Steve Jobs approached Bill Gates to write applications for the new Macintosh system in 1984, and Bill agreed.One of his first jobs was to organize the first true WYSIWYG word processor for a personal computer -- Microsoft Word for Macintosh.Simply double-click the downloaded file to install it.Update Star Free and Update Star Premium come with the same installer.All of these were once successful cottage industries with a thriving community of rival product vendors striving to produce better products that would capture each others' market share.But one by one, Microsoft moved into each sector and built one of the competitors into Word, thereby killing the competition and stifling innovation.
In the end, the decree went out: Word should implement formatting paradigms.As the first 8-bit personal computers appeared (largely consisting of the Apple II and the rival CP/M ecosystem), programmers tried to develop a hybrid tool called a word processor: a screen-oriented editor that hid the complex and hostile printer control commands from the author, replacing them with visible highlight characters on screen and revealing them only when the user told the program to "reveal codes".Programs like Word Star led the way, until Word Perfect took the market in the early 1980s by adding the ability to edit two or more files at the same time in a split screen view.Its pervasive near-monopoly status has brainwashed software developers to such an extent that few can imagine a word processing tool that exists as anything other than as a shallow imitation of the Redmond Behemoth. I've been using word processors and text editors for nearly 30 years.There was an era before Microsoft Word's dominance when a variety of radically different paradigms for text preparation and formatting competed in an open marketplace of ideas.
Then, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, research groups at MIT and Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center began to develop the tools that fleshed out the graphical user interface of workstations like the Xerox Star and, later, the Apple Lisa and Macintosh (and finally the Johnny-come-lately imitator, Microsoft Windows). One faction wanted to take the classic embedded-codes model, and update it to a graphical bitmapped display: you would select a section of text and mark it as "italic" or "bold" and the word processor would embed the control codes in the file and, when the time came to print the file, it would change the font glyphs being sent to the printer at that point in the sequence.