This group of client software, server software, and services used to be called Microsoft Office or just "Office." It was made by Microsoft. Bill Gates made the first announcement at COMDEX in Las Vegas on August 1, 1988. The first version of Office came with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. It was first sold as an office suite (bundled collection of productivity apps).
Office programs have become much more integrated over time, thanks to features like a shared spell checker, Object Linking and Embedding data integration, and the Visual Basic for Apps scripting language. Microsoft also promotes Office as a platform for making line-of-business applications under the name "Office Business Applications."
It has a word processor (Word), spreadsheet and presentation software (Excel and PowerPoint), email software (Outlook), a database management system (Access), and a desktop publishing package (Publisher).
There are different versions of Office for different types of users and computing environments. The first and most common version is the desktop version, which works on PCs with the Windows and macOS operating systems. Microsoft also updates its apps for iOS and Android mobile phones. Office on the Web is a version of the program that runs on a web browser.
Microsoft has made Office 365 the main way to buy Microsoft Office since Office 2013. With Office 365, users can subscribe to the software and other services and get feature updates for as long as they are subscribed. This includes new features and integration with cloud computing, which aren't always available in "on-premises" versions of Office sold under traditional license terms.
Office 365 income surpassed traditional license sales in 2017. Microsoft also changed the names of most of their regular Office 365 editions to "Microsoft 365" to draw attention to the new features and services that aren't part of the core Microsoft Office suite.
Microsoft said in October 2022 that by January 2023, the Microsoft Office brand would be replaced by "Microsoft 365." The term will still be used for product lines from the past.
Important apps and services
- Microsoft Word is a word processor that comes with Microsoft Office and some old versions of Microsoft Works. The first version of Word for the MS-DOS operating system came out in the fall of 1983. This made more people use the computer mouse. Word 1.0 could be bought with a mouse already included, even though it wasn't necessary.
- Word for Macintosh tried to make WYSIWYG features a bigger part of the whole package by looking at what LisaWrite and MacWrite were doing. In 1985, you could get Word for Mac. Word for Mac was the first version of Microsoft Word to have graphics. At first, its main format was the exclusive.doc format. But Word 2007 made this format less important by replacing it with Office Open XML, which Ecma International later standardized as an open format. With Word 2007 Service Pack 2, OpenDocument (ODF) and the Portable Document Format (PDF) were added to Word for Windows for the first time.
- Microsoft Excel was at first a competitor to the popular Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet editor, but in the end, Excel sold more copies. Excel was first made available by Microsoft in 1985 for the Mac OS. In November 1987, it was made available for Windows with the same version number as the Mac, 2.05.
- Microsoft PowerPoint is a tool for making slideshows that include text, pictures, and other objects. These slideshows can be printed on transparencies or slides or shown on a computer screen while the presenter shows them.
- Microsoft OneNote is a program for taking notes that can store handwritten or typed notes, sketches, screenshots, and audio comments. Users of OneNote can share notes over a network or the Internet. When OneNote first came out, it was a separate program that didn't come with any version of Microsoft Office 2003.
- OneNote became an important part of Microsoft Office over time, and by 2013, it was included in all versions of the software. OneNote is also available as a desktop Windows freemium (and later freeware) program, a mobile Windows Phone, iOS, Android, and Symbian app, and a Metro-style app for Windows 8 or later.
- Microsoft Outlook is a personal information manager that replaced Windows Messaging, Microsoft Mail, and Schedule+ in Office 97. It has an email client, calendar, task manager, and address book (not to be confused with Outlook Express, Outlook.com, or Outlook on the web). In the late 1990s, Microsoft made several versions of Outlook for Mac OS, but they only worked with Microsoft Exchange Server. With Office 2001, Microsoft Entourage, a replacement app with a slightly different set of features, was added. In Office 2011, Outlook was put back in place of Entourage.
- Users of Microsoft OneDrive can save files in sync and access them later using a web browser or a mobile device.
- Microsoft Teams is the name of the platform where chat, meetings, notes, and files are all stored.
Programs only for Windows
- A desktop publishing program for Windows called Microsoft Publisher can be used to make brochures, labels, calendars, greeting cards, business cards, newsletters, websites, and postcards.
- Microsoft Access is a Windows database management system with a graphical user interface, a relational Access Database Engine (formerly Jet Database Engine), and software development tools. Microsoft Access stores data in a format that is unique to it. It uses the Access Database Engine to do this. It can also import data from other programs and databases or connect directly to that data.
- Microsoft Project is a stand-alone project management tool for Windows that can be used to schedule tasks, make network diagrams and Gantt charts, and keep track of events.
- A diagramming and flowcharting program for Windows called Microsoft Visio is not included in any Office package.
Apps only for phones
- A mobile device-friendly image scanner is called Office Lens. It takes a picture of the document with the camera, like a business card, piece of paper, or whiteboard, and then straightens it. The result can be saved in OneDrive, sent by email, or added to a photo library. It can be sent to Word, Outlook, OneNote, or PowerPoint.
- Office Mobile is a mobile app for Android and iOS that brings together Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It also adds new features like the ability to take short notes, sign PDFs, read QR codes, and share files.
- Office Remote is a program that turns a phone or tablet into a remote control for the desktop versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
- Microsoft Office can be used with Microsoft SharePoint, which is a platform for working together on the web. SharePoint has been around since 2001. It is usually marketed as a system for managing and storing documents, but organizations use it in many different ways, and the solution is very flexible. the following services on SharePoint:
- Excel Services is a server for making spreadsheets that works like Microsoft Excel.
- InfoPath Forms Services is a form distribution server that works a lot like Microsoft InfoPath.
- Microsoft Project Server is a server for managing projects. It works like Microsoft Project.
- Search Engine Google
- Skype for Business Server is a server for instant messaging and video conferencing that lets people talk to each other in real time.
- Microsoft Exchange Server is both a mail server and a calendar server.
- In October 2014, Microsoft Sway, a web-based presentation program, became available. It also has apps made specifically for Windows 10 and iOS.
- With the tool Delve, Office 365 users can search for and manage their emails, meetings, contacts, social networks, and documents that are stored on OneDrive or Office 365 Sites.
- Microsoft Forms gives people who use Office 365 Education a way to make online surveys.
- Microsoft To Do is a service that helps you keep track of tasks.
- Outlook.com is a free webmail service that looks and works like Microsoft Outlook.
- Outlook on the web is a webmail client that works like Outlook.com but has more features. It is only available through Office 365 and Microsoft Exchange Server services.
- Microsoft Planner is a tool for planning that is part of the Microsoft Office 365 platform.
- Microsoft Stream is a service for businesses with an Office 365 Academic or Enterprise license that lets them share videos.
- On the Microsoft Office 365 platform, there is a tool called Microsoft Bookings that can be used to set up appointments.