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Word 5.1 for the Macintosh, released in 1992, was a very popular word processor due to its elegance, relative ease of use, and feature set. However, version 6.0 for the Macintosh, released in 1994, was widely derided, unlike the Windows version. It was the first version of Word based on a common codebase between the Windows and Mac versions; many accused it of being slow, clumsy and memory intensive. In response to user requests, Microsoft offered a free "downgrade" to Word 5.1 for dissatisfied Word 6.0 purchasers. The equivalent Windows version was also numbered 6.0 to coordinate product naming across platforms, despite the fact that the previous version was Word for Windows 2.0.

When Microsoft became aware of the Year 2000 problem, it released the entire version of DOS port of Microsoft Word 5.5 instead of getting people to pay for the update. As of July 2008, it is still available for download from Microsoft's web site.[1]

  1. Free version of Microsoft Word 5.5 for DOS (EXE format)
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Word 2008 Branch
Preceded by
Word 1.x
Word 5.x Followed by
Word 6.x
Microsoft Windows XP Branch
Influenced by
Microsoft Windows
Word 5.x Influenced
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Mac OS X Branch
Influenced by
Mac OS
Word 5.x Influenced
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