Concepts and ideas of Word were brought from Bravo, the original GUI word processor developed at Xerox PARC. Bravo's creator Charles Simonyi left PARC to work for Microsoft in 1981. Simonyi hired Richard Brodie, who had worked with him on Bravo, away from PARC that summer. On February 1, 1983, development on what was originally named Multi-Tool Word began.
Having renamed it Microsoft Word, Microsoft released the program October 25, 1983, for the IBM PC. Free demonstration copies of the application were bundled with the November 1983 issue of PC World, making it the first program to be distributed on-disk with a magazine. However, it was not well received, and sales lagged behind those of rival products such as WordPerfect.
Word featured a concept of "What You See Is What You Get", or WYSIWYG, and was the first application with such features as the ability to display bold and italics text on an IBM PC. Word made full use of the mouse, which was so unusual at the time that Microsoft offered a bundled Word-with-Mouse package. Although MS-DOS was a character-based system, Microsoft Word was the first word processor for the IBM PC that showed actual line breaks and typeface markups such as bold and italics directly on the screen while editing, although this was not a true WYSIWYG system because available displays did not have the resolution to show actual typefaces. Other DOS word processors, such as WordStar and WordPerfect, used simple text only display with markup codes on the screen or sometimes, at the most, alternative colors.
- Microsoft: First Generation | author=Cheryl Tsang | year=1999 | publisher=John Wiley & Sons | id=ISBN 0-471-33206-2}}
- The first WYSIWYG version of WordPerfect was 6.0, released in 1993: http://www.columbia.edu/~em36/wpdos/chronology.html
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