Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program for Windows and Macintosh computers. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite, which includes other productivity programs, such as Word and PowerPoint.
Though Excel is developed by Microsoft, the first version of the program was released for the Macintosh in 1985. It wasn't until 1987, when Microsoft introduced Windows 3.0, that Excel was made available for Windows. Since then, Microsoft has supported the program on both platforms, releasing updates about every two years.
Some other popular spreadsheet programs include IBM Lotus 1-2-3 (for Windows) and the AppleWorks spreadsheet program (for the Mac). However, Microsoft Excel has led the spreadsheet market for many years and continues to be the most popular spreadsheet program for both businesses and consumers.
Updated: November 16, 2006