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Microsoft Excel was based on another program, the first spreadsheet, known as Visicalc. It was invented by two men called Bob Frankston and Dan Bricklin in 1978 and launched in 1979. There were a number of other spreadsheet programs around before Excel too, including one called Multiplan that Microsoft had created. Multiplan was launched in 1982 and Excel in 1985.

What are spreadsheets?

A spreadsheet is an application with that simulates and accounting sheet with the ability to re calculate/refresh formulae, functions & in built tools that represent data.

  •  In built functions (e.g. Vlookup, Sumif, Now etc.)
  •  In built data processing tools (e.g. Text to columns, Filters, Sorting, Find & Replace etc.)
  •  Data Presentation tools (e.g. Pivot Reports, Graphs & Charts)
  •  Automation through coding (e.g. Macros & Scripting using office library & Win API)
  •  Interaction with other applications (e.g. Using excel db for mail merge with Ms-Word)
  •  Portability (e.g. Data formats like XML, Print features)
  •  Additional features & tools (e.g. Org. Charts, Shapes, Symbols, Hyperlinks, Web Queries)
  •  Most importantly the processing speed (e.g. Excel 2010’s Multi core & Multi threading ability)

    Is MS-Excel the only Spreadsheet application in the World?


    There a bunch of those spreadsheets available in the market today but of those the most successful one is the Microsoft Excel. The below are other spreadsheet applications that run on Windows.

    ·    IBM Lotus Symphony

    ·    Gnumeric

    ·    Resolver One etc.

    ·    OpenOffice Calc


    Excel Versions


    Version Released
    1 1985
    Version 1, for the Macintosh was released.
    2 1987
    The first Windows version was labeled "2" to correspond to the Mac version. This included a run-time version of Windows.
    3 1990
    Included toolbars, drawing capabilities, outlining, add-in support, 3D charts, and many more new features.
    4 1992
    The first "popular" version. Included lots of usability features.
    5 1993
    A major upgrade. Included multi-sheet workbooks and support for VBA.
    7* 1995
    Known as Excel 95. The first major 32-bit version of Excel**. Feature-wise, it's very similar to Excel 5.
    8 1997
    Known as Excel 97. A new interface for VBA developers, UserForms, data validation, and lots more.
    9 1999
    Known as Excel 2000. Can use HTML as a native file format, "self-repair" capability, enhanced clipboard, pivot charts, modeless user forms.
    10 2001
    Known as Excel 2002, this is part of Office XP. It has a long list of new features, but most of them will probably be of little value to the majority of users. Perhaps the most significant feature is the ability to recover your work when Excel crashes.
    This version features product activation technology (i.e., copy protection). Please consider the ramifications of this before deciding whether to upgrade. 
    Read John Walkenbach's Excel 2002 Review at PC World.
    11 2003
    It's called Microsoft Office Excel 2003.The new features in this version are: (a) improved support for XML, (b) a new "list range" feature, (c) Smart Tag enhancements, and (d) corrected statistical functions. Most users will not find the upgrade worthwhile.
    12 2007
    Finally, some major changes in Excel. For some, the changes may actually be too major.
    14 *** 2010 New features include sparkline graphics, pivot table slicers, an updated Solver, and a 64-bit version..
    15 2013 New features include a single-document interface, charting enhancements, and recommended charts and pivot tables.


    * There is no Excel 6. Beginning with Excel 7, the version numbering was changed so all of the Microsoft Office applications would have the same version number.

    ** There was also 32-bit version of Excel 5, but it was not widely distributed.

    *** There is no Version 13 of Microsoft Office


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