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As-Easy-As for DOS and As-Easy-As for Windows was a shareware 32-bit spreadsheet program developed in the mid-1980s for MS-DOS and later for MS Windows. The name is a play on the phrase "as easy as 1-2-3", a reference to the dominant MS-DOS spreadsheet at that time, Lotus 1-2-3 with which it competed with for a fraction of the contender's price. The program was sold by Trius, Inc. (Not to be confused with Tritus, the makers of the Tritus SPF clone of the mainframe ISPF interface and editor.)
As-Easy-As is historically significant as one of the earliest and most useful shareware programs that competed with commercial software on the basis of both price and features. For small businesses and personal users, the price of Lotus 1-2-3 was prohibitive, and As-Easy-As provided basic spreadsheet functionality for about a tenth of the price. This paradigm of undercutting the spreadsheet market leader would be adopted by Borland's Quattro Pro (which was not released until 1990). Subsequent versions of As Easy As became as powerful as any MS-DOS spreadsheet. Like Quattro Pro, As-Easy-As combined some elements of the 1-2-3 user interface, while modernizing them. (One such modernization is the use of pull-down menus.)
Cell formulas are very similar to Lotus 1-2-3, including the letter-number addressing scheme (A1, B2, etc.) and the @function syntax (e.g.,
@SUM(A1..A10) using the ".." range separator syntax also like Lotus 1-2-3.) The product included a detailed electronic manual describing the spreadsheet's functions and some basic MS-DOS operations.
Updated versions of As-Easy-As were made available at frequent intervals. Because these new versions often included valuable new capabilities, users were encouraged to support the continuing development of the program. The graphic defaults were more attuned to science and engineering users than to business users. This enabled a user to rapidly create x-y graphs of data, whereas the major commercial spreadsheets of the DOS era (Lotus 1-2-3 and Quattro) by default produced more business-oriented graphs. Many calculation functions were appealing to the science and engineering markets, such as improved capabilities for regression analysis and matrix operations.
End of development
As of 3 November 2004, Trius discontinued the last version of As-Easy-As for DOS, and as of 10 January 2006, the last version of As-Easy-As for Windows, though copies of both program were made available for downloading with free full licenses.
The earliest preserved historical version available on the Internet from the MS-DOS shareware era is version 3 from 1987. (See link below.)
Some of the awards As-Easy-As received include:
- 1992 - Shareware Industry Awards, Best Application, Winner
- 1992 - PCM Reader's Best Award, Best Shareware Program
- 1998 - AS-EASY-AS for Win95/NT, Shareware Industry Award, Best Application
Notes and references
- "Inexpensive Shareware Spreadsheet Program". PC Magazine: 344. 16 April 1991.
- "AS-EASY-AS for DOS - Free!". Trius Inc. 2011-09-11. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- "AS-EASY-AS for Windows - Free!". Trius Inc. 2011-09-11. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- "AS Easy AS - Award winning shareware spreadsheet- now free (DOS / Win9x versions)". 2010-05-21. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
- Version 3.0 from 1987 is at the abandonware website Vetusware, along with a later version. (Assuming that, if the Windows version is free, then the historical versions would also be free.)
- Versions 4 and 5 were included on MegaDEMO CD by Profit Press (see listing) alongside many other spreadsheet and other programs of that era. CD-ROM mirrors courtesy of Textfiles.com
- As-Easy-As v5.7 (DOS version) available with free full license key
- As-Easy-As v1.6 (Windows version, works up to 32-bit version of Windows 7, but not 64-bit) available with free full license key
- DraftChoice for DOS and Windows (16-bit) available with free full license key
- TRIUS, Inc. User Forums