Lotus’ first product was presentation software for the Apple II known as Lotus Executive Briefing System.
Lotus released Lotus 1-2-3 Jan. 26, 1983. The name referred to the three ways the product could be used—as a spreadsheet, graphics package and database manager. It was the IBM PC’s first “killer application,” and its huge popularity in the mid-1980s contributed significantly to the success of the IBM PC in the corporate environment. Jonathan Sachs, who wrote 1-2-3, had written two spreadsheet programs previously while working at Concentric Data Systems.
In 1982, Jim Manzi came to Lotus as a management consultant and became an employee four months later. In October 1984, he was named president, and in April 1986, he was named as CEO, succeeding Kapor. In July 1986, he also became chairman of the board. Manzi would remain at the head of Lotus until 1995.
6Competing With Microsoft
In the 1990s, to compete with Microsoft’s Windows applications, Lotus had to buy products such as Ami Pro (word processor), Approach (database) and Threadz, which became Lotus Organizer. Several of these (1-2-3, Freelance Graphics, Ami Pro, Approach and Lotus Organizer) were bundled together under the name Lotus SmartSuite. Although SmartSuite was bundled cheaply with many PCs and may initially have been more popular than Microsoft Office, Lotus quickly lost its dominance in the desktop applications market with the transition to 32-bit applications running on Windows 95.
7The Hazards of OS/2
Due in large part to its focusing much of its development resources on a suite of applications for IBM’s OS/2 operating system (which launched in 1987 and eventually turned out to be a failure), Lotus was late in delivering its suite of 32-bit products and failed to capitalize on the transition to the new version of Windows. It now has very little market share.
8Diversification From the Desktop
9The Impact of Notes
13IBM Connect 2013
1420 Years of Lotusphere
At IBM Connect 2013, IBM is celebrating 20 years of Lotusphere.