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October 3, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

Lotus Development Corp felt ready to present beta versions of its 1-2-3 spreadsheet for the Apple Computer Inc Macintosh in Europe recently, choosing Apple Expo at the CNET CENTRE in the La Defense business district of Paris as the venue. But the company was still unable to give a more precise shipping date for the strongly-fancied – and much delayed – product, than some time this Fall, when English, French and German versions are expected to be available simultaneously. 1-2-3 for the Mac System 7 has full file compatibility with other versions of the spreadsheet, and an additional menu can be invoked, which gives a certain degree of keystroke and macro compatibility with other versions. A number of typically Macintosh features have been built in to complete the Mac look and feel: for example, cell editing can now be performed just by double-clicking on the cell instead of from a pull-down menu. The usual Mac collection of tear-off menus, console, status bar windows are there, and the program makes use of the multiple windows ability to place different spreadsheets next to each other on the screen. Lotus would not put a figure on how much the graphical spreadsheet market it can capture with 1-2-3 for the Mac, but it will clearly be sold aggressively as a rival to Microsoft Corp’s Excel. Some country divisions of Microsoft have started sending letters to corporate customers, urging them to trade in the floppy disk originals of their existing spreadsheet in exchange for Excel at a come-on price; Lotus vice-president for the Spreadsheet Division hinted that a similar cross-grading offer would not be unthinkable for the 1-2-3 for the Apple Macintosh – anything goes in the spreadsheet wars these days.

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