On May 14, IBM quietly announced the end of the road for [Lotus] 1-2-3, along with Lotus Organizer and the Lotus SmartSuite office suite. Lotus 1-2-3's day is done.

A significant milestone in the history of the spreadsheet, and more broadly, the PC.

The modern work of many professionals, including my fellow actuaries, runs through webs of spreadsheets. Though Microsoft Excel has been the undisputed king of desktop spreadsheets, I feel like it's been up against an innovation wall. The interface and its basic uses have been largely unchanged in more than a decade (despite a significant visual makeover in 2007.)

I think mobile represents the innovation frontier for spreadsheets. Microsoft has done essentially nothing in that space, and while the Google Drive app is pretty good in terms of accessibility and collaboration, it lacks many features that Excel powerusers rely on.

Apple's Numbers looks good visually and has more features, but it falls drastically short on file sharing and collaboration.

Whoever can come up with a truly mobile-user-friendly system for working with tabular data that has the same degree of buy-in that Excel has enjoyed since the late 1990s, will become very rich.

On the other hand, maybe the concept of the spreadsheet will itself run its course in the next decade or two. It wouldn't be a terrible thing. I've seen the wounds inflicted by both sides of Excel's blade. Replacing spreadsheets created by armchair programmers with more robust software applications is probably better long-term.