One of the most widely used software packages out there is Microsoft Office 2018, also referred to as MS Office. The goal of its design is to be a complete solution to all your office needs, as it strives to replicate all the functions of an average office setting on a computer, which is why it was named so. It’s been around for an incredibly long time, as far as computer software today goes, and that is a result of the vision and competence of its creator, Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Since its launch in 1990, an impressive 27 years ago, it has undergone a series of revamps and upgrades but it still retains the utility-oriented spirit that made it the massive phenomenon that it is up to this day. Over 1.2 Billion (yes, with a B) users worldwide have found it useful, so there just might be something to it, right? Comprising software applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Spreadsheet, Outlook, Access, OneNote, and Publisher, it’s the jack-of-all-trades that strives to be master of them all, and many would tell you that it succeeds in this endeavor.
To get a better understanding of what makes Microsoft Office tick so mightily across the computer-savvy globe, let’s dive in and take a look at a couple of the things that made it stand out above the competition, then and now.
One of the biggest challenges facing software applications out there is the difficulty of getting them to work just as effectively and efficiently everywhere across the globe. Users of office software require their documents and productions to be as broadly applicable as possible, as the nature of business requires plenty of co-ordination and collaboration. Microsoft Office does not suffer from this limitation. Whatever your desktop publishing requirements may be, ranging from the preparation of resume to the printing out of a end-of-year financial spreadsheets, users of this suite will find their documents acceptable virtually universally. As a matter of fact, most organizations will expressly stipulate that documentation be prepared in applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and such. There are very few exceptions to this, and this reality is what has made this software suite the industry standard for office documentation and desktop publishing.
2. Everybody Needs It
There’s a reason Microsoft Office has found its way to over 1.2 billion users across the globe – virtually everybody has some use for it. College students use it in the course of writing their papers; salesmen need it to create their flyers and brochures; and even housewives could find it useful in setting out their household budgets. The point is, this assembly of applications has such a versatile range of uses that it has grown into an indispensable part of the daily lives of many. Few software packages can make a similar claim.
3. User Friendliness
Another major attraction of Microsoft Office is its legendarily easy-to-use nature. Microsoft decided early on to make its applications as simple and straightforward as possible to operate for anyone with any familiarity with traditional office operations. They applied the WYSIWYG methodology in their design process, meaning ‘What You See Is What You Get’. This meant that whatever you were doing on screen would appear on your printout just as you saw it. This was a departure from the technically involving trends of applications up until then, many of which required some basic programming knowledge to operate with any degree of proficiency. The playing field was evened out for everybody to join in on the digital revolution with this shift to mass-appeal. Everyone who has experience with these applications will no doubt be aware of the extensive Help files built into them to guide you along every step of your project, whatever it may be.
4. A Complete Package
The most ingenious quality of Microsoft Office, in fact what gave it such a massive head-start over its competitors, is the act that it carries just about every tool your average business operation would require. You need to draft a letter to a potential client? Word is your answer. You need to draft a spreadsheet to keep track of your office expenditures? Excel is just what you need. A presentation coming up? You have PowerPoint ready to get the job done. Businesses value efficiency very highly, as you might well know, with the knowledge that efficiency plays a major role in determining the profitability of any enterprise. This suite puts everything you might require for your desktop publishing needs in one convenient, seamlessly integrated basket, and that simply makes for good business.
5. Online Support
The Microsoft Corporation was among the very first pioneers of effective, dedicated online support for its products. They realized early on that helping people operate their products would gain and keep their loyalty in the long-run, and it worked so well for them that practically all large organizations followed suit.
A visit to the Microsoft website or any one of their dedicated forums will avail hundreds of pages of tips, support, and advice for the Microsoft applications out there. You can choose to communicate your particular problem should you have trouble locating a solution and you will receive an answer from Microsoft employees or knowledgeable fellow-users from anywhere in the word. They will also provide you with automatic updates in the form of regular service packs that will ensure your programs are always up and running at peak efficiency for your needs.
6. Extension Capability
As computer users grew to become more tech-savvy and their requirements grew in complexity and uniqueness, the need for special features grew as well. Microsoft Office accommodated his demand by making it possible for third-party developers and individual users with the know-how to write their own plug-ins that would extend the range of capabilities the programs came with. It’s possible to include your own specialized features and custom commands over the defaults provided to give you a more specialized user experience. Especially useful modifications and plug-ins can be downloaded online where third-party developers can share or sell their creations.