How To Apply Formula To Entire Column In Google Sheets Lotus 1-2-3 Vs Excel Vs Google Docs & Spreadsheets?

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Lotus 1-2-3 Vs Excel Vs Google Docs & Spreadsheets?

After their release in the early 80s, Microsoft Excel and Lotus 1-2-3 offered similar products that were measured in both quality and efficiency. All of them associated themselves with different systems, which in turn determined their place in the market for the next two decades. It looks like we may be in for a new turn of events with the availability of free web-hosted apps like Google Docs & Spreadsheets and Zoho Office.

Lotus wasn’t the only spreadsheet program in the early 80s, but it was the most effective. Since its release in 1983, Lotus has been innovative in its use of consumer advertising on television. Things looked great for Lotus for several years due to its speed and similarity to the VisiCalc model, including A1 number and letter cells and a slash menu structure. It was virtually error free and outperformed the slower DOS screen I/O functions. In addition to the spreadsheet, it also included integrated chart/graph creation and database operations. Hence its name 1-2-3, which refers to its three main capabilities.

The data were sorted in the order of the data in one or two columns of the rectangular area in each defined rectangle. Also, text within a certain range could be reasoned into paragraphs, which allowed it to function as a primitive word processor. It included user-friendly features such as keyboard-based pop-up menus and one-key commands. Lotus’s most notable user-friendly feature was the context-sensitive help menu accessed by pressing the F1 key.

Version 2.0 introduced macros and add-ons. As a result, third-party vendors were able to sell packages of macros and add-ons that ranged from full-fledged word processors to specialized financial worksheets. Version 2.0 included macros with syntax and commands and a series of variable expressions similar in complexity to the improved BASIC interpreter. Multiple worksheets were also supported in subsequent versions of Lotus 1-2-3. Lotus also created a version of the 1-2-3 for the HP 200LX palmtop released by Hewlett-Packard.

Excel was first offered for Mac in 1985 and then for Windows in 1987. Compared to Lotus, Excel’s introduction offered all the capabilities of numbers, plus drop-down menus and WYSIWYG formatting. These two features made Excel much easier to use. By 1988, Excel sold 1-2-3 and began to secure its place as a leading computer software developer. Microsoft proved to be an ambitious competitor, maintaining a valuable product and releasing new versions roughly every two years. Excel has also kept up with its Mac releases. The current version for Windows is Excel 12 or Microsoft Office Excel 2007. The current version for Mac OS X is Microsoft Excel 2008.

In retrospect, it seems that in 1982, when Microsoft offered its spreadsheet program called Multiplan, it was popular with CP/M systems, but MS-DOS systems preferred Lotus 1-2-3. MS-DOS clearly dominated as the more dominant system, thus Lotus 1-2-3 as the more dominant spreadsheet program. In the late 80s, Microsoft created a new spreadsheet, Excel, for its Windows graphical interface. Lotus focused on IBM OS/2. Windows usage grew with Windows 3.0, but Lotus had already lost its lead. Excel has become the industry leader in spreadsheet computer software [http://www.thesoftwarespot.com]. IBM continues to sell 1-2-3 as part of its Lotus SmartSuite office suite.

Trends are changing again with the availability of free web-hosted applications such as Google Docs & Spreadsheets and Zoho Office. This will certainly challenge Excel to maintain its prestigious position; it’s not a straight forward comparison as online apps are different products. They don’t imitate Excel and 1-2-3, they extend them. They use the power of online collaboration, instant feedback, mixing, real-time data and contextual searches. Still, it will be interesting to see Microsoft’s future maneuvers!

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