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Down the Memory Lane: A Brief History of How PowerPoint Has Evolved During the Course of Time

Over the last 7 decades, the computer has evolved from what occupied a whole room to become just a mobile device. By the time CSIRAC was introduced, the inventors knew that they were up to something extraordinary. Since the invention of computers, the software has become an integral part of computing.  One such software is the presentation program commonly referred to as PowerPoint. We took a walk down the memory lane to bring you this brief history of PowerPoint.

The Introduction of PowerPoint

PowerPoint was for the first time introduced in 1987. The presentation software was developed by Robert Gaskins and Dennis Austin. Originally named the Presenter, the software was developed for the American Computer Software Company Forethought, Inc. it was meant to be used in Apple Macintosh computers but in July 1987, Microsoft Corporation purchased the PowerPoint rights. This would later come to be recognized as a significant software acquisition by Microsoft.

Over 500 million people have used the presentation software with over 30 million presentations being created daily. A good number of current PowerPoint users also try alternative presentation software that automates design tasks for advanced presentations.

How PowerPoint has Evolved over the Years

Microsoft PowerPoint has since its inception faced a huge amount of competition. To ensure its dominance, Microsoft began to change from the first version to the second and third versions tweaking the software to meet the market demand. PowerPoint 3.0 which was also named PowerPoint 1992 was followed by PowerPoint 4. By the time Microsoft was developing their PowerPoint 3.0. It seemed like the company has mastered what the users expected. The new version featured TrueType font support, transition and build effects, new graph types, drawing tools were introduced and the toolbar with shortcuts was also introduced. With the introduction of these features, it was declared that the software was good enough to compete with similar applications.

Other significant changes carried out were the introduction of the on-screen help feature as well as the tutorial functionalities and an improved toolbox as well as the integration of the application with the other Microsoft Applications.

PowerPoint for Windows 95

The introduction of Windows 95 completely changed the computing world. This saw the introduction of new features like a new graphical user interface, the introduction of the recycle bin as well as a more advanced taskbar and the most notable feature was the start menu. PowerPoint was also redesigned to suit the new windows software. The redevelopment of PowerPoint was motivated by the new operating system and the new enhanced features that were introduced.

PowerPoint 2002 and 20003 featured some iterative changes that were more evolutional. They included the introduction of the outline and slide thumbnail views as well as the image compression capability. In 2013, we saw the introduction of the start screen replacing the blank new slideshow. This also included the comments feature and a more sophisticated presenter view options.

PowerPoint Today

Today, PowerPoint offers an incredible piece of software compared to what was released in 1987.  For instance, there is the PowerPoint designer that provides several design ideas allowing the presenters to spend less time to produce high-quality slides. Indeed, users barely use all the features that this robust software offers.

Since its inception, PowerPoint has always put the users first. The developers of the presentation software focus on ease of use and introduction of enabling features. There are various alternative presentation software’s available in the market and some with more advanced capabilities.   the available alternatives today for a completely thrilling experience.


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