Lotus 1-2-3 was the first spreadsheet program for the PC to achieve wide popularity and adoption in the business world, and creating 1-2-3 spreadsheets involved using templates which simplified complex and time-consuming programming tasks. IBM released Lotus 1-2-3 in 1983, and the company officially ended support to the program in June 2013.
Lotus 1-2-3 was notable for its introduction of concepts like naming cells, allowing cell ranges and supporting macros, and the program established spreadsheets a major business software category. It was often used to support payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable functions, and a number of vendors developed and marketed specialized Lotus 1-2-3 templates. IBM also introduced the ability to use plug-ins, or add-on software, that allowed users to customize and extend the program's functionality.
Computer experts refer to Lotus 1-2-3 as one of the first major programs for the Microsoft PC. It was preceded by the first spreadsheet for the Apple computer, VisiCalc, which IBM acquired and shut down in 1985. Lotus 1-2-3 ran on the MS-DOS operating system, but when Microsoft launched Windows in the late 1980s, it also launched its own spreadsheet program, Excel, which eventually became the standard and overtook Lotus 1-2-3 in market share.