PowerPoint

Screen shot of Powerpoint in 1987 - before it was bought by Microsoft.

Screen shot of Powerpoint in 1987 - before it was bought by Microsoft. Click to enlarge

I have just been making a PowerPoint animation of the steps to disaster in Fukushima for Wednesday’s Protons for Breakfast session on nuclear power. Relaxing looking at the web for a few minutes, I came across a story which said that companies like Microsoft (who make PowerPoint) shouldn’t bother to do Research and Development because they are rubbish at it!  Indeed it claimed that Microsoft spent more on R&D in 2010 than Apple spent in the last decade! It then went on to point out that Microsoft had not invented PowerPoint, but had in fact bought it from a company called Forethought back in 1987. Back then, the application was used to prepare slides that were then actually printed onto sheets of acetate! Ha Ha Ha… And it was an application for Macintosh computers!

I write a lot of Powerpoint slides these days, especially for Protons for Breakfast -and these slides take hours to create. And so I spend many hours of my life in an environment created by software engineers at Microsoft and I had just assumed that PowerPoint was their creation and now…well! I don’t know why, but I am shocked to discover this. That’s all.

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