The introduction of Microsoft Office to the modern workplace has impacted the discourse of global business in more ways than we often care to think. Sure, Microsoft Word has provided us with an efficient and waste free means of producing text based data but what about the efficiency of Excel, Access, Powerpoint and Publisher among others? Spreadsheets in the pre-digital era were a nightmare to maintain and often subject to excessive editing and mistakes that would harm the readability of the document.
Powerpoint has ushered in similar benefits for business and academic users as they reaped the rewards of simple and accessible audio/visual presentation technology despite the now comical stigma around its use. Excel may also usher groans from ICT classrooms the world over but without it we’d never have reached modern levels of administrative efficiency. 2015 actually marks the program’s thirtieth birthday so here’s a big happy birthday to the most convenient (and dull) member of the MS Office family.
There’s a rather fascinating (if you’re interested in this kind of thing) article over on Business Insider from five years ago which articulates the profound impact Excel has had on the modern world – namely the ability to play with numbers as well as see the results of business hypothesises. In the past a business would take risks without seeing an accurate prediction of their plan, with Excel we can use formulas that will give an accurate reading of numerical manipulation. The electronic spreadsheet is a wonderful thing… though as the aforementioned article points out, maybe not for everyone (boss found out you’re underperforming? It was probably Excel’s fault!)
In fact, fancy a trip into the not so distant digital past? Here’s a charming wee video showing the trajectory of Microsoft’s Office release history from the MS DOS era to Windows 8.