From MS Office 1.0 to Microsoft Office 365: How Applications Have Changed Over the Years

In terms of office automation, the first thing that probably comes to mind is Microsoft Office. Can you imagine using a Windows OS computer without having Word, Excel, and PowerPoint? Many users of Microsoft are still dependent on these local platforms despite the emergence of cloud-based apps.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how Microsoft applications have changed since they first came out…

1990 – The beginning of it all

MS Office made its official debut on November 19, 1990. Keyboards were used as primary input devices and the mouse was considered as a luxury at the time. Although many good features were already available at this time, functions like printing and formatting required a certain level of expertise.

1992 – MS Office 3.0

Office 3.0 contained Word 2.0 and 4.0 versions of PowerPoint and Excel. Version numbers were not consistent; Microsoft only arranged them properly after Office 95.

1994 – MS Office 4.0

Excel was slightly upgraded for this version – from 4.0a, it was changed to 4.0. PowerPoint was pretty much the same. The major change was done on MS Word, which now had a much richer user interface.

1995 – Office 95 a.k.a. Office 7.5

The name was finally changed to match the version numbers of all application software inside the suite. The programs now shared a uniform numbering scheme; Word 95, Presentation 95 and Excel 95.

1996 – Office 97

I’m sure most of you know Microsoft’s amusing Office Assistant named Clippy. The dancing clip appeared whenever F1 was pressed for Help. There was also the option to change the personality and appearance of the Office Assistant (there was a dog and a cat as well), but Clippy remains the most iconic.

1999 – Office 2000

Microsoft offered better security for this version, along with many updates to previous applications. User elements were also made smoother as a whole.

2001 – Office XP

Almost all features available to users working under restricted mode were provided with XP. Users also noticed the new shine on the Window title that was inspired by basic Windows elements.

2003 – Office 2003

Many would agree that this is the most used MS Office version ever. It had great security features, plenty of functionality, and nice toolbars and icons. Apart from its stellar looks, the rich features have been filed neatly under different menu tabs.

Introductions/New Additions:

Office 2007 – Ribbon Interface

The ribbon interface allowed users to come up with professional-looking documents. A comprehensive list of tools was made available for formatting and creating documents under the new Microsoft Office interface.

Office 2010 – Office Web Apps

In Microsoft Office 2010, employees and other individuals were able to stay in touch no matter where they all were. Same applications can be accessed from their PCs, smartphone or web browser.

Office 2013 – Cloud Integration

Both Office 2013 and Office 365 make use of cloud computing. Touch was also introduced, taking the platform to a different level.

In mid-2011, Office 365 was launched to replace the Microsoft business suite. It has come a long way since then – taking over standalone Office versions in businesses and schools. Aside from an unlimited OneDrive storage, it also offers web versions of OneNote, Excel, PowerPoint, and Word.

The latest version of this platform is the Office 2016. It offers a much tighter cloud integration and has been optimized for touchscreens and mobile devices.

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