Microsoft released first Office suite of apps (for Mac?!) on August 1, 1989

On August 1, 1989, Microsoft debuted what would become its most well-known set of software programs, the Microsoft Office suite, according to the company. At the time, individual Office apps had been available for Mac, including Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. But August 1 marked the first time they were packaged and sold together, according to

The Office suite was released for Windows during October of 1990, a little more than a year after the Mac package.

Why did Microsoft release Office for Mac first? According to, the Mac audience was less important to Microsoft's success, so it felt more comfortable testing features and changes on the Mac versions before officially rolling them out for Windows. That website cited an internal email exchange between Bill Gates and another Microsoft executive:

Because Mac Office is so much less critical to our business than Windows, we have the flexibility to test out new things in the product and in its marketing before we try them on Windows … I've personally also found the Mac market interesting because I've seen so many trends appear there first, and eventually become important on Windows.

Today, nearly 30 years later, more than 1.2 billion people in 140 countries use Microsoft Office in 107 different languages, Microsoft says{.nofollow}.

That's a whole lot of Word docs and Excel cells. And it all started on August 1, 1989.

Al Sacco

Al Sacco is content director of Future PLC's Mobile Technology Vertical, which includes, and He is a veteran reporter, writer, reviewer and editor who has professionally covered and evaluated IT and mobile technology, and countless associated gadgets and accessories, for more than a decade. You can keep up with Al on Twitter and Instagram.