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Microsoft PowerPoint is a powerful presentation software developed by Microsoft. It is a standard component of the company’s Microsoft Office suite software, and is bundled together with Word, Excel and other Office productivity tools. The program uses slides to convey information rich in multimedia. The term “slide” refers to the slide projector, which this software effectively replaces.
PowerPoint was developed by Dennis Austin and Thomas Rudkin at Forethought Inc. It was supposed to be named Presenter, but the name was not adapted due to trademark issues. It was renamed PowerPoint in 1987 as suggested by Robert Gaskins. In August of 1987, Microsoft bought Forethought for $14 million and turned it into its graphics business unit, where the company continued to develop the software. The first iteration was launched together with Windows 3.0 in 1990. It only allowed slide progression in one direction – forward – and the amount of customization was fairly limited.
PowerPoint experienced a very significant change in PowerPoint 97, which added predefined transition effects and allowed the user to time them appropriately so that slides would transition automatically. This allowed a presenter to follow a predefined progression and go on with the presentation without pausing to change or read the slides. PowerPoint 2007 introduced the “ribbon” interface, marking a drastic change from the previous interface style.