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Retro love: Bill Gates shows off Excel in 1987

Millions of people around the world use Microsoft Excel. Large portions of those people will never have used anything else for their spreadsheets. Although they’re aware that there was a time before Excel, they’re probably not sure what that entailed.

That time was the mid 1980s: the glasses were big, the computers were beige and Bill Gates dressed like the ultimate geek stereotype. When Microsoft launched Excel for Windows in 1987, it effectively replaced Lotus 1-2-3 in one foul swoop.

If the rest of the world was as enthusiastic as the Microsoft founder was back then, it’s easy to see why.

It’s impossible to hear what questions the journalist is asking, the video (via Hacker News) does show Gates extolling the “high quality output” of Excel.

He also talks about how impressed people would be if you presented them with Excel spreadsheets in meetings. Ah, 1987 was such an innocent time.

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself to be thrown in the deep and did his best to stay afloat. When not fused with his keyboard, you can find... More
  • Rickvr

    Anybody remember Visicalc?