eBay Purchase Price: $1 AUD
Country of Origin: Australia
Condition: Very Good
Sometimes every now and then a bargain is picked up, and in this case it was a new shrink wrapped copy of Microsoft Publisher 2.0 for only $1 AUD. Other copies found tend to be priced between $50 to $100.
This version of Publisher from 1993 had a few minor variations to the retail box particularly with the large typeface on the front, and the coloured diamond that would either say just “Version 2.0” or mention some sort of special offer.
Publisher was really aimed at the home and small business markets, as QuarkXPress and Adobe’s PageMaker dominated professional use for publishing and printing companies.
Released on both floppy disks and CD, this was the last version to run on Windows 3.1, requiring a 286 PC with 4 MB of RAM. If you were running Windows 3.0, you’d be left with only Publisher 1.0 as your only option. The CD version comprised of a larger clip art and template library.
Although Publisher 1.0 was at the time reasonable for a first version product, Publisher 2.0 was a major revamp. An interface redesign, ability to save style formatting, a proper table editor, and improved help files were well received enhancements.
Inside the box is fairly standard with a 430-page user guide, a catalogue showing the included clip art and templates, registration card, disk coupons, and five 3½” floppy disks.
Especially since this was shrink wrapped, I thought it was odd to receive two different Disk Order Forms. One of them makes sense, as it specifies to order for the 5¼” high density disks. The other slightly smaller Disk Order Form also allows you to select Macintosh and OS/2 for the operating system, and other floppy variations such as 800 KB Macintosh disks or 720 KB 3½” low density floppy disk sets. Not sure why as Publisher wasn’t released for Macintosh or OS/2, though the form is generic in nature.
Windows 3.1 came with a very limited selection of TrueType fonts. Publisher 2.0 installs an additional 20 fonts for use. Some fonts such as Braggadocio and Desdemona appear to have fallen out of favour over the years, though the below 13 fonts have stood the test of time and were easily found using Word 2016.
A Publisher Design Pack had also been released by Microsoft to expand the number of templates, fonts, and Clip Art available for selection.