Lotus 1-2-3 bids farewell

6.11.2014 Benjamin Gubler

The PC spreadsheet program was very popular in the 80s, but it’s become quite irrelevant over the last decade with being trumped by Excel and Offices’ success storie. IBM has finally made the executive decision to end support for Lotus 1-2-3.

We could call this the end of an era: For those who weren’t old enough to remember the 80s, 1-2-3 was one of- if not the most - most popular spreadsheet programs and was a main reason behind the success of Lotus Development Corp. Not only Lotus Development Corp. Reaped the benefits IBM PC itself was a prominent machine only after incorporating this software… Microsoft and it’s Office range later took on that task for IBM.

IBM acquired Lotus for Notes in 1995. The bundle deal had spreadsheet and its SmartSuite bundle packaged in since that acquisition, used almost exclusively by IBMers as it seems, but non-IBMers became addicted Microsoft Office which in turn caused IBM great monetary losses.

For someone who was filling spreadsheets around the time Excel was pushing 1-2-3 from its ledge, this is a bit of sad news. Until the Office Suite was rolled out WordPerfect was the king of word processors, Lotus was the king of spreadsheets and Harvard Graphics was king for presentation slide-shows. Microsoft took a leap of faith by bundling its spreadsheet, word processor and presentation packages together which turned out to be a great success. Since then selling office software in a discounted bundle has been the business model to beat.

Although Lotus 1-2-3 was not the first spreadsheet software, it was one of the giants and to see it fall is a bitter memory of all the other greats that have fallen in the wake of the big tech companies we see today.

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