"Death to Word"

Death to Word? So suggests a writer for Slate. My question is: Why the HELL does anyone use Word in the first place?

If there is a clunkier, stupider, less elegant word processing program out there, I want to see it. (I don't want to USE it. I just want to see it.) (*1)

Way way way back in the day -- back in 1985 --- Word was a lovely, elegant program. Intuitive, easy to use. Smart. I loved it.

Then one day --- it wasn't. It was this incredibly, well, stupid program that was hard to use and made zero sense to me. I was annoyed. I even called up Redmond to ask "what gives, people?" (This was back when you could call Microsoft and get a real person on the phone. At that time the company had, what?, 15 employees?)

A nice guy at the other end of the line told me, with a sigh, that, yes, the company (read: Gates) had re-invented Word and this was the new version.

I've never used it since then, at least not intentionally. There are times I have to translate documents into Word format and it takes too long and causes me to swear too much.

So. Yes. Death to Word!


*1: I read somewhere that that early version of Word was based on a program called Xywrite. I was not surprised to learn that the program I've been using since 1987, Nota Bene, is also based on Xywrite. NB is also intuitive, simple, elegant. (*2)

*2: For years, I resisted switching to a Mac, because NB was and is only available for PCs. But about a year ago, I thought "Doh! The really GOOD writing software is written for Macs! So switch, you idiot." So I'm waiting for the new iMacs to come out --- in June --- and then I will. And I will not be sad to say bye bye the world of the PC. I've used one since 1983, and owned one since '86, and they feel and behave like relics of that era.