Microsoft PowerPoint

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Microsoft PowerPoint, usually just called PowerPoint, is a proprietary presentation program developed by Microsoft. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite, and runs on Microsoft Windows and Apple's Mac OS X operating system. The current versions are Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 for Windows and 2011 for Mac.



The original version of this program was created by Dennis Austin and Thomas Rudkin of Forethought, Inc.[1] Originally designed for the Macintosh computer, the initial release was called "Presenter". In 1987, it was renamed to "PowerPoint" due to problems with trademarks, the idea for the name coming from Robert Gaskins.[2] In August of the same year, Forethought was bought by Microsoft for $14 million USD ($27.1 million in present-day terms[3]), and became Microsoft's Graphics Business Unit, which continued to further develop the software.

PowerPoint changed significantly with PowerPoint 97. Prior to PowerPoint 97, presentations were linear, always proceeding from one slide to the next. PowerPoint 97 incorporated the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) language, underlying all macro generation in Office 97, which allowed users to invoke pre-defined transitions and effects in a non-linear movie-like style without having to learn programming (or even having to be aware of the existence of VBA).

PowerPoint 2000 (and the rest of the Office 2000 suite) introduced a clipboard that could hold multiple objects at once. Another noticeable change was that the Office Assistant, whose frequent unsolicited appearances in PowerPoint 97 (as an animated paperclip) had annoyed many users, was changed to be less intrusive.[citation needed]


PowerPoint presentations consist of a number of individual pages or "slides". The "slide" analogy is a reference to the slide projector, a device that can be seen as obsolete, within the context of widespread use of PowerPoint and other presentation software. Slides may contain text, graphics, movies, and other objects, which may be arranged freely on the slide. PowerPoint, however, facilitates the use of a consistent style in a presentation using a template or "Slide Master".

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