The Inventor Behind Microsoft Word

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2024 by

When it comes to word processing software, Microsoft Word is undoubtedly the most popular and widely used program. It has become a staple in offices, schools, and homes around the world. But have you ever wondered who invented Microsoft Word and how it came to be?

In this article, we will explore the history of Microsoft Word and the inventor behind this revolutionary software.

The History of Microsoft Word

The Early Days

The story of Microsoft Word begins in the early 1970s when Richard Brodie, a computer programmer, joined the Xerox Corporation’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). At PARC, Brodie worked on developing a word processing program called Bravo, which was the first WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) word processor.

In 1976, Brodie left Xerox and joined Microsoft, which was still a small company at the time. He brought with him the idea of a WYSIWYG word processor, and Microsoft began working on a program called Multi-Tool Word.

The Release of Microsoft Word

In 1983, Microsoft released the first version of Multi-Tool Word for the Xenix operating system. It was later renamed Microsoft Word and was released for MS-DOS in 1983. This version of Word was a significant improvement from previous word processors, as it allowed users to see what their document would look like before printing it.

In 1985, Microsoft Word was released for the Apple Macintosh, and it quickly became the most popular word processing program for Mac users. In 1989, Microsoft released Word for Windows, which became the dominant word processing program for Windows users.

The Evolution of Microsoft Word

Over the years, Microsoft Word continued to evolve and improve. In 1995, Microsoft released Word 95, which introduced features such as spell check, auto-correct, and the ability to embed images in documents. In 1997, Microsoft released Word 97, which introduced the “Office Assistant,” a virtual assistant that provided help and tips to users.

In 2001, Microsoft released Word 2002, which introduced the “Smart Tags” feature, allowing users to perform actions such as looking up a word’s definition or translating text without leaving the document. In 2003, Microsoft released Word 2003, which introduced the “Reading Layout” view, making it easier to read documents on a computer screen.

In 2007, Microsoft released Word 2007, which introduced the “Ribbon” interface, a new way of organizing and accessing features in Word. This version also introduced the “Office Open XML” file format, making it easier to share documents with users of other word processing programs.

In 2010, Microsoft released Word 2010, which introduced the “Backstage” view, making it easier to manage files and settings. In 2013, Microsoft released Word 2013, which introduced the ability to edit PDF files directly in Word. In 2016, Microsoft released Word 2016, which introduced the “Tell Me” feature, allowing users to quickly find the feature they need by typing in a keyword.

In 2019, Microsoft released Word 2019, which introduced new features such as “Focus Mode” and “Translator,” making it easier to focus on writing and collaborate with others.

The Inventor Behind Microsoft Word

The inventor behind Microsoft Word is Charles Simonyi, a Hungarian-born computer scientist and software developer. Simonyi was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1948 and showed an interest in mathematics and science from a young age.

In 1966, Simonyi enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied mathematics and received his bachelor’s degree in 1972. He then went on to study computer science at Stanford University, where he received his master’s degree in 1974.

After completing his studies, Simonyi joined Xerox PARC, where he worked on developing the Bravo word processing program. In 1981, he joined Microsoft, where he led the development of Multi-Tool Word, which later became Microsoft Word.

Simonyi is also known for his contributions to the development of Microsoft Excel, another popular Microsoft Office program. He is credited with creating the concept of “intentional programming,” which focuses on the user’s intentions rather than the computer’s instructions.

The Impact of Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word has had a significant impact on the way we create and share documents. Before the invention of Microsoft Word, word processing was a time-consuming and tedious task. With the introduction of WYSIWYG and other features, Microsoft Word made it easier and more efficient to create and edit documents.

Microsoft Word also played a crucial role in the rise of personal computers. As more people began using computers for work and personal use, the demand for word processing software increased. Microsoft Word quickly became the go-to word processing program, and its popularity helped drive the sales of personal computers.

Today, Microsoft Word is still the most widely used word processing program, with over 1.2 billion users worldwide. It has become an essential tool for businesses, students, and individuals, and its impact on the world of technology and communication cannot be overstated.


In conclusion, Microsoft Word has come a long way since its early days as Multi-Tool Word. It has evolved and improved over the years, thanks to the hard work and dedication of its inventor, Charles Simonyi.

Microsoft Word has revolutionized the way we create and share documents, and its impact on the world of technology and communication is undeniable. It has become an essential tool for businesses and individuals alike, and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.