Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday unveiled a new version of its spreadsheet program for personal computers, heating up its rivalry with another software giant, Lotus Development Corp.
Microsoft’s new version of its Excell program is designed to take better advantage of Windows 3.0, Microsoft’s software that gives IBM computers and compatible models many of the ease-of-use features of Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh.
Lotus, by contrast, isn’t expected to have a Windows version of its market-leading 1-2-3 spreadsheet until the middle of the year.
“Microsoft intends to seize on this opportunity to capture as much market share as they can,” said Rick Sherlund, a computer industry analyst at Goldman Sachs & Co.
Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., appeared to up the ante by announcing the new version of Excell at a news conference in Boston, near Lotus’ headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
Lotus took a preemptive strike on Monday by announcing that it would include a free copy of its Ami Professional word processing program along with copies of 1-2-3 sold to new customers.
Spreadsheets, a popular type of business software, display financial figures such as sales or profits in various charts and graphs.