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Microsoft Corp unveiled the MS-DOS version of its successful Apple Macintosh spreadsheet, Excel, yesterday with Bill Gates promising that it would be as dominant on 80286 and 80386-based PC-DOS machines by 1989 as Lotus 1-2-3 was on 8088-based machines. Excel, the first Microsoft product to run under its MS-Windows, allows linking of different sized spreadsheets and features 131 built-in macro functions; users can add their own functions either in the supplied macro language or in C. Ex-cel also includes 44-chart and graph types, high resolution graphics, mixed font sizes, colour and built-in auditing features. It can handle up to 256 columns by 16,384 rows using the Lotus-Intel- Microsoft Extended Memory Specification. To win over 1-2-3 users, Microsoft has included a 1-2-3 macro translator, two-way file compatibility and a help faci-lity that enables users to type 1- 2-3 – or Microsoft Multiplan – commands and see what the corresponding Excel commands are. Excel requires MS-Windows – a run-time version of 2.0 is included in Excel – MS-DOS 3.0 or above, a minimum of 640Kb, a hard disk drive and graphics adaptor. Available this month, it costs UKP395, but users of Multiplan can upgrade for UKP145. When OS/2 with Presentation Manager is finally released, Excel users will be able to upgrade to a new compatible version for UKP35.

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CBR Staff Writer

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