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Lotus 1-2-3 was released in 1983 to resolve a load of problems that plagued VisiCalc; it overtook VisiCalc's sales immediately. 1-2-3 was marketed as a three-in-one solution for spreadsheet calculations, database functionality, and graphical charts, which was the reasoning behind the name "1-2-3". It was the first computer software to ever use television consumer advertising. Among other things Lotus 1-2-3 introduced was a graph-maker that could produce pie charts, line charts, bar graphics, and other miscellaneous charts, if you had a graphics card. Unfortunately, at the early stages, there were only two video boards available, but they could both be installed in the same computer, so 1-2-3 supported a split screen mode. It was used a one of the two "stress testing" applications, along with Microsoft Flight Simulator, because of its high hardware requirements. While 1-2-3 closely followed the model of VisiCalc, it was fast, cleanly programmed, and relatively bug-free. A combination of technical issues, Microsoft releasing Excel, and people switching to Windows contributed to 1-2-3's slow decline in the 1990s.
BYTE called 1-2-3 "modestly revolutionary" for elegantly combining spreadsheet, database, and graphing functions. Claiming that "1-2-3 is one of the few pieces of software that can literally be used by anybody. You can buy 1-2-3 and [an IBM PC] and be running the two together the same day", BYTE heavily praised 1-2-3's speed and ease-of-use. In 1983, PC Magazine attributed its extremely fast performance to being written in assembly language and asserted that 1-2-3 was "a powerful and impressive program ... as a spreadsheet, it's excellent".