Simple as 1-2-3: IBM Buys Lotus

IBM LotusJuly 6, 1995

IBM completes a $3.5 billion buyout of Lotus Development, the producer of the once-dominant Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet software and the then-popular Lotus Notes groupware. IBM had hoped to leverage Lotus 1-2-3 to challenge the increasingly demanded Microsoft Excel software, but alas, there was little slowing down the Microsoft juggernaut during the 1990’s. Lotus 1-2-3 steadily lost marketshare, and IBM finally announced the end of support for the software in 2013.

Lotus Notes groupware faired little better than 1-2-3, succumbing to Microsoft Exchange as the dominant groupware platform among large companies, but it remained entrenched among certain corporations for many years under the name IBM notes. In 2018 IBM sold Notes along with other software products to HCL Software for $1.8 Billion. HCL still develops and supports Notes to this day with a focus on security and lower cost as a way to compete with Microsoft Exchange.