Installing and running Microsoft Word on old Windows releases.
The Microsoft Word word processor was first introduced for MS-DOS in 1983, the Mac version was introduced in 1985 and a first version for Windows was introduced in 1989. The DOS, Mac, and Windows versions are quite different from each other, and each restarted their version numbering at "1.0". Later versions of Microsoft Word for Windows (also called WinWord) are bundled with Microsoft Office.
Installation failure of Word 1.0 on Windows 2.x.
Trying to install Word for Windows 1.0 (available at the Microsoft Word page of WinWorld) on my Windows 2.11 failed, as do most applications intended for this OS. In fact, most of these applications require the support of the Virtual 8086 mode of the new Intel 386 processor. Thus, they may only be installed on Windows/386 2.x. That's what my Windows 2.11 actually is, however, I did not succeed in running it in 386er mode (and I think that this isn't possible on VMware). My running Windows 2.11 is nothing else than a 286er version (included with Windows/386 2.11). That's why, on my Windows 2.11, the installation of all applications that need the 386er system, fail. As here the setup of Word for Windows 1.0...
Installation problems of Word 2.0 on Windows 3.0.
The installation of Microsoft Word 2.0c for Windows (French) (available at the Microsoft Word page of WinWorld) on my Windows 3.0 (French language version) worked fine, but when finished, I got an issue that is rather frequent with software installation on Windows 3.x: the creation of the new program group deleting all other groups in Program Manager (and by that, also in Dashboard). No idea, when and why this happens. Perhaps there is a simple work-around: Backing up the program group files before performing software installations and, if the groups are deleted, restoring them. If I find the time, maybe one day I'll try it out... Beside the problem with the deleted program groups, I also got the error message shown on the screenshot below. I got the error when trying to quit Windows. I don't remember if I tried to reboot Windows 3.0 and if it was capable to do so; this might be the case, despite of the message. But, with the program groups having been deleted, I reset my VM to the snapshot before the installation of Word...
Successful installation of Word 1.1a on Windows 3.0.
"Word for Windows 1.1 adds extra support specifically for Windows 3.0", you can read on the Microsoft Word page of WinWorld. So, I tried to install it on my Windows 3.0 (French language version). The installation was successful, the setup process being rather annoying: text-based installer, lots of questions to answer and several times that the setup diskette has to be inserted.
After the Welcome screen (screenshot on the left), you may choose between doing the installation, viewing the ReadMe file, or canceling setup). If you continue, you are told that for this version of Word, Windows 2.11 or later is required, Windows 3.0 or later recommended (screenshot on the right).
The setup wizard continues with asking for the installation drive and directory; default is C:\WINWORD (on my machine D:\WINWORD, as my Windows 3.0, part of a multi-boot, is installed on the D: partition). After having been asked to insert the "Conversions" diskette, you are asked if you want to install the conversions and the graphics filters and you have to select those, you want to install, from a list. You are also asked if you want to install the tutorial and the symbol soft fonts (needed for Greek letters and math symbols on a HP-PCL printer). Installation terminates without displaying any success message.
Please, note that the setup program doesn't create a program group. Beside running Word from the filesystem, you can create a program group manually. If you need help about how to this in Program Manager, you may want to have a look at my Using the Windows 3.x Program Manager tutorial. If you use Dashboard instead, it works in a very similar way, as show the two screenshots below.
And finally, running Microsoft Word (on the screenshot: with a sample document opened).
Fatal error after installation of Word 6.0a on Windows 3.1.
I tried to install the German version of Word 6.0a (available at the Microsoft Word page of WinWorld) on my Windows 3.1 (German language version). As shows the screenshot below, the installation succeeded until the moment where the setup program wants to restart Windows (and definitively finish the installation).
Restarting Windows failed with the error message Error when loading PROGRAM.EXE (German: "Fehler beim Laden von PROGRAM.EXE"). This error is a fatal one, because it will no longer be possible to start Windows!
PROGRAM.EXE being the Windows 3.x Program Manager, there is a possibility that if you haven't installed Dashboard, or even if you disable it before starting the installation of Word, the installation of Word 6.0a on Windows 3.1 might succeed. I did not try it out. Primarily because, having succeeded in installing Microsoft Office (including Word for Windows) on my Windows 3.11, I presumed that this will probably work on Windows 3.1, too.
Successful installation of Office 4.3 Professional on Windows 3.11.
As you probably know, Microsoft Office is a commercial office suite including the word processor Word, the spreadsheet application Excel the presentation program PowerPoint and the mail application Outlook. The professional edition also includes the database application Access.
Version 4.3 Pro of MS Office may be downloaded from the Microsoft Office page of WinWorld. The download archive contains 2 CD images, the first ISO being the Office installation files, the second one containing Bookshelf.
During setup, you should choose Complete/Custom as installation type; this gives you the possibility to choose which components you actually want to be installed (so you have the possibility to only install MS Word...).
During the creation of the program group, Setup will issue an error message telling you that it did not succeed in creating the file SYSTEM.MDA. This is a bug (I guess) within MS Access. If you do not use the database application, you may ignore the issue, otherwise you can resolve it as described in my MS Access 2.0 startup failure: Cannot find SYSTEM.MDA help text.
To finish the installation, Windows has to be restarted. This may be a problem, as the restart of Windows will fail, if the 1024x768 pixels 256 colors VESA driver is installed. The Office installation program offers the option to exit setup instead of restarting Windows (screenshot on the left), and when you do so, informs you that, when leaving Windows later and being in DOS, you'll have to run the program C:\WINDOWS\_MSRSTRT.EXE (screenshot on the right; note that my Windows 3.11 is part of a multi-boot and installed on the F: partition). If you choose to do this way (and that's what I would recommend), setup terminates with the message "Microsoft Office and Bookshelf setup was not completed successfully". Don't worry about this; the message just means that you'll have to run _MSRSTRT.EXE to finish the installation.
After closing the message box that installation was not successful, I got an error message from Dashboard telling me that it could not open the program group file MSVC0002.GRP and asking if I wanted to load this group in the future. Push the Yes button to say that you want it to do so!
Now exit Windows and being in DOS, run _MSRSTRT.EXE (the program executes silently with no output). Then, start Windows again. Apart from the Access system database, all should be alright now and Microsoft Office Cue Cards should start up. The Office program group should now be present in Dashboard and you should be able to run Word (and the other Office applications).
Installation of Microsoft Office 97 on Windows 95.
If you want to use MS Word on Windows 95, the word processor included with MS Office 97 is probably the most adequate. I successfully installed the French version of Microsoft Office 97 Professional SR-1 (available at the Microsoft Office page of WinWorld) on my Windows 95C (French language version).
Choosing the custom installation type, you may select the components that you actually want to be installed.
On the screenshot below, showing a new (empty) document opened in MS Word included with Microsoft Office 97 Professional SR-1, you can see the animated Office companion, a new help feature that Microsoft introduced with their products from the end 1990s.
Installation of Microsoft Office XP on Windows XP.
Choosing Word included with Microsoft Office XP as wordprocessor seems to be the obvious choice on a Windows XP computer. However, if you search for it on the WinWorld website, you will not find it. As you will not find Windows XP on their site. I think that the reson for this is that the XP products from Microsoft are not yet considered as abandonware, and thus couldn't normally be used without buying a license. If I say "normally", I mean that installing a some 20 years old operating system (and the related applications software) for try-out, for nostalgic review or for educational purposes, cannot really be doing something bad and I'm quite sure that Microsoft will not at all be angry with you if you do so...
I found a copy of Microsoft Office XP Professional at www.mysoftwarefree.com. This site may not be entirely legal (?), but as I said above, I don't see anything wrong to use software from so long ago and not to work with but with an educational aim. The download is a CD image, that you can mount in a virtual CD-drive or use as CD-drive in your virtualization software. Note that during setup a serial number will be asked; a working one is included with the download.
During setup, I got an error 1406: "Setup cannot write the value Installed to the registry key ..." (to get rid of the message, push the Ignore button in the error message box). I'm not sure if this a problem with Office, or if possibly the action was blocked by my firewall software. Anyway, the problem seems to concern some optional mail component and should not affect working with the Office applications.
Here, what a new (empty document) opened in Word included with MS Office XP looks like:
Installation of Microsoft Office 97 Small Business Edition on Windows XP.
MS Office 97/98 runs fine on Windows XP, as shows my successful installation of the German version of Office 97 Small Business Edition on my Windows XP (German language version). This special version of MS Office includes the following components: Word, Excel, Publisher (instead of PowerPoint), Outlook and Microsoft Small Business Manager (plus several add-ons). The installation files may be downloaded from the Microsoft Office page of WinWorld.
During setup of MS Word, you can choose what components you want to be installed. The screenshot shows the possible selections for a standard installation.
The version of Word included with Office Small Business Edition is the same as the one described above with Microsoft Office 97 Professional SR-1, including the animated Office companion.
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