Microsoft Office is an office suite of desktop applications, servers and services for the Microsoft Windows and OS Xoperating systems, introduced by Microsoft on August 1, 1989. 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 Microsoft 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. Office is reported to now be used by over a billion people worldwide.
The current versions are Office 2013 for Windows, released on October 11, 2012; and Office 2011 for OS X, released October 26, 2010. On 24 October 2012, the RTM final code of Office 2013 Professional Plus has been released to TechNet and MSDN subscribers for download. On 15 November 2012, the 60-day trial version of Office 2013 Professional Plus was released for download.
Microsoft Word is a word processor and was previously considered the main program in Office. Its proprietary DOC format is considered a de facto standard, although Word 2007 can also use a new XML-based, Microsoft Office-optimized format called .DOCX, which has been standardized by Ecma International as Office Open XML and its SP2 update supports PDFand a limited ODF. Word is also available in some editions of Microsoft Works. It is available for the Windows and OS X platforms. 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 closerWYSIWYG features into its package. Word for Mac was released in 1985. Word for Mac was the first graphical version of Microsoft Word. Word is used for Scripts and other writing pieces.
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program that originally competed with the dominant Lotus 1-2-3, but 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.
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 Lync — 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)
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 applications bundled with Windows 7.
Users of Microsoft Office may access external data via connection-specifications saved in "Office Data Connection" (.odc) files.
Both Windows and Office use Service Packs to update software, Office used to release non-cumulative Service Releases, which were discontinued after Office 2000 Service Release 1.
Programs in past versions of Office often contained substantial Easter eggs. For example, Excel 97 contained a reasonably functional flight-simulator. Versions starting with Office XP have not contained any easter eggs in the name of Trustworthy Computing.
Microsoft Office prior to Office 2007 used proprietary file formats. 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 theOpen 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 byISO/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.
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)
Microsoft supports Office for the Windows and OS X 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 but was restored in Microsoft 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 bydata 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, but no release was ever published. Other operating systems were only supported by Microsoft Office Mobile, which supports the more popular features of Microsoft Office, is available for Windows Mobile.