Bob Gaskins, a former Berkeley Ph.D. student, conceived PowerPoint originally as an easy-to-use presentation program. He hired a software developer, Dennis Austin, in 1984 to build a prototype program that they called “Presenter,” later changing the name to PowerPoint for trademark reasons. PowerPoint 1.0 was released in 1987 for the Apple Macintosh platform; later that year Gaskins’s company Forethought and the program were purchased by Microsoft for $14 million. The first Windows and DOS versions of PowerPoint followed in 1988. PowerPoint became a standard part of the Microsoft Office suite in 1990. According to Microsoft, more than 30 million presentations are made around the world with PowerPoint every day.
And so, in March 2005, the school celebrated the 20-ish-th birthday of their alumnus’ creation with a party that included none other than David Byrne giving a talk titled “I ? PowerPoint.” And, yes, they’re all perfectly aware of Edward Tuftem, the PowerPoint-related deaths, and funny stuff like this.