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Microsoft Office is a bundle of Microsoft's productivity application. This includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and later Mail, Office Manager, and Outlook. The "1.x" versions of Microsoft Office were simply a marketing bundle of the standalone products sold together with no other packaging changes. Even though these were distinct applications, rather than one single monolithic program, they shared a similar user interface, integrated well together and shared the ability to embed documents from one application in the documents of another.


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Ashton-Tate dBase was an early popular database management system for CP/M and MS-DOS. It was regarded as one of the killer applications for CP/M, and achieved good success. At the time of conception Ashton-Tate was a garage based company but quickly grew.


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Excel, from Microsoft, is a powerful spreadsheet application for Mac, Windows, and OS/2. Excel was first released for the Mac. When it was ported to Windows 2.x, they started at version "2.0" to one up current Mac version. There was never a DOS version. Instead, DOS and 8-bit platforms used the older Microsoft Multiplan. Excel was later bundled as part of Microsoft Office


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Norton Commander is a MS-DOS based file shell that was widely popular due to it's two column design. You could easily copy and move files between one folder or another, execute DOS commands and more. It competed against many other file managers including Gazelle Q-DOS and Xtree


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Microsoft Plus! was an add-on package to Windows that added desktop themes, screen savers, sound effects, power-toys, and other assorted goodies for the home user. Plus! 95 also included Internet Explorer 1.0, which was not included in all Windows 95 distributions.


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Microsoft Works was an all-in-one scaled-down Word Processor, Spreadsheet, and Database geared towards the home user. It was released in variants for early DOS, Windows, and Macintosh. Microsoft Works competed against Lotus Jazz, FrameWork, AlphaWorks/LotusWorks, PFS First Choice, and many others.


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Lotus 1-2-3 was an early spreadsheet application available for MS-DOS. It became extremely popular in the late 1980s, displacing the former leader VisiCalc. Lotus had difficulties adapting 1-2-3 to the Windows environment, and was overtaken by Microsoft Excel. Spreadsheet functionality was also included in Lotus Symphony. Later versions were included in Lotus SmartSuite.


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The Norton Utilities is a suite of disk and system utilities designed to enhance system performance and stability. It started off as a set of disk utilities written by Peter Norton, and later was sold by Symantec. It competed against Central Point PC Tools and the Mace Utilities. In 2003, Norton Utilities was merged with Norton SystemWorks, but later split back out.


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Oracle Forms and Reports is a GUI application builder. It is similar to Visual Basic, but uses the PL/SQL language and integrates heavily with Oracle Server databases.


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XTree is an easy to use text-mode file manager. It pioneered the use of a GUI-like hierarchy tree, and provides many integrated file viewers. It competed against many other file managers including Gazelle Q-DOS and Norton Commander


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Pkzip is the most common archiver for MS-DOS based systems. It implements a an open compression method and is much faster than other archivers of its time.


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SuperCalc was a spreadsheet application published by Sorcim in 1980, and originally bundled (along with WordStar) as part of the CP/M software package included with the Osborne 1 portable computer. It quickly became the de facto standard spreadsheet for CP/M and was ported to MS-DOS in 1982. It competed against spreadsheets such as VisiCalc, Multiplan. and Lotus 1-2-3.


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Grammatik is a standalone grammar checker, and was possibly the first grammar checker for personal computers. Later versions were built in to Word Perfect. It competed against RightWriter.


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PC Tools, from Central Point Software, is a system and disk utility suite similar to the Norton Utilities. Central Point also produced a similar set of tools for the Apple Macintosh known as MacTools. Central Point Backup, bundled as part of PC-Tools, was also offered as a standalone product.


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Microsoft Access is a powerful and friendly desktop database. You can design complex tables, forms, and reports through selection and drag-and drop. You can make a fully usable interactive database application without a line of code, but for more advanced functionality it supports built-in Visual Basic for Applications. It is also bundled with some versions of Microsoft Office


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A tool from PowerQuest, and later Symantec, that enables manipulation of partitions through its own bootable media. PartitionMagic can shrink, grow, or move partitions without the need to backup and restore files in that partition. It supported a variety of file systems, and the core DOS-based parition tool fit on a bootable 1.44mb floppy disk. It was extremely popular, and made installing or removing multiple OSes much easier.


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Ghost, originally released in 1995 by Binary Research and later under Symantec with the "Norton" title, is a PC cloning and imaging tool. It can image and restore drives to drives of different sizes, supports many different file systems, and supports many different archiving and communications methods. Ghost 7.5 and earlier support running from DOS. Later versions are Windows-only.


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IBM/Lotus SmartSuite is an office suite from Lotus software for Windows and OS/2. SmartSuite includes SmartCenter, 1-2-3, Word Pro, Freelance Graphics, Approach, Organizer, and ScreenCam.


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WinZip is an archive utility for Microsoft Windows that creates and extracts ZIP files, along with a degree of support for MS Cabinet (cab), ISO, JAR, TAR, and GZipped files.


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Packard Bell Navigator is an alternate user interface that replaces the Windows 3.1 Program Manager shell. It presents the content of your computer as a series of rooms.


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The Microsoft Windows Resource kit is a set of supplementary tools for managing and deploying Microsoft Windows. The first Windows Resource kit was released in 1991 for Windows 3.0. Most, but not all, Windows versions after that had corresponding Resource Kits. These were often freely downloadable from Microsoft.


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RightWriter is a grammar / structure checking utility. You can feed it a document, and it will produce a marked up copy listing high level critiques such as readability, delivery strength, and jargon. It competed with Grammatik, but RightWriter generally produced superior results.


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CheckIt, from TouchStone Software Corporation, is a diagnostic tool for generic PC/XT/AT compatible computers. It can perform tests on RAM, hard disks, video cards, floppy disks, motherboard resources, and I/O devices. It has an easy to use menu interface but can also run tests non-interactively. It was followed up by the product WINCheckit.


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Microsoft Multiplan was an early 8-bit spreadsheet application for CP/M and MS-DOS with ports to numerous other platforms in the early 80s. Initially it competed against VisiCalc and later Lotus 1-2-3. A companion product, Microsoft Chart, provided graphing support. Multiplan was never ported to Windows, where it was replaced with Microsoft Excel. Excel also replaced Multiplan on the Macintosh platform.


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DESQView, from Quarterdeck, was a DOS application multi-tasker and in later versions functioned as an X client for applications on remote UNIX systems. It competed against IBM Topview. The original DESQ was just a task switcher, but subsequent versions offered preemptive multitasking of well behaved DOS programs on real-mode 8088 PCs. It gained popularity when DESQView 386 added virtual x86 support. This enabled the ability to multi task many poorly behaved programs, and was often used on BBSes due to its excellent COM port handling. It was later overtaken by OS/2 and Windows.