Microsoft Excel is a famous spreadsheet program that is commonly used on the Windows operating system. In addition to this, it is also supported by Mac OS as well. It has a powerful GUI that allows users to make calculations and graphic representations of data. This combined with the powerful marketing strategies of Microsoft has allowed the software to be adopted by a large number of individuals and organizations around the world. In fact, as of this writing, Microsoft Excel is the ideal spreadsheet program, and it is commonly used by college students as well as fortune 500 companies. MS Excel first reached a high level of popularity in 1993, and it has continued to be a dominant software program in the spreadsheet market for the last 13 years.
MS Excel is now commonly bundled in the Microsoft Office package. While MS Excel is the most popular spreadsheet program to be sold by Microsoft, it is not the first spreadsheet application to be released by the company. The first spreadsheet program to be released by Microsoft is called Multiplan, and it was released in the early 1980s. While it did reach a degree of popularity, it was eclipsed by the success of Lotus 1-2-3, and rival spreadsheet program that was introduced by Lotus. From this point onward, the goal of Microsoft was to produce a spreadsheet program that could surpass Lotus 1-2-3. While Multiplan was not successful at this goal, MS Excel was.
Though MS Excel became very popular in the early 1990s, it was first released in 1985. In addition to Windows, the software was also released for Mac as well. Lotus made the mistake of waiting too long to release the newest version of 1-2-3, and MS Excel begin to outsell them by the end of the decade. While Microsoft is primarily know for their Windows operating system, it was their victory over Lotus in the spreadsheet market that put Microsoft on the map as a dominant player in the software market. MS Excel was a glimpse of what the company would go onto to accomplish in the following decade.
As of this writing, the latest version of Excel to be released is Excel 11, which is bundled in the Microsoft Office 2003 package. MS Excel offers a number of impressive features on their user interface. The file format for this program is .xls, and the most fundamental unit of the program is called a cell. The cell is placed in both rows and columns, and each cell will hold data that may influence that data that is visible in another cell. MS Excel is notable for being the very first spreadsheet program to allow the user to have a great degree of control over the appearance of their spreadsheet. Some of the things that users are able to control on excel include the font, character and appearance of the cells.
Perhaps one of the most powerful attributes of MS Excel is the cell re-computation. This is a procedure in which the cells that are dependent on a specific cell will be the only cells to be updated when the cell they are dependent on is changed.