Is a family of client software, server software, and services developed by Microsoft. It was first announced by Bill Gates on 1 August 1988, at COMDEX in Las Vegas. Initially a marketing term for an office suite (bundled set of productivity 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 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. On 10 July 2012, Softpedia reported that Office is used by over a billion people worldwide.
Office is produced in several versions targeted towards different end-users and computing environments. The original, and most widely used version, is the desktop version, available for PCs running the Windows and macOS operating systems. The most current desktop version is Office 2016 for Windows and macOS, released on 22 September 2015 and 9 July 2015, respectively.
More recently, Microsoft developed Office Mobile, which are free-to-use versions of Office applications for mobile devices. Microsoft also produces and runs Office Online, a web-based version of core Office apps, which is included as part of a Microsoft account.
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 programs bundled with Windows 7 and later. In 2012, Office 2013 replicated the flat, box-like design of Windows 8.
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 had non-cumulative service releases, which were discontinued after Office 2000 Service Release 1.
Past versions of Office often contained Easter eggs. For example, Excel 97 contained a reasonably functional flight-simulator. Office XP and later do not have any Easter eggs, in compliance with Trustworthy Computing guidelines.