Ami

Ami was the name of a word processing program developed and marketed by Samna in the late 1980s. It was the first WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) word processor and was an obvious threat to command driven word processors such as WordPerfect and Microsoft Word who borrowed their use model from the Wang word processor. (Samna was purchased by Lotus Software in 1990.) Shortly after its introduction, the name of the program was changed to "Ami Pro."

Ami Pro was a significant competitor to Microsoft Word and WordPerfect Corporation's WordPerfect during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Ami preceded Windows as well as versions of those two competing products. The developers of Ami Pro introduced a number of innovations in Ami Pro that were later adopted by other word processors. The notable feature of the Windows version of Ami Pro was the colorful SmartIcons.

At the time that Ami Pro was introduced, the word processing market was dominated by WordPerfect. Both Ami Pro and Microsoft Word made inroads into WordPerfect's market share. Eventually Microsoft Word overtook WordPerfect as the dominant player and Ami Pro was discontinued.

IBM, the present owner of the Lotus mark, has replaced it with Lotus Word Pro.

The 16-bit Ami Pro had significant limitations, most notably that it was unable to display the bottom of one page and the top of the next at the same time. The limitations were so severe that Lotus completely re-wrote the program from scratch when developing the 32-bit version for Windows 95.

The 16-bit Ami Pro had significant benefits, too. Most notably, it was possible to easily control formatting with paragraph styles that were set with function keys, and were locked in for the whole paragraph. (They were not erased with the deletion of the last character of the paragraph as they are with Microsoft Word.)

Note that Ami Pro used the 3 character file extension of ".sam" and Lotus Word Pro used the extension of ".lwp"


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