Microsoft Excel version 3.0 for the Macintosh ships

Full support for System 7.0

Business Wire

April 23, 1991

REDMOND, Wash. -- Microsoft Corp. Tuesday announced shipment of Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh version 3.0.

Microsoft Excel is the leading spreadsheet for the Macintosh platform, with 90 percent penetration among spreadsheet users. Version 3.0 incorporates more than 100 new features, including important innovations in the user interface, greatly enhanced analytical power and output capability and faster, easier operation. Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh fully supports System 7.0 from Apple Computer Inc.

``Microsoft Excel version 3.0 makes the most powerful spreadsheet functions accessible to average users,'' said Pete Higgins, general manager of the analysis business unit at Microsoft. ``We believe that by listening to spreadsheet users we have come up with the balance of power and ease of use they are looking for. Many of the features in Microsoft Excel version 3.0 were recommended by our users as important to them.''

Full Support for System 7.0

Microsoft Excel version 3.0 will provide full support for the new Apple Macintosh System 7.0. While Microsoft Excel version 3.0 currently runs under Apple Macintosh System 6.0.2, end users will not be required to update to take full advantage of new features provided in the new System 7.0. Microsoft Excel version 3.0 currently runs under Apple Macintosh System 6.0.2 or higher.

New Features Provide Powerful Analysis and Output

Microsoft Excel version 3.0 includes many new features to streamline common spreadsheet tasks. A variety of the frequently used operations can now be performed with just one or two mouse clicks. The primary feature supporting this is a new button-oriented Toolbar which speeds frequently used functions. An exclusive new Autosum button on the Toolbar allows users to find the sum of a row or column.

Version 3.0 also offers powerful data analysis capabilities. It is the first spreadsheet to integrate outlining, by which complex worksheets can be collapsed or expanded to view different levels of detail. A Consolidate feature allows users to combine and summarize worksheets easily in memory or on disk, regardless of their structure or format. Another feature, Solver (see footnote a), is a powerful tool for multivariable goalseeking linear and nonlinear optimization; while sophisticated, it is easily accessible to the average user.

Microsoft Excel offers an extensive range of output tools, including a choice of 16 customizable colors, 18 patterns and 256 fonts per worksheet. Also, users can mix text and graphics by placing Microsoft Excel charts and text boxes anywhere on a worksheet. A Style feature allows users to specify a group of formatting characteristics and reference it by name. Microsoft Excel 3.0 offers 64 chart types, including 24 three-dimensional charts that may be rotated and viewed from different perspectives. Microsoft Excel drawing tools allow users to draw basic graphics directly on the worksheet.

Microsoft Excel version 3.0 takes advantage of the sound capabilities in the new Apple Macintosh IIsi and the Apple Macintosh LC. The program includes Sound Notes, a macro that takes advantage of the sound manager in these new machines and allows for voice annotation of cells within Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. For example, using the microphone that is available with the Apple Macintosh IIsi, the user can highlight a specific cell in a spreadsheet, then record and playback a message.

Cross-Platform Compatibility Allows Shared Worksheets, Makes Training Easier

Microsoft Excel version 3.0 provides unprecedented cross- platform compatibility in a top-rated spreadsheet package, with versions for the Macintosh, Microsoft Windows graphical environment version 3.0 and Microsoft OS/2 Presentation Manager, scheduled for shipment before mid-1991. Microsoft Excel worksheets are exchangeable across all three of these graphical platforms.

Cross-platform compatibility benefits companies with multiple computing environments because users can share worksheets and macros without having to convert file formats. That is, a worksheet developed in one department can be used in another, even if users are working on different microcomputer hosts. Training for Microsoft Excel for Windows and Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh is so similar that PC and Macintosh users can attend the same class. In addition, documentation for the product is virtually identical across all three platforms (Windows, OS/2 and Macintosh), making both training and troubleshooting easier.

``At E-Systems, our finance group uses PCs while the engineering and support departments use the Apple Macintosh,'' said Robert M. MacKay, supervisor of forecast and analysis at E-Systems, Garland, Texas. ``Microsoft Excel has proven to be a great cross-platform link for us. We can generate financial forecasting templates on our PCs and send them electronically to our engineers and support departments where they can access the information as if it were generated as a Mac file. It saves us a lot of time because all of our macros and formatting remains intact. Microsoft Excel has saved us time and frustration by giving us a uniform spreadsheet medium regardless of whether the user has a PC or a Mac.''

New Added Features as Award-Winning Windows Version

News of the announcement of Microsoft Excel version 3.0 have spurred sales -- more than 200,000 units of Microsoft Excel for Windows have shipped worldwide in the third quarter of 1991. The Windows version received one of the industry's most prestigious awards when the independent National Software Testing Laboratories gave it a four-star rating, along with the highest scores in overall evaluation, overall power and overall usability in comparison with other leading spreadsheets. The results of the advanced spreadsheet program ratings were published in the January 1991 issue of the Software Digest Ratings Report. Although NSTL tested Microsoft Excel for Windows version 3.0, the same product features that earned these high marks are incorporated into the Macintosh version as well.

Availability and System Requirements

The suggested retail price for Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh is $495. The product is available now. Registered users of previous versions of Microsoft Excel can update to Microsoft Excel version 3.0 for $129. People who acquired previous versions of Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh since Dec. 7, 1990, are eligible to update to version 3.0 for $50 (shipping and handling extra).

System requirements are as follows: a Macintosh system with at least 1 MB of RAM (2 MB for MultiFinder or System 7.0), System 6.0.2 or later (or Finder 6.1 or later), one 800K floppy disk drive and a hard disk drive with at least 3 MB of free disk space.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) develops, markets and supports a wide range of software for business and professional use, including operating systems, network products, languages and applications, as well as books, hardware and CD-ROM products for the microcomputer marketplace.


-- Microsoft and the Microsoft logo are registerd trademarks and Autosum, Toolbar and Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corp.

-- OS/2 is a registered trademark and Presentation Manager is a trademark licensed to Microsoft Corp.

-- Apple, Mac and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer Inc.


(A) Solver was developed by Frontline Systems Inc.

CONTACT: Microsoft Corp., Redmond Karen Meredith or Sarah Charf, 206/882-8080 For General Sales and Product Information, 800/426-9400 or Waggener Edstrom, Portland Marianne Allison or Sandra Pace, 503/245-0905

Copyright (c) 1991, Business Wire