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Evolution of the Spreadsheet
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Evolution of the Spreadsheet

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Spreadsheets have a come a long, long way over the years, and plenty of companies today are duking it out to build the best one. So we took a look at the evolution of the spreadsheet and which …

Spreadsheets have a come a long, long way over the years, and plenty of companies today are duking it out to build the best one. So we took a look at the evolution of the spreadsheet and which elements make the best one to serve the way you work today and into the future.

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  • 1. The Evolution of The Spreadsheet The spreadsheet is a modern tool, but its roots are deeply entwined with the history of human innovation. Learn the spreadsheet’s origin story — and find out what the future may bring. In the beginning... It all started with a need for calculation. Before Arabic numerals, people used symbolic numerals. These were pretty, but crummy at computational math. THE ABACUS MMXIV MCII XIV Invented in ancient times, improved computation. But no one could show their work — which is bad for business. THE RISE OF ACCOUNTING 1400s Invention of printing enables the spread of Arabic numerals and the concept of place value in arithmetic to Europe. 1494 Franciscan monk and mathematician Luca Pacioli introduces double-entry bookkeeping to the world of business. Double-entry bookkeeping spreads throughout the world via the Venetian merchants who adopt it. MATH SPREADS TO THE MASSES Around 1622 1800s William Oughtred invents the slide rule. Blackboard slates are adopted widely in U.S. schools. 3+1=4 DAWN OF AUTOMATED CALCULATION 1885 1914 William Seward Burroughs files for his first patent on a calculating machine. Calculators are in wide use among commercial businesses. 1969 1972 Hewlett Packard introduces the HP-35, the first advanced-function, pocket-sized calculator. It’s an instant sensation. Sharp launches the popular battery-powered calculator, the QT-8D. 10,000 units projected first-year sales 100,000 units actual first-year sales THE DESKTOP COMPUTER ERA Initially, spreadsheets were all about efficiency of computation. 1979 VisiCalc is released as the first spreadsheet program for a computer. 1983 Lotus 1-2-3 is introduced. 1987 Excel and Quattro Pro are introduced. 1990s Spreadsheets become more user-friendly. People begin using them to manage work beyond computational efficiency. CLOUD CAPABILITIES DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE 1990s ISPs greatly expand bandwidth capabilities, enabling cloud computing apps to offer business-ready speed and efficiency. 1999 2000 Amazon Web Services offers a suite of cloud-based services, including: Storage Salesforce.com is a key pioneer of delivering enterprise applications via a website - known as cloud computing. Computation Human intelligence through Amazon Mechanical Turk SPREADSHEETS DOMINATE THE WORKPLACE 2010 2013 500 MILLION people worldwide were using Microsoft Office alone. BUSINESS EMBRACES THE CLOUD 94% market penetration rate of Microsoft Office suite 8% of businesses report no plans to use cloud-based applications 49% Many businesses turn to Google Apps to provide additional spreadsheets with much-needed collaboration capabilities. 43% say they’re either heavily using cloud apps or running at least some applications in the cloud are developing or beginning to implement cloud projects Yet the biggest spreadsheet providers continue to add features focused on data analysis Also 60% of spreadsheets have no formulas — meaning spreadsheets are used to manage much more than just computational work So spreadsheets are still overwhelmingly used to manage work, and cloud-based collaboration is firmly entrenched across enterprises. CHARTING THE FUTURE Tomorrow’s spreadsheets must satisfy Collaborating in the cloud Managing tasks, not just numbers Organizing everything in one place Using familiar, intuitive tools The spreadsheet is here to stay. The only question is … Who will make the best one? Try the spreadsheet application of the future now at www.smartsheet.com/future Sources: Gleeson-White, Jane. Double Entry: How the Merchants of Venice Shaped the Modern World. W. W. Norton & Company, 2012. http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blcalculator.htm http://americanhistory.si.edu/teachingmath/html/release.htm http://www.thecalculatorsite.com/articles/units/history-of-the-calculator.php http://books.google.com/books?id=Gj4EAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA22#v=onepage&q&f=false http://www.utdallas.edu/~liebowit/book/sheets/sheet.html http://www.dailytech.com/Office+2010+to+Launch+Today+Microsoft+Owns+94+Percent+of+the+Market/article18360.htm http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/A-history-of-cloud-computing http://www.enterpriseappstoday.com/management-software/can-google-apps-unseat-microsoft-in-the-enterprise.html http://www.rightscale.com/news_events/press_releases/2013/rightscale-2013-state-of-the-cloud-survey-reveals-a-cloud-value-imperative.php http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-best-new-features-in-excel-2013/#.