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Screenshot Multiplan on the C64

Multiplan was an early spreadsheet program, following VisiCalc, developed by Microsoft. Introduced in 1982, initially for computers running CP/M, it was ported to a number of other operating systems including MS-DOS and Xenix. Versions were also available for the Commodore 64, Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, Radio Shack Model II, Apple II and Burroughs B-20 series of personal computers. Multiplan for the Apple Macintosh was Microsoft's first GUI spreadsheet - the others were text-based. Multiplan for the Macintosh was the most successful and was the best software next to Microsoft Word.

Screenshot Multiplan in DOS.

Outsold by Lotus 1-2-3 for several years, Multiplan was the basis for Microsoft Excel which followed some years later on both the Apple Macintosh (1985) and Microsoft Windows (1987).

Bill Gates was repeatedly heard saying that Microsoft makes more money on Multiplan for the Macintosh than any other platform. Multiplan for the Macintosh was in fact one of the only spreadsheets available for the Macintosh Platform. Multiplan for the Mac was proficient at making graphs and charts and was often bundled with some Macs. However, Multiplan only lasted for about a year before being taken over by the more successful Excel.

See also