PowerPoint Historical Review
cathleen belleville
a bit better corporation
www.bitbetter.com
Who is this chick?
1989-1995: Microsoft
– PowerPoint product manager
– head of product planning for graphics business unit
1995-2000: A Bit Better Corp.
– creator of “Screen Beans”
– PowerPoint consulting services
– www.bitbetter.com
Prehistoric Presentations
1981: IBM PCs
• MS-DOS
• Lotus 1-2-3
• CPM-86
• Word Perfect
1984: Apple Macintosh
• MacWrite
• MacPaint
• Word
slide presentations sent out to Genigraphics,
Chartmasters
– big business, slow turn-around, good results
overhead presentations made by enlarging
typewriter pages, and copying on to
transparencies
– tedious, slow, expensive, bad results
– any font you want as long as it was Courier 12
April 1987: PowerPoint 1
• All slides in one file
• Slide Master
• Handout Pages
• Notes Pages
• Slide Show
• Lines, Boxes, Circles
• Black and White
• Hardbound Book
published by Forethought of Sunnyvale, CA
originally named “Presenter” and designed
for Windows 2.0
2 developers, 16 months
coding done using a Lisa with two 5 MB hard
drives connected via the serial port
ran on any Macintosh with 512K RAM and a
floppy drive—no hard disk required
May 1988: PowerPoint 2
August 87, Microsoft acquires Forethought;
product unit stays in California
Aldus ships Persuasion 1.0 for Macintosh:
• Find/Replace
• Spell Checking
• Color (for Mac II)
• Color Schemes
• Shaded fills
• Microsoft Packaging
• Genigraphics driver
for slides
–
–
–
–
outliner
multiple masters
graphing
polygons
Harvard Graphics for DOS
Lotus Freelance for DOS
May 1990: Win PowerPoint 2
• 256-color support
• WYSIWYG, direct
manipulation UI
• Bullets!
• Graphing
• Share files with Mac
• Translates Harvard
Graphics Files
first presentation product for Windows 3.0
fonts a major problem for everyone
Harvard Graphics announces move to OS/2;
later ships Windows product with same UI as
DOS version
Lotus Freelance ships newly designed
product on OS/2, then Windows
Aldus slow to release buggy, slow Windows
product with poor Mac file compatibility
May 1992: PowerPoint 3
• Outlining
• Drawing Tools
• Transition Effects
• Graphing on Mac
• Builds
• Flying Bullets
• Sound & Video
• Pen Computing
support
first app to require Windows 3.1
introduction of TrueType Fonts
major release with shared code between
Mac and Windows versions
Aldus share leader on Macintosh
Harvard Graphics share leader on PCs
Microsoft puts serious effort into promoting
Microsoft Office
February 1994: PowerPoint 4.0
• Office look and feel:
tooltips, toolbars,
status bar
• Full OLE 2.0
• AutoLayouts
• AutoContent Wizard
• Word Tables
• Rehearsal,
Hidden Slides
the suite battles begin
Lotus ships SmartSuite:
1-2-3, Ami Pro, Freelance Graphics
Word Perfect ships PerfectOffice:
Word Perfect, Quattro Pro, Draw Perfect
Harvard Graphics can’t find a dance partner
Aldus ignores Windows market,
focuses on Mac
February 1994: PowerPoint 7
• Rewritten in C++
• VBA programmability
• Real curves, textures
• New animation effects
• Meeting minder
• AutoCorrect,
Insert Symbol
• Black & White View
application version numbers go to hell
Microsoft owns major market share on PCs
and Macs due to phenomenal sales of Office
Lotus bought by IBM who pretends not to
notice
WordPerfect bought by Novell
Aldus acquired by Adobe and left to rot
Harvard suffers slow agonizing death
May 1997: PowerPoint 97
• Office Assistant
• File compression
• Save to HTML
• Improved sound and
animation controls
• Pack and Go
• AutoClipArt
• ScreenBeans
• Transparent GIFs
most of original PowerPoint team has left
Microsoft has dominant market share -virtually no competition
central office development team makes most
product decisions
focus on electronic presentations and on-line
documents
virtually “documentation free”
June 1999: Office 2000
• Tri-Pane View
• Picture bullets
• Animated GIFs
• Save to Web
• AutoFit Text
• Real Tables
• Presentation
Conferencing
• Aliased Fonts
now 4 versions of Office, that ship nine
different products
typical installation of Office Premium:
626 MB for all nine apps
PowerPoint 2000
Shameless Self Promotion
www.bitbetter.com
– powerpoint FAQ with many many pages of questions
– “ask powerpoint”: powerpoint questions answered
– powerpoint tips and tricks
– resources for presenters
– screenbeans clip art, with new
“business communication”
collection
thank you for not throwing things
cathy belleville
a bit better corporation
www.bitbetter.com

- A Bit Better Corporation