There are different ways to answer this question. Functionally, spreadsheets are a tool for mathematical calculations, but have branched out into related areas like data analysis. Some people even use them as a quick-and-dirty database tool. If you are in a financial profession of some kind you probably live in spreadsheets all day.
Spreadsheets are original “killer app”. Early examples were implemented on mainframe computers in the 1960s, but the big step was the creation of VisiCalc for the Apple II in 1979, which was then ported to the IBM PC in 1981. VisiCalc set the conventions that guided all subsequent spreadsheets, and the essential methods have not changed since then. VisiCalc was called the first killer app because people would buy the computer just to run the program, and the usefulness of spreadsheets is what promoted the initial entry of personal computers into the corporate world, with all of the change that has caused.
For the remainder of this article please see https://www.ahuka.com/?page_id=699
Unless otherwise stated, our shows are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) license.
The HPR Website Design is released to the Public Domain.