MapInfo developed the first desktop GIS in 1986. Originally, the intention was to create an easy-to-use software package that did not require exceedingly large amounts of computing power.
MapInfo provided the first tools to Microsoft that allowed them to include mapping functionality in their products, specifically the mapping add-on branded as Microsoft Map for Microsoft Excel as part of MS Office 95. The add-on was subsequently included in Microsoft Office 97, and Microsoft Office 2000. This provided the inspiration for the Microsoft MapPoint program, which became a separate product from Microsoft, and since then Microsoft Map was dropped.
MapInfo collaborated with Oracle Corporation to develop the original spatial cartridge for the Oracle 8i database.