Some of the notable ones are, of course, Microsoft, IBM, and Apple. Yes, I know Apple builds hardware, but they also build software. In fact, I would argue that it's their software that makes their hardware so appealing.
But I'll throw out some names that were huge when Alpha Software first started 26 years ago who are now nothing more than footnotes in the history of computing. Ashton-Tate, WordPerfect, XyWrite, Quarterdeck, PFS, Digital Research, and WordStar.
There's another name that is also a footnote, but it's a footnote that spawned the industry. That company was Software Arts, Inc., which created VisiCalc. It was the first commercial spreadsheet for the Apple II. VisiCalc legitimized the personal computer, and spawned the industry that we know today. It was the first killer app that businesses could use right away and get real benefits from.
Here we are 29 years later, and Alpha Software is still around. And it's for one reason. We've ensured that our Alpha Five platform has kept pace with the changes and developments in the industry. If you're a long-time user of Alpha, you know how we've taken our developers from DOS, to Windows, to the Web, to the cloud, and now to mobile.
In fact, that's one of the reasons why we argue that people don't get fired for buying Alpha Five. We've preserved the developers' investments in our platform for almost three generations now. And there's another developer who has also remained relevant for three generations. It's that guy who co-created VisiCalc, Dan Bricklin.
When you've been around as long as Alpha has, you make a lot of friends in the industry. I've met with Bill Gates, Mitch Kapor, and many other personalities you would recognize. One of the people that I was fortunate to have met and became friendly with is Dan Bricklin. In fact, Dan was visiting Alpha the other day when I was chatting on Skype with Melissa.
Dan was showing us his new iPad app, Note Taker HD. It's a powerful tool for writing and organizing handwritten notes, diagrams, etc. We thought it was so cool that we wanted to share it with you. It's a great example of why everyone is so excited by mobile.
Instead of just posting the demo of Dan's iPad app though, I asked Melissa and Dan if they would mind doing a Skypecast about it. (And if any of you have ever had a conversation with me, you know how much I love to use Skype over ye olde iPhone or any old phone.)
So, Melissa and Dan connected on Skype and talked about everything from spreadsheets, to how Note Taker HD is productivity's best friend, and how to use Note Taker HD with your Alpha Five Web apps. While she had him on the screen, Melissa also picked Dan's brain about the advantages of mobile application development, as well as the challenges. That led right into Dan's opinion on the growing problem of developer burnout.
Melissa and Dan also touch on the positives and negatives of Web-based development tools, such as Caspio, QuickBase, Zoho, etc. But enough talk, time for you to watch the interview. Hit play. And after you're done watching it, if you want to try Dan's Note Taker HD for the iPad, head to the Apple App Store. Thanks again Dan for taking the time to talk with Alpha Software and good luck with your new app!