard copy", that is, in the form of traditional printed documents. By digital means: electronic mail, web pages, documents designed to be viewable on screen. There is some overlap here. For instance, a document that is intended for printing may be distributed in digital form, in the hope that the recipient has the means to print the file in question.