Future Software - Improv -Like Spreadsheet

in Mac Software edited January 2014
Ther's plenty of hardware rumours about, how about software?

It's only logical that Apple has a spreadsheet app waiting in the wings, but what kind of app will this be?

There's some rumour that this could be lotus improv like from back in the NeXT days, and if indeed true, this would turn out to be a killer app, but then do we expect a pro version of pages to go with it? or is that MS Word still.


  • Reply 1 of 5
    imeime Posts: 40member
    What I heard is that if they were in the process of developing a spreadsheet application then it wouldn't be released until late 2005, early 2006.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    Word and Excel are entirely different beasts and must be treated as such. Although both are in a single MS software suite, there are drastically different implications when trying to replace each with an alternative.

    Excel's file format is mind bogglingly complex. Over the years, it has grown to support just about anything imaginable. Many businesses have complex functionality built into spreadsheets too numerous to count. The original authors of these spreadsheets no longer work at the company and since the files aren't neccessarily used on a regular basis, nobody really knows how they work. It is unlikely that any excel-compatible tool from apple will be compatible enough for companies to simply switch over to an apple program.

    Word processing documents are different. If something is formatted poorly after translation, no serious harm is done. However, a slightly wrong spreadsheet calculation can spell disaster...
  • Reply 3 of 5
    If the new functionality was worth it, business will indeed switch, it was indeed true when Improv first came out, the app was radically different that even importing traditional spreadsheet file was out of the question, yet businesses flog to them in the thousands, it is reputed that some financial institution has indeed kept some NeXT boxen just to run Improv alone these days.

    Back in those days, Jobs was instrumental in the development of Improv, so the question remains is that is there an opportunity for a very top-end spreadsheet, or the cost of re-learning the program will make it better suited as entry-level iApps (fot the uninitiated) instead of a full-fledged productivity program.

    Apple could test the market with a iLedger or whatever, and if the interest is strong enough, launch the pro-suite later.

    But again, it could turn out just to be an Aqua port of Appleworks.

    BTW has anybody heard of Apple hiring any Lotus guys?
  • Reply 4 of 5
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,146member
    What was special about Lotus Improv?
  • Reply 5 of 5

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    What was special about Lotus Improv?

    It's like Excel's Pivot table, except that the whole programs are like that.

    Wikipedia Article on Improv

    Basically the programs doesn't think of data in terms of their location (A:1, B:2 etc) but rather like a database where a data can belongs to various attributes or groups, like date, amount....

    automating calculation is done instead of dragging or copying and pasting each rows is done by formulating each attributes into a function ie. Profit = Revenue - Cost, then there would be a new attribute (column) with the relevant results in them.

    There can also be multiple views, like doing a queries for a database, that can saves a lot of hassle by re-sorting the tables, like viewing the profit figues by month, amont or whatever, even graphs can be created automatically this way.

    TO an extent, modern financtial programs like SPSS does do this, but they costs into the $000s and aren't really suited for spreadsheet work like calculations.

    (Did I mentioned that Steve REALLY liked the program? )
Sign In or Register to comment.