The Best Spreadsheet in the World

Time for a walk down Memory Lane…

For those of us that were brought up with single computers that filled a room, and that room needed to be air conditioned, we have some memories about how things have changed. One of those is the computer spreadsheet.

VisiCalc, SuperCalc, MultiPlan, Lotus 1-2-3, and on we moved into the future…

VisiCalc was the first computer spreadsheet program as we know them today, and was written by Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston in 1979. The original VisiCalc for the IBM PC can still be downloaded and run on IBM PC systems from

SuperCalc was a spreadsheet developed by Sorcim for the Osborne Computer Corporation portable computer in 1980. By 1987, under the ownership of Computer Associates, it had over 1 million users.

Microsoft Multiplan was introduced in 1982, by Microsoft, as a competitor for VisiCalc. It was first released for computers running the CP/M operating system.

1-2-3 was originally written by Jonathan Sachs, and was released on January 26, 1983 as Lotus 1-2-3 by the Lotus Development Corporation. IBM purchased Lotus in 1995 for US$3.5 billion, but finally discontinued the Lotus 1-2-3 application in 2013.

Microsoft Excel replaced Microsoft Multiplan between 1985 and 1987, with it being created for the Apple Macintosh in 1985 and then for Microsoft Windows in 1987.

And if we compare the original spreadsheet to the latest Microsoft Excel offering, we can see easily how things have changed.

I never thought that Excel would beat 1-2-3…  But that was many years ago now.

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