VisiCorp was founded in 1976 by Dan Fylstra and Peter R. Jennings as Personal Software
Its most famous products were Microchess, Visi On and VisiCalc.
Its first publication was Jennings' Microchess program for the MOS Technology KIM-1 computer, and later Commodore PET, Apple II, TRS-80 and Atari 8-bit.
In 1979 it released VisiCalc, which would be so successful that in 1982 the company was renamed "VisiCorp". VisiCalc was the first electronic spreadsheet for personal computers, developed by Software Arts and published by Personal Software/ VisiCorp.
Visi On was the first Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the IBM PC. Bill Gates came to see Visi On at a trade show, and this seems what inspired him to create a windowed GUI for Microsoft. Visicorp was larger than Microsoft at the time, and the two companies entered negotiations to merge, but could not agree on who would sit on the board of directors.
People who worked at VisiCorp included:
Ed Esber who would later run Ashton-Tate; Bill Coleman who would found BEA Systems; Mitch Kapor founder of Lotus Software and the Electronic Frontier Foundation; Rich Melmon who would co-found Electronic Arts; and Brad Templeton who would found ClariNet .
VisiCorp agreed in 1979 to pay 36-50% of VisiCalc revenue to Software Arts, compared to typical software royalties of 8-12%. It composed 70% of VisiCorp revenue in 1982 and 58% in 1983.
VisiCorp was sold to Paladin Software after a legal feud between Software Arts and VisiCorp.
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