OverviewSoftKey International, Inc. was first incorporated as MicroPro International Corp. founded in about 1978 by Seymour Rubinstein. Rubinstein remained with the company until 1986 when he left to start Surpass Corporation, which developed a spreadsheet program sold in 1988 to Borland International and was then released as Quattro Pro.
During the early days of computers, MicroPro International was best known for creating WordStar (word processing), CalcStar (spreadsheet), and DataStar (database) for the Apple II, Tandy, TRS-80's and DOS. The company changed its name to Wordstar International Inc. in June 1989.
WordStar International opened a foreign branch in France, WordStar International S.A., in 1991. The company then acquired Lifetree Software Inc. in 1991 and ZSoft in January 1993. Then in February 1994 Wordstar International merged with Spinnaker Software Corp. and SoftKey Software Products Inc., a Canadian producer of income tax software, to form the new company SoftKey International Inc. which was incorporated in the state of Delaware (US). In July of that year the subsidiary SoftKey Multimedia Inc. was also formed.
By this time SoftKey International Inc. had become a multi-billion dollar company and a major contender in the very competitive educational software market. The company was a developer, publisher, manufacturer, distributor and marketer of PC software. Products included productivity, lifestyle, education/entertainment and organizational software for individual, home and small business users and were available on magnetic disk and CD-ROM.
SoftKey International's acquisitions included:
- Aris Multimedia Entertainment Inc. (June 1994)
- Compact Publishing, Inc. (July 1994)
- Software Marketing Corporation (Sept. 1994)
- Tewi Verlag GmbH (July 1995)
- Future Vision Holding, Inc. (Aug. 1995)
- The Learning Company (Dec. 1995)
- Compton's NewMedia, Inc. (Jan 1996)
- Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation (MECC) (May 1996)
- Edusoft (Aug. 1996)
The Softkey name was used as a label of The Learning Company, Inc. at least through 1999.
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