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Software Arts' Officers Taking Along Some Products : Bricklin, Frankston Moving to Lotus

April 09, 1985|VICTORIA McCARGAR

Software pioneers Daniel S. Bricklin and Robert Frankston, whose creation--VisiCalc--is credited with giving momentum to the personal-computer wave, are moving to Lotus Development from Software Arts and are taking some key software products with them.

Under a tentative agreement announced Monday, Bricklin, 33, Software Arts' chairman, and Frankston, 35, its president, will join Cambridge, Mass.-based Lotus in undisclosed positions.

Additionally, Lotus will acquire Software Arts' assets, including VisiCalc, TK!Solver--a sophisticated equation-solving program aimed at scientists and engineers--and a "desk-top accessory" program called Spotlight.

Terms of the agreement are being negotiated, with a final deal expected in the next month or two, Lotus spokesman Ronald Scott said. Plans call for Lotus to market Software Arts' products through its own dealer channels.

Software Arts of Wellesley, Mass., has been marketing VisiCalc on its own after a legal falling out last year with its former partner, San Jose-based VisiCorp. Since then, the company has been "looking for a good home for our products," Bricklin said in a phone call from Wellesley. "We didn't have the wherewithal to market them as they deserved, and we have that here" with Lotus.

Bricklin's and Frankston's move to Lotus--maker of the popular Lotus 1-2-3 and Symphony software--brings two of the country's hottest software designers to the industry's No. 1 independent software maker.

"Bricklin and Frankston were never good at retailing," said Paul Cubbage, a senior analyst with Dataquest, a San Jose-based market research firm. "Lotus isn't good--it's great, and it's trying to do things to consolidate itself in the market."

Cubbage noted that Lotus recently announced its plan to expand into the science and technology software market, and "I would guess that TK!Solver fits perfectly into that area," he said.

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