Who created PowerPoint ? Who is the founder of PowerPoint ?
Microsoft PowerPoint is a presentation program, created by Robert Gaskins and Dennis Austin at a software company named Forethought, Inc. Gaskins headed this new Microsoft unit for another five years, completing versions of the PowerPoint product which contributed to the explosive early growth of Microsoft Windows and to the dominance of Microsoft Office.

Robert Gaskins
Dennis Austin

Robert Gaskins (left) and Dennis Austin (right)


The core team which created Powerpoint

When was Powerpoint released ? How old is Powerpoint ?
It was released on April 20, 1987, initially for Macintosh computers only. Microsoft acquired PowerPoint for $14 million three months after it appeared which is on July 20, 1987. This was the first software acquisition by Microsoft

When did Powerpoint become a part of Office ?
PowerPoint became a component of the Microsoft Office suite, first offered in 1989 for Macintosh and in 1990 for Windows

Why powerpoint is called powerpoint ?
On July 5, 1984, Forethought hired Robert Gaskins as its vice president of product development to create a new application that would be especially suited to the new graphical personal computers, such as Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh. During the development period, Robert Gaskins, Thomas Rudkin and Dennis Austins published a 2-page specification document named ” Presentation Graphics for Overhead Projection” while throughout the period it was named as “Presenter”. Then, just before release, there was a last-minute check with Forethought’s lawyers to register the name as a trademark, and “Presenter” was unexpectedly rejected because it had already been used by company in New Jersey. Gaskins says that he thought of “PowerPoint”, based on the product’s goal of “empowering” individual presenters, and sent that name to the lawyers for clearance, while all the documentation was hastily revised.

Did Bill Gates initially rejected the idea of Powerpoint ?
Yes. Jeff Raikes was initially chosen to head the plan of creating a new application to create presentations. To speed up development, they initially proposed to acquire More, an outlining program that could print bullet points. But during the acquisition, he found out about Presenter and changed course to acquire Powerpoint. Bill Gates was initially skeptical about Powerpoint as he wanted to integrate it in Microsoft Word. But ultimately, the green signal was given and Microsoft acquired Forethought for $14M.

What is the Market share of Powerpoint ?
PowerPoint’s market share of total world presentation software has been estimated at 95 percent by both industry and academic sources

What is the development story behind Powerpoint ?
Robert Gaskins has written a complete account on the complete story behind Powerpoint in “Sweating Bullets: Notes about Inventing Powerpoint” to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the same. You can buy the print version from Amazon US or you can download the version from below


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