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MicroPro International Corp, San Rafael, California, is due this week to announce next week a new version of WordStar, marking its first significant update since April 1983. According to Microbytes Daily, Wordstar 4.0 is expected to have have more than 125 new features, including the ability to handle PC-DOS paths, on-screen underlining, and proportional spacing. There will be a faster version of MicroPro’s WordFinder Thesaurus phonetic spelling checker, and macro support. Despite this, the main program will still take up only 75Kb, and implements the familiar WordStar commands. In part the fruits of MicroPro’s acquisition of NewStar Software, which marketed a WordStar clone called NewWord – Micropro liked the product so much that instead of suing, it bought the program and hired the writers – Version 4.0, written in assembly language, is said to incorporate significant portions of NewWord as well as all features of WordStar Professional. Costing $495 to new users, the program will be available to registered WordStar and NewWord users for $89, and the 15,000 new buyers will get a $100 rebate or a set of three software packages: SideKick, Ready!, and Graph In The Box. The program is set for the last week of February. Later this year, MicroPro plans to offer a new CP/M version of WordStar, a new edition of WordStar 2000 with desktop publishing features, and a desktop publishing package being designed by Island Graphics of Sausalito, California. It says it will continue to upgrade WordStar with another update likely towards year-end.

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