Dan Bricklin’s VisiCalc was first and Microsoft Excel would come to dominate, but in between it was Lotus 1-2-3 that ruled the spreadsheet world and helped push the IBM PC deep into the modern workplace.
Today Lotus 1-2-3 breathed its last, at least symbolically, as we have reached IBM’s previously announced date for discontinuing support for this iconic software that Big Blue stopped selling last year after a three-decade run (that included acquiring Lotus in 1995).
So how big of a difference did Lotus 1-2-3 make? Well, Lotus wasn’t shy about singing its virtues – literally – back in 1983, as evidenced by this amusingly cheesy video that was shown at trade shows. (If you’ll take as a given that life before spreadsheets really sucked, you can skip ahead to the 1-minute mark.)
For a more serious historical perspective, you can read Bricklin’s 2012 blog post marking the 30th anniversary of Lotus 1-2-3.
(Update: Fark.com users discuss their love/hate relationship with Lotus 1-2-3.)
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