January 17, 2021

Happy Birthday, Microsoft Excel!

Thirty-five years ago this week, Microsoft Excel was born. Which means if you were born prior to 1985 you lived in a world without Excel. Unless you were born much earlier than 1985 chances are you didn’t even notice.

Of the great inventions of our time — iPods, streaming TV, Internet porn — Excel is right up there with broadband Internet and perhaps Hot Pockets.

The first electronic spreadsheet was developed in 1978 by Dan Bricklin, then a Harvard Business School student. This ancient ancestor of Excel looks quite different from what you’re used to these days, but also oddly familiar.

via Wikipedia

You kids probably don’t remember this but back in the day our computers were in permanent night mode. Some of them, anyway.

Excel made its debut on Mac systems on September 30, 1985. Two years later, it launched for Windows.

Via WinWorld

You’ve come a long way, baby!

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  1. I must have been one of the first to use Excel. At KPMG (Actually Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. at the time) we had these little bitty “portable” Macintosh computers we had to haul to the job site. They had a spreadsheet program called Multiplan that we later switched to Excel. When I left public accounting and got a real job I then had to learn how to use Supercalc because everybody outside of KPMG used all IBM machines and couldn’t run Excel. A little later they issued Excel for Windows and then we were able to trade up to Excel.

    It sure beats the old 16 column manual spreadsheets.

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