Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

MultiMate v3.30

MultiMate v3.30




Release Date: 1/1/1984
Manufacturer: MultiMate
MultiMate was a word processor developed by Softword Systems Inc. (later renamed Multimate International) for IBM PC MS-DOS computers in the early 1980s. Wilton H. Jones, a programmer turned entrepreneur (W.H. Jones & Associates), brought on board ten young programmers to write the software after winning a contract to develop a word processor for the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance company. He negotiated the right to sell the program elsewhere.

By 1984, with the success of the PC, MultiMate had more than $1 million in orders a month and the company had more than 150 employees. Jones sold the company to Ashton-Tate in December 1985 for about $20 million a few years later. At the time, an Ashton-Tate press release called the acquisition "the largest ever in the microcomputer software industry".

MultiMate was not marketed heavily to end-users, but was quickly popular with insurance companies, law firms and other business computer users. MultiMate's greatest advantage — and its mandate from Connecticut Mutual — was that it allowed companies to easily replace dedicated Wang Word Processor workstations with PCs, with an order of magnitude reduction in cost. The user interface, although different from Wang's, was close enough to allow a Wang user to rapidly switch over without much retraining.

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