The Dennis Austin PowerPoint records contain materials assembled, and mostly authored, by Dennis Austin as a key designer
and developer of the slide show presentation software, PowerPoint. The records span 1984 through 2007 with the bulk of the
collection being from 1985 to 1994. The collection follows the design and development of PowerPoint from its beginnings at
Forethought, Inc. when its name was "Presenter," to its initial release for the Apple Macintosh in 1987, its purchase by Microsoft
later that same year, and through the software's subsequent versions with the bulk of this collection covering versions
2.0, 3.0, and 4.0. The records in this collection include Dennis Austin's notes and design drawings, PowerPoint source code,
program and feature descriptions, correspondence, user's manuals, promotional materials, and business records from Forethought
and Microsoft's Graphics Business Unit (GBU). Since the late 1980s, PowerPoint has had a significant cultural impact on how
people give presentations.
First released in 1987, PowerPoint is the standard in presentation software. It has been included with Microsoft Office since
the software suite's first release in 1990. Dennis Austin designed and developed PowerPoint while working at Forethought,
Inc., in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, California. He worked closely with Robert Gaskins, who conceived the program, and Tom
Rudkin, who helped develop it. Born May 28, 1947, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Austin studied electrical engineering at University
of Virginia, then attended graduate school at Arizona State University, MIT, and UC Santa Barbara. He worked as a software
architect for Burroughs Corporation and Gavilan Computers before joining Forethought in 1984. He worked for Microsoft from
1987 to 1996.
4.67 Linear feet
3 record cartons and 1 oversize box
The Computer History Museum (CHM) can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying
any claims of the copyright holder. Requests for copying and permission to publish, quote, or reproduce any portion of the
Computer History Museum,s collection must be obtained jointly from both the copyright holder (if applicable) and the Computer
The collection is open for research.