WordStar

MicroProMicroPro InternationalWordStar 4.0StarburstStarburst (office suite)Word MasterWordMasterWordStar 4.0 softwareWordStar International Inc.
WordStar was a word processor application that had a dominant market share during the early- to mid-1980s.wikipedia
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WordPerfect

WordPerfect OfficeWordPerfect CorporationCorel WordPerfect Office
In spite of its great popularity in the early 1980s, these problems allowed WordPerfect to take WordStar's place as the most widely used word processor from 1985 onwards. Although competition appeared early (the first version of WordPerfect debuted in 1982 and Microsoft Word in 1983), WordStar was the dominant word processor on x86 machines until 1985.
The application's feature list was considerably more advanced than its main competition WordStar, an established program that originated on CP/M.

Seymour I. Rubinstein

More history of Surpass (pre-Quattro Pro code base)Seymour Rubinstein
Although Seymour I. Rubinstein was the principal owner of the company, Rob Barnaby was the sole author of the early versions of the program (up to version 0.89).
Programs developed partially or entirely under his direction include WordStar, HelpDesk, Quattro Pro, and WebSleuth, among others.

Mail merge

Mail mergingmerge
WordStar was the first microcomputer word processor to offer mail merge and WYSIWYG.
WordStar was perhaps the earliest to provide this, originally via an ancillary program called Mail merge.

Osborne 1

OsborneOsborne Ifirst portable microcomputer
Already popular, its inclusion with the Osborne 1 computer made the program become the de facto standard for much of the word-processing market.
The Osborne 1 comes with a bundle of application software with a retail value of more than US$1500, including the WordStar word processor, SuperCalc spreadsheet, and the CBASIC and MBASIC programming languages.

Samna

Samna Corporation
By late 1984 the company admitted, according to the magazine, that WordStar's reputation for power was fading, and by early 1985 its sales had decreased for four quarters while those of Multimate and Samna increased.
Samna was a competitor to WordStar and MultiMate in the DOS market for word processors in the 1980s.

WYSIWYG

What you see is what you getwhat-you-see-is-what-you-getWYSIWYG editor
WordStar was the first microcomputer word processor to offer mail merge and WYSIWYG.
By 1981, MicroPro advertised that its WordStar word processor had WYSIWYG, but its display was limited to displaying styled text in WYSIWYG fashion; bold and italic text would be represented on screen, instead of being surrounded by tags or special control characters.

Osborne Computer Corporation

OsborneOsborne Computer
Barnaby left the company in March 1980, but due to WordStar's sophistication, the company's extensive sales and marketing efforts, and bundling deals with Osborne and other computer makers, MicroPro's sales grew from $500,000 in 1979 to $72 million in fiscal year 1984, surpassing earlier market leader Electric Pencil.
It could survive being accidentally dropped and included a bundled software package that included the CP/M operating system, the BASIC programming language, the WordStar word processing package, and the SuperCalc spreadsheet program.

MultiMate

MultiMate, in particular, used the same key sequences as Wang word processors, which made it popular with secretaries switching from those to PCs.
The company's fiscal 1984 sales were $15 million or more, and by early 1985 MultiMate's installed base in companies was as large as former market leader WordStar's.

Wang Laboratories

WangWang LabsWang 1200
After Rubinstein obtained a report that discussed the abilities of contemporary standalone word processors from IBM, Xerox, and Wang Laboratories, Barnaby enhanced WordMaster with similar features and support for the CP/M operating system.
The keyboard had 16 function-keys and, unlike WordStar, the popular word processor of the day, control key combinations were not required to navigate the system.

CP/M

CP/M-80CP/M operating systemBDOS
After Rubinstein obtained a report that discussed the abilities of contemporary standalone word processors from IBM, Xerox, and Wang Laboratories, Barnaby enhanced WordMaster with similar features and support for the CP/M operating system. It was published by MicroPro International, and written for the CP/M operating system but later ported to MS-DOS.
WordStar used the 8th bit as an end-of-word marker.

Spell checker

spell checkingspell checkspell-checking
In September 1983 it published WordStar clone NewWord, which offered several features the original lacked, such as a built-in spell checker and support for laser printers.
However, the market for standalone packages was short-lived, as by the mid-1980s developers of popular word-processing packages like WordStar and WordPerfect had incorporated spell checkers in their packages, mostly licensed from the above companies, who quickly expanded support from just English to European and eventually even Asian languages.

Electric Pencil

Barnaby left the company in March 1980, but due to WordStar's sophistication, the company's extensive sales and marketing efforts, and bundling deals with Osborne and other computer makers, MicroPro's sales grew from $500,000 in 1979 to $72 million in fiscal year 1984, surpassing earlier market leader Electric Pencil.
Many imitators appeared, however, including WordStar and Magic Wand, both of which surpassed the original's popularity as Shrayer became bored with programming and sold its rights to others.

Word processor

word processingword processing softwareword processors
WordStar was a word processor application that had a dominant market share during the early- to mid-1980s.
In 1978 WordStar appeared and because of its many new features soon dominated the market.

SoftKey

SoftKey MultimediaSoftKey InternationalSoftKey Publishing
After renaming itself after its flagship product in 1989, WordStar International merged with SoftKey in 1993.
By 1994, Softkey was a billion-dollar consolidator in the educational software market, acquiring no fewer than sixty rivals, such as WordStar, Brøderbund and Spinnaker Software.

Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J SawyerRobert SawyerRob Sawyer
Canadian science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer continues to use WordStar for DOS 7.0 (the final release) to write his novels.
Sawyer continues to use a customized version of WordStar for DOS to write his novels.

Productivity software

office suiteproductivity suiteoffice software
His replacements canceled the promising office suite Starburst, purchased a WordStar clone, and used it as the basis of WordStar 2000, released in December 1984.
The earliest office suite for personal computers was Starburst in the early 1980s, comprising the word processor WordStar, together with companion apps CalcStar (spreadsheet) and DataStar (database).

Kaypro

Kaypro IIKaypro ComputerKaypro 4
It was part of the software bundle that accompanied Kaypro computers.
The initial bundled applications were soon replaced by the well-known titles WordStar, a word processor, with MailMerge, originally a third-party accessory, for personalised mass mailings (form letters), the SuperCalc spreadsheet, two versions of the Microsoft BASIC interpreter, Kaypro's S-BASIC, a bytecode-compiled BASIC called C-Basic, and the dBase II relational database system.

A Song of Ice and Fire

Song of Ice and FireA Dream of SpringA Song of Fire and Ice
A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin still uses the MS-DOS version of WordStar 4.0.
, Martin was still typing his fiction on a DOS computer with WordStar 4.0 software.

Microsoft Word

WordMS WordWord for Windows
Although competition appeared early (the first version of WordPerfect debuted in 1982 and Microsoft Word in 1983), WordStar was the dominant word processor on x86 machines until 1985.
It was not initially popular, since its user interface was different from the leading word processor at the time, WordStar.

Borland Sidekick

Sidekick
Some Borland products, including the popular Turbo Pascal compiler, and Borland Sidekick, used a subset of WordStar keyboard commands, the former in its IDE and the latter in the "Notepad" editors.
It included a personal calendar, text editor (with WordStar-like command interface), calculator, ASCII chart, address book, and phone dialer.

Desktop publishing

DTPDesktop publishing softwaredigital typography
It was a well-reviewed product and included many features normally only found in more expensive desktop publishing packages.
Programs such as WordPerfect and WordStar were still mainly text-based and offered little in the way of page layout, other than perhaps margins and line spacing.

George R. R. Martin

George R.R. MartinGeorge RR Martin G.R.R. Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin still uses the MS-DOS version of WordStar 4.0.
He still does all his "writing on an old DOS machine running Wordstar 4.0".

Text editor

text editorstext editingeditor
The original WordStar interface left a large legacy, and many of its control-key command are still available (optionally or as the default) in other programs, such as the modern cross-platform word processing software TextMaker and many text editors running under MS-DOS, Linux, and other UNIX variants.
Non-WYSIWYG word processors, such as WordStar, are more easily pressed into service as text editors, and in fact were commonly used as such during the 1980s.

Turbo Pascal

Borland PascalPascalBorland Pascal 7
Some Borland products, including the popular Turbo Pascal compiler, and Borland Sidekick, used a subset of WordStar keyboard commands, the former in its IDE and the latter in the "Notepad" editors.
Early versions of the editor used WordStar key functions, which was the de facto standard at the time.

TRS-80 Model 100

TRS-80 Model 100 lineModel 100NEC PC-8201
The TEXT editor built into the firmware of the TRS-80 Model 100 portable computer supported a subset of the Wordstar cursor movement commands (in addition to its own).
A perhaps not well-known but documented feature of TEXT was that it partially supported the WordStar command interface.