The Wordstar story

Only three PC word processing applications have had a dominant market share since 1978.  The first was Wordstar from MicroPro.  I used it until the company faltered in its development programme and made some poor strategic decisions.

I, and most other Wordstar users, switched to WordPerfect in the 1980s.   In the 1990s the WordPerfect Corporation also began to stumble, and Microsoft Word became the market leader amongst PC word processing applications.

Wordstar was a remarkably good programme for its time. It had many innovative features. For example, it was the first PC word processing programme to have WYSIWYG. The programme was the product of Rob Barnaby’s programming skills. The success of the MicroPro company was due to the business skills of Seymour Rubinstein. In 2006 the IEEE published an article by Rubenstein on the history of Wordstar.

Seymour Rubinstein, “Recollections: The Rise and Fall of WordStar,” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 64-72, Oct-Dec, 2006.

A full history of Wordstar can be found here.

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