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Microsoft Word for DOS - Today's Free File

word dos

Today's free file falls strictly in the novelty category, but that doesn't mean you may not find it useful. I was listening to NPR earlier this week, and they played a commentary by journalist, novelist and blogger Paul Frain about avoiding distractions while working at a computer. The commentary was actually based on a post Frain ran on his blog about a month ago, and one of his statements intrigued me: Frain said that he has boosted his productivity by, among other things, installing WordPerfect for DOS, in order to avoid the distractions that are inherent in a GUI. I wondered whether there was any way to follow in Frain's footsteps, and discovered that WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS is still available, on a genuine floppy disk (3.5-inch and 5.25-inch versions available) for $109. That seemed a little steep for a sixteen-year-old program, so I decided to see if any of WordPerfect's old DOS competitors were still available, and whether I could snag any of them for free.
And guess what: Microsoft Word 5.5 for DOS is still available, and Microsoft is giving it away. Turns out Microsoft released a Y2K patch for Word back in 1999, and rather than try to sell it, they just posted the whole program on the web for anyone to take. Six years on, the link is still live, though I doubt too many people download it. However, it does work, and can run in a DOS box under XP (or in DOSBox under OSX or Linux). Will I actually use this, and if I do, will I become more productive? I doubt it. But tracking it down was an interesting distraction. Thanks, Paul!


Tags: freeware