Microsoft Excel was released 30 years ago—for Macs only

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Before Microsoft's rise and fall, before there was even Windows, there was Excel.


The original development team behind the spreadsheet software celebrated the 30th anniversary of the program's release last weekend.

Back in 1985, the dominant spreadsheet software on the market was Lotus 1-2-3. By bringing together some of the most popular spreadsheet features in one package, and adding a new way to recalculate cell values, Excel would end up greatly exceeding 1-2-3 in popularity.


It may surprise some people to learn Excel 1.0 was first released on Apple's Macintosh platform, rather than Microsoft's own MS-DOS operating system. In interviews with former development team members, Geekwire reports this was a divisive decision, with lead developer Doug Klunder quitting Microsoft over it to go work on a California farm instead.

Geekwire dug up a few other artifacts of the Excel 1.0 launch for a podcast featuring the founding Excel team, most notably T-Shirts and jackets with the phrase "Recalc or die." That may sound like a lame slogan for a hot new tech product, but it's still better than "Is ManKind?"

Of course, Excel 1.0 could not have been released on Windows because the operating system that would become Microsoft's main product did not come out until November of 1985. And Windows had its own rock star launch.

Before you laugh, remember this is the man who currently owns the Los Angeles Clippers.

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