Microsoft Write

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Not to be confused with Windows Live Writer.
Microsoft Write
A component of Microsoft Windows
Windows Write icon.png
Windows Write.png
Type Word processor
Included with Windows 1.0, Windows 2.0, Windows 2.1x, Windows 3.0, Windows 3.1x, Windows NT 3.1, Windows NT 3.5, Windows NT 3.51
Also available for Microsoft Windows, Atari TOS, Classic Mac OS
Replaced by WordPad

Microsoft Write is a basic word processor included with Windows 1.0 and later, until Windows NT 3.51. Throughout its lifespan it was minimally updated, and is comparable to early versions of MacWrite. Early versions of Write only work with Write (.wri) files, but after Windows 3.0, Write became capable of reading and composing early Word (.doc) documents. With Windows 3.1, Write became OLE capable. In Windows 95, Write was replaced with WordPad.

Being a word processor, Write features additional document formatting features that are not found in Notepad (a simple text editor), such as a choice of font, text decorations and paragraph indentation for different parts of the document. Unlike versions of WordPad before Windows 7, Write could justify a paragraph.


Atari ST

In 1986, Atari announced an agreement with Microsoft to bring Microsoft Write to the Atari ST.[1]

Unlike the Windows version, Microsoft Write for the Atari ST was the Atari version of Microsoft Word 1.05 released for the Apple Macintosh while sharing the same name as the program included with Microsoft Windows during the 80s and early 90s.[2] While the program was announced in 1986, various delays caused the program to arrive in 1988.[3] The Atari version was a one time release and was never updated.

Microsoft Write for the Atari ST retailed at $129.95 and was one of two high profile PC word processors that were released on the Atari platform. The other application, WordPerfect, was quickly discontinued due to rampant software piracy by Atari users.


In October 1987, Microsoft released Microsoft Write for Macintosh. Write was a version of Microsoft Word with limited features that Microsoft hoped would replace aging MacWrite in the Macintosh word processor market. Write was priced well below Word, though at the time MacWrite was included with new Macintoshes. Write is best described as Word locked in "Short Menus" mode, and as such it used the same file format so that users could exchange files with absolutely no conversion necessary.[4] Write did not sell well and was discontinued before the System 7 era. Microsoft Write was part of a short-lived trend for "lightweight" Macintosh word processors initiated by the introduction of the Macintosh Portable and early PowerBook systems. Others included LetterPerfect and Nisus Compact.

Microsoft Windows


  1. ^ "News & Products". Compute! (77): 121. October 1986. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Friedland, Nat (March 1987). "Today's Atari Corp.: A close up look inside". Antic. 5 (11). Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Chadwick, By Ian (Summer 1988). "Feature Review: Microsoft Write – Was it worth the wait?". STart. 3 (1). Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Flynn, Laurie (26 October 1987). "Microsoft Pursues Mac Write With Low-End Word Processor". InfoWorld. InfoWorld Media Group. 9 (43): 45. ISSN 0199-6649. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
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