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Microsoft’s gift to history

Microsoft has released to the public domain the source code and documents for an early version of Word, Word 1.1a for Windows, as well as DOS 1.1 and 2.0.

The Word for Windows has both C source code and some documentation.

The documents are in original format which means that Word 2013 either can’t directly convert them or they’ll generate a trust error because the document format is so old! WordPad can open most of the .doc files with less trouble.

Leon Zandman has some fun with curious comments in the code. There are disparaging remarks about Microsoft competitors, some swear words and fart references.

Anyone familiar with computer code won’t be surprised by those comments. In fact it’s surprising there aren’t more!

What will be clear from the code is how complex a word-processor is. There’s complex code just to expand or shrink a selection, let alone more complicated things like tables and images. Word 1.1a is almost primitive now so imagine how complicated the code for Word 2013 or Word 2011 for Mac has to be!


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