Lotus 123

lotus123aLotus 123 was a spreadsheet program created by Lotus Software, which later became part of IBM. It was THE killer app of the mid 1980s, outselling it’s competitor VisiCalc. It helped plant the IBM PC firmly in the business world. Originally written by a Harvard student, it was supposedly sold for less than $200,000. It was released on January 26th 1983, and was the leading spreadsheet for DOS-based systems for many years.
The app came with a separate program for printing, but it couldn’t be run at the same time as the spreadsheet. Lotus also had what is considered the first context sensitive help.

It was also often used as a single operating environment over DOS with the use of third party macros and add-ins. The program has also been involved in a number of interface copyright court cases in it’s illustrious history. Slow to embrace Windows since it was loyal to OS/2, Lotus was eventually knocked from the top spot by Microsoft’s own spreadsheet app Excel. Today it lives on in the Lotus SmartSuite software system.

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