Oct 30 2016

History of Microsoft Excel



Recently I was reading what must be my favorite blog on Microsoft Excel, Contextures by Debra Dalgleish and I stumbled on a post she wrote a little over a year ago, covering the 30th anniversary of Microsoft Excel. So this got me thinking, what is the number of people who have worked in Microsoft Excel at the intermediate level or higher and for ten years or less?  Of those, how much of the history of Excel do they know?

I ask this because I am often surprised of just how little they know.  For instance, what year was Excel released and for which operating system.


Here are a few of the more important bits of history:

  • Original release date, 1985
  • First edition was for the Apple Macintosh
  • Personally I first used Excel on my Macintosh in my first year of college
  • Excel 2004 for Apple had VBA, 2008 did not, 2011 did, 2016 reduced functionality
  • Microsoft first announced Office 365 in October 2010
  • On July 8, 2013, Microsoft unveiled Power BI
  • Microsoft released two versions of Excel under the name 2016, one for Windows (22 September 2015) and one for Apple (9 July 2015 ).


History of the spreadsheet (The Early Years):

    1. 1985 – Excel (Apple Macintosh)
    2. 1987 – Excel 2.0
    3. 1990 – Excel 3.0
    4. 1992 – Excel 4.0
    5. 1993 – Excel w/VBA 5.0
    6. 1995 – Excel 95
    7. 1997 – Excel 97


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