Freelance worked within DOS to produce slides that were a worthy competitor to PowerPoint, a program that was started for the Macintosh system. Lotus opted to develop for OS/2 and got left behind on Windows giving Microsoft a head start. IBM then acquired Lotus, Microsoft then used a licensing issue with IBM to delay Lotus and IBM access to the Windows 95 code base giving Office a 6 month head start over Lotus' SmartSuite. With the general lack of adoption of OS/2, Freelance became a little-used system.
It was eventually grafted into a new version of 1-2-3 for Windows (Smart Suite) but by then PowerPoint and Excel had become dominant. The quality of the Freelance product started to deteriorate as IBM gave little support to SmartSuite while Microsoft Office and PowerPoint dominated the application area.