WordStar

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WordStar is a word processor application, published by MicroPro International, originally written for the CP/M operating system but later ported to DOS, that enjoyed a dominant market share during the early to mid-1980s. Although Seymour I. Rubinstein was the principal owner of the company, Rob Barnaby was the sole author of the early versions of the program; starting with WordStar 4.0, the program was built on new code written principally by Peter Mierau.

WordStar was a text-based word processing program,[1] meaning that it worked with files that were essentially text, with markup language-like formatting commands (such as the "dot commands"); this made the files relatively small. By contrast, most word processors today are code-based, and save their documents in much larger files.[2]

Contents

History

WordStar was originally developed for CP/M in 1978.[3] It was the most feature-rich and easy-to-use word processor available for this operating system, and became a de facto standard.[4][5] In 1981 WordStar version 2.26 was bundled with the Osborne 1 portable computer.[6] Notably, WordStar was the last commercial word processor supporting the CP/M operating system. Release 4, the final CP/M compatible version, was sold with 5ΒΌ" floppy disk as a default, and an 8" version as an option.

The 3.0 version of WordStar for DOS was released in April 1982.[3] The DOS version was very similar to the original, and although the IBM PC featured arrow keys and separate function keys, the traditional "WordStar diamond" and other Ctrl-key functions were retained, leading to rapid adoption by former CP/M users.[citation needed] WordStar's ability to use a "non-document" mode to create text files without formatting made it popular among programmers for writing code.

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