1944 - 1971
1972 - 1981
1981 - 1990
1990 - 1998
Sharp introduces the Sharp PC-1500 Hand Held Personal Computer. It comes with 16KB ROM, and 3.5KB RAM. Price for computer is US$300. Price for tiny color graphics printer that attaches to the side, US$250.
|Commodore announces the Commodore 64 microcomputer, showing a prototype at the Winter CES. It features a 6510 processor, 64KB RAM, 20KB ROM with Microsoft BASIC, custom sound, color graphics, for US$600) for US$595. During 1983, the price drops to US$200. It becomes the best selling computer of all time, with estimated sales of 17-22 million units. It is the first personal computer with an integrated sound synthesizer chip.
Microsoft signs an agreement with Apple Computer, for Microsoft to develop applications for the Macintosh.
Intel introduces the 6-MHz 80286 microprocessor. It uses a 16-bit data bus, 134,000 transistors (1.5 microns), and offers protected mode operation. Initial price is US$360 each.
IBM first offers CP/M-86 for the IBM PC.
||Sun Microsystems is founded.|
Microsoft releases MS-DOS 1.1 to IBM, for the IBM PC. It supports 320KB double-sided floppy disk drives. Microsoft also releases MS-DOS 1.25, similar to 1.1 but for IBM-compatible computers.
The first IBM PC clone, the MPC, is released by Columbia Data Products.
IBM ships the 200,000th IBM PC.
||Digital Equipment announces the dual-processor Rainbow 100. It incorporates both Zilog Z-80 and Intel 8088 microprocessors, allowing it to run CP/M as well as CP/M-86 or MS-DOS. Prices start at US$3000.|
Hercules announces the Hercules Graphics Card (HGC or HGA), with monochrome graphics at 720x348 resolution.
Lotus Development announces the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet program at Comdex in Las Vegas.
VisiCorp announces the VisiOn graphical user interface at the Fall 1982 Comdex
Microsoft releases Microsoft COBOL for MS-DOS.
|Apple Computer becomes the first personal computer company to reach US$1 billion in annual sales.
Microsoft ships its Multiplan spreadsheet program to IBM for testing and marketing for the IBM PC.
Advanced Micro Devices and Intel sign a 10-year technology exchange agreement centering on Intel's x86 microprocessor architecture.
Mouse Systems introduces the first commercial mouse for the IBM PC.
||John Warnock founds Adobe Systems.|
|Drexel University in Philadelphia announces it will require all students to own a personal computer. This is the first university to make such a proclamation.
||Apple Computer officially unveils the Lisa computer. It features a 5-MHz 68000 microprocessor, 1MB RAM, 2MB ROM, a 12-inch B/W monitor, 720x364 graphics, dual 5.25-inch 860KB floppy drives, and a 5MB Profile hard drive. It is slow, but innovative. Its initial price is US$10,000. The Lisa cost Apple Computer US$50 million to develop. It is the first personal computer with a graphical user interface (GUI). The software for it cost Apple Computer US$100 million to develop. "Lisa" stands for Local Integrated Software Architecture. During its lifetime, 100,000 units are produced.|
Microsoft announces MS-DOS 2.0 for PCs. It was written from scratch, supporting 10 MB hard drives, a tree-structured file system, and 360 KB floppy disks.
|Apple Computer introduces the Apple IIe. It features 64KB RAM, Applesoft BASIC, upper/lower case keyboard, seven expansion slots, 40x24 and 80x24 text, 1-MHz 6502 processor, up to 560x192 graphics, 140KB 5.25-inch floppy drive, Apple DOS 3.3, for US$1400|
Media Distributing offers a 44MB hard drive for US$4400
Lotus Development ships Lotus 1-2-3 Release 1.0 for MS-DOS. US$1 million was spent on promoting the release. It requires 256KB of RAM, more than any microcomputer program at the time.
||Sony Electronics announces the 3.5 inch floppy disk and drive, double-sided, double-density, holding up to 1MB.|
Microsoft introduces Multi-Tool Word for DOS (later renamed Microsoft Word) word processing program at Spring Comdex in Atlanta, Georgia.
The one millionth Apple II is made.
|Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 Model 4, with 4-MHz Zilog Z80A microprocessor, 16KB RAM, cassette or 180KB 5.25-inch floppy drives, keyboard, 80x24 text 12-inch B/W monitor, optional CP/M, speaker, for US$2000.
AT&T Bell Labs designs C++.
Texas Instruments withdraws from the personal computer market.
||IBM announces the IBM PC-XT Model 370, with 8088 CPU, 768K RAM, 360K drive, and 10 MB hard drive for US$9000|
Satellite Software International ships WordPerfect 3.0 for US$500.
|Microsoft formally announces Microsoft Windows, at the Plaza Hotel in New York. It is promised for release in April, 1984.
Microsoft again shows Windows to IBM, and again IBM is not interested.
In an obscure television market somewhere on the Great Plains, Apple Computer runs its "1984" Macintosh ad, solely to make the ad eligible for awards during 1984.
||Apple unveils the new Macintosh to the press.|
IBM and Microsoft begin co-developing OS/2
In its first year, Compaq Computer sells 47,000 computers, worth US$111 million.
|Dan Silva and others leave Xerox, to form Electronic Arts.
Borland International is founded by Philippe Kahn.
Novell introduces the NetWare network operating system for the IBM PC.
|Wang announces the single in-line memory module (SIMM).
Apple Computer runs its "1984" commercial during the NFL Super Bowl, introducing the Macintosh computer. Apple Computer runs the ad only once, but dozens of news and talk shows replay it, making it one of the most memorable ads in TV history. The ad cost US$1.5 million.
Apple Computer's Steve Jobs introduces the Apple Macintosh at the Flint Center of DeAnza College in Cupertino, California. The Macintosh uses the 8-MHz 32-bit Motorola 68000 CPU, built-in 9-inch B/W screen, 512x342 graphics, 400KB 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, mouse, 128KB RAM, and weighs 20 pounds. Price: US$2500.
IBM announces the IBM Portable PC, for US$2900.
|Commodore announces that during 1983, Commodore sold US$1 billion worth of computers, the first personal computer company to do so.
NEC introduces the 8-MHz V20 microprocessor, the first clone of Intel's 8088. It uses 63,000 transistors. It also introduces the 8-MHz V30 microprocessor, the first clone of Intel's 8086. It also uses 63,000 transistors.
74 days after the introduction of the Macintosh, 50,000 units have been sold.
Compaq Computer introduces its PCs to Europe.
Apple Computer announces that 70,000 Macintosh computers have been shipped in the first 100 days since its announcement.
||Silicon Graphics begins shipping its first 3-D graphics workstations.|
Motorola adds the 68020 32-bit processor to its line.
Commodore purchases Amiga Corporation
|Commodore announces the Commodore 16 at the Consumer Electronics Show. The machine looks like the VIC-20 and Commodore 64, but has 16KB of RAM, and is sells for around US$100, and marketed as "The Learning Machine"
IBM announces the Enhanced Graphics Adapter (EGA), supporting up to 640x350 resolution in 16 colors. With 64K, the card costs US$524.
||IBM announces the PC-AT, a 6MHz 80286 computer using PC-DOS 3.0, a 5.25-inch 1.2MB floppy drive, with 256KB RAM, for US$4000, which doesn't include hard drive or monitor/card. With a 20MB hard drive, color card and monitor: US$6700.|
Microsoft releases MS-DOS 3.0 for PCs. It adds support for 1.2 MB floppy disks, and bigger (than 10 MB) hard disks.
Microsoft gives a demonstration of the final version of Windows to IBM. For the third time, IBM is not interested.
The number of hosts on the Internet reaches 1000.
Apple Computer launches the "Test Drive a Macintosh" promotion. About 200,000 take a Macintosh home for a free 24-hour trial.
Several companies introduce 2400 baud modems at COMDEX, priced at US$800-900.
Tandy introduces the Tandy 1000, for US$1300.
Hewlett-Packard introduces the LaserJet laser printer, featuring 300dpi resolution, for US$3,600.
||Sierra On-Line releases the game King's Quest.|
Apple Computer buys 15% of Adobe for US$2.5 million.
Philips announces CD-ROM players for personal computers, for under US$1000.
|MIPS Computer Systems is founded, and begins developing its RISC architecture.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) begins developing the X Windows System.
As part of the Macintosh Office advertisement campaign, Apple Computer runs a TV ad during the Super Bowl called "Lemmings", showing blindfolded business executives walking off a cliff.
Atari introduces the 520ST: 512KB RAM, 192KB ROM, 512 color graphics, MIDI interface, and mouse for US$600.
|Compaq Computer reports second year revenues of US$329 million, an industry record.
Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak resigns from Apple Computer, to start a company that will develop home video products.
||Former Microsoft founder Paul Allen founds Asymetrix.|
Apple Computer's board of directors approves John Sculley's decision to remove Steve Jobs as head of the Macintosh division.
Microsoft demonstrates Microsoft Windows at Spring Comdex. Release date is set for June.
||IBM abandons production of the IBM PCjr, because the sales were not doing well.|
Mike Markkula backs John Sculley's decision to "banish" Steve Jobs from any official duties at Apple Computer.
Microsoft and IBM sign a joint-development agreement to work together on future operating systems and environments.
Aldus releases Aldus PageMaker for the Apple Macintosh, for US$495.
Steve Jobs and five senior managers of Apple Computer Inc. found NeXT Incorporated
Intel introduces the 16-MHz 80386DX microprocessor. It uses 32-bit registers and a 32-bit data bus, and incorporates 275,000 transistors (1.5 microns). Initial price is US$299. It can access 4 gigabytes of physical memory, or up to 64 terabytes of virtual memory.
|Computer company Gateway 2000 is formed, in Sioux City, Iowa, USA.
Microsoft France releases a French version of Multiplan 2.0 for the IBM PC
IBM introduces its token ring network.
General Electric Information Services begins the GEnie online service.
Microsoft ships Microsoft Windows 1.0, for US$100. It is delivered two years after the initial announcement of the product.
|Iomega introduces its storage cartridge system to the Macintosh market.
Apple Computer and Microsoft sign an agreement regarding Microsoft's use of Apple's copyrights on the visual display of the Macintosh.
VisiCorp files for bankruptcy.
Apple Computer's board of directors strips Steve Jobs of all operational responsibilities, but leaves him in the role of Chairman
||Nintendo introduces the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US.|
Novell introduces NetWare 2.0 network operating system.
Software Arts sells the rights to VisiCalc to Mitch Kapor, of Lotus Development, for US$800,000.
IBM announces the IBM RT Personal Computer, using RISC-based technology from IBM's "801" project of the mid-70s. It is one of the first commercially-available 32-bit RISC-based computers. The base configuration has 1MB RAM, a 1.2MB floppy, and 40 MB hard drive, for US$11,700. With performance of only 2 MIPS, it is doomed from the beginning.
|Apple Computer introduces the Macintosh Plus. It features a 8-MHz 68000 processor, 1 MB RAM, SCSI connector for hard drive support, a new keyboard with cursor keys and numeric keypad, and an 800 KB 3.5-inch floppy drive. Price is US$2600. It is the first personal computer to provide embedded SCSI support.
Microsoft releases MS-DOS 3.2. It adds support for 3.5-inch 720 KB floppy disk drives.
IBM boosts the speed of the IBM PC AT by replacing the CPU with a 8-MHz Intel 80286.
Compaq Computer joins the Fortune 500 list faster than any company in history.
Apple Computer discontinues the original Macintosh.
|Microsoft first sells shares to the public, for US$21 per share. The initial public offering raises US$61 million. Bill Gates quickly becomes the world's youngest billionaire.
WordPerfect ships WordPerfect 4.2 for US$500.
Ashton-Tate ships the one millionth copy of dBase.
Lotus Development releases a French version of Lotus 1-2-3 v2.0 in France.
Adobe introduces Adobe Illustrator, a PostScript drawing tool, for the Macintosh.
||MIPS Technologies unveils the 8-MHz R2000 32-bit CPU. With 110,000 transistors, it achieves a speed rating of 5 MIPS.|
NEC Home Electronics introduces its NEC JC-1401P3A Multisync monitor, the first multi-syncing monitor.
|The Small Computer System Interface (SCSI-1) standard is finalized as ANSI X3.131-1986.
Intel introduces the 20-MHz 80386DX microprocessor.
Apple Computer makes its 1 millionth Macintosh personal computer.
||Apple Computer introduces the open architecture Macintosh II. It uses a 16-MHz 68020 processor. The basic system sells for US$3900. A system with 1MB RAM, one 800K floppy drive, and a 40MB hard drive is priced at US$5500. The system features a plug-and-play architecture for expansion cards.|
U.S. Robotics unveils its 9600 bps Courier HST modem, for US$995. BBS sysops can purchase the modem for US$495.
IBM unveils its Video Graphics Array (VGA) in its Model 50 and higher of the PS/2 line. VGA offers 256 simultaneous colors at a resolution of 320x200, and 16 colors at 640x480. The colors displayed have six bits of depth for each primary color, giving a palette of 262,144 different colors to select from.
|IBM introduces the IBM Personal System/2 (PS/2) line, with IBM's first 386 PC, and 3.5-inch floppy drives as standard. The PS/2 Model 30 uses a 8-MHz 8086, the Model 50 and 60 use the 10-MHz 80286, and the Model 80 uses a 20-MHz 80386.
IBM introduces its Micro Channel Architecture (MCA) on its Model 50 and higher of the PS/2 line.
IBM announces DOS 3.3 for PCs, for US$120. It adds support for 1.44 MB floppy disks, and multiple 32 MB hard drive partitions.
||IBM and Microsoft announce Operating System/2 (OS/2).|
Microsoft announces Microsoft Windows 2.0.
Advanced Micro Devices files suit against Intel, claiming Intel had breached contractual obligations in a 1982 technology sharing agreement between the two companies.
Sun Microsystems introduces its first SPARC-based system, the Sun-4/260, with 10 MIPS performance.
Microsoft acquires Forethought, maker of the PowerPoint presentation graphics program for the Macintosh for US$ 14million.
Apple Computer creates the Claris software company to take charge of some of Apple Computer's software needs. Apple owns 82% of the company's stock.
Microsoft ships Microsoft Bookshelf, its first CD-ROM application
Microsoft unveils the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for Windows.
Ven-Tel unveils its EC18K-34 modem, which it claims can operate at up to 18,000 bps, with data compression achieving a throughput of 19,200 bps on normal voice phone lines. The cost of the modem is US$1400.
||Microsoft releases Microsoft Windows/386, priced at US$195.|
Ad Lib Incorporated unveils its Ad Lib Personal Computer Music System for US$245. The card provides FM synthesis with 11 simultaneous voices.
Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 4.0 for the PC.
Intel introduces the 80387 math coprocessor.
|Borland International ships the Quattro spreadsheet program.
IBM discontinues the IBM PC line.
ANSI formally adapts SCSI as a standard.
Apple Computer releases its first Ethernet networking product, the EtherTalk Card for NuBus equipped Macintosh computers.
Apple Computer sues Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard for copyright infringement regarding Microsoft's Windows 2.03, Hewlett-Packard's NewWave, and the Macintosh OS.
|Spectrum Holobyte introduces Tetris, the first entertainment software imported from the Soviet Union.
Intel introduces the 25-MHz 80386DX microprocessor. Speed is 8.5 MIPS.
Motorola unveils the 88000 processor.
Apple Computer contracts with Quantum Computer Services to create AppleLink.
Microsoft releases MS-DOS 4.0, including a graphical/mouse interface.
Intel introduces the 16-MHz 80386SX microprocessor, like the 80386 but with a 16-bit data bus. Price is US$219 each. Speed is 2.5 MIPS.
Compaq Computer introduces its first laptop PC with VGA graphics, the Compaq SLT/286. It has a 12-MHz 286, 640KB RAM, 20-40MB hard drive, 3.5-inch disk drive, and built-in 10-inch grayscale LCD VGA screen. Price is up to US$5800.
Steve Jobs of NeXT Inc. unveils the first NeXT computer. For US$6500, it features: 25-MHz Motorola 68030 processor and 68882 math coprocessor, 8MB RAM, 17-inch monochrome monitor, 256MB read/write magneto-optical drive, and object-oriented NeXTSTEP operating system. It is dubbed the "Cube" because its system box measures 1 foot on all sides.
The bus standard used on IBM AT compatibles is given the name Industry Standard Architecture (ISA).
|Digital Research transforms CP/M into DR DOS.
W.H. Sim founds Creative Labs, Inc., in California, USA, a subsidiary of Creative Technology.
Atari sues Nintendo, accusing it of engaging in monopolistic practices.
The CD-ROM format ISO 9660:88 is adopted.
||Hewlett-Packard introduces the HP DeskJet inkjet printer. Price: US$1000.|
The VESA graphics standard emerges, providing a uniform method of accessing SuperVGA chipsets.
Intel begins production of the 80486 microprocessor.
Intel introduces the 33-MHz version of the 80386DX microprocessor and 80387 math co-processor.
|Intel announces the 25-MHz 486 microprocessor at Spring Comdex in Chicago, Illinois. It integrates the 386, 387 math coprocessor, and adds an 8KB primary cache. It uses 1.2 million transistors, employing 1-micron technology. Initial price is US$900. Speed is 20 MIPS.
Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 5.0 for DOS
Apple Computer introduces 1.4MB floppy drives for the Macintosh.
||The Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) is formed, to develop a memory card standard for personal computers.|
Apple Computer and Microsoft announces an alliance to develop a new font standard, TrueType.
Cyrix introduces the FasMath 83D87 math coprocessor, pin-compatible with Intel's 80387.
At fall Comdex, IBM strongly endorses Windows for low end PCs, and Microsoft publicly endorses OS/2 as the future platform for higher-end PCs. IBM and Microsoft agree to jointly develop a consistent, full-range of systems software.
|WordPerfect ships WordPerfect 5.1 for US$500.
Xerox files a US$150 million lawsuit challenging the validity of Apple Computer's copyrights covering the Lisa and Macintosh computers' graphical user interface. Xerox claims Apple Computer copied the Xerox Star system interface.
Intel unveils the i860 RISC processor. It is the first microprocessor capable of executing two instructions per clock cycle.
Creative Labs introduces the Sound Blaster, an 8-bit mono PC sound card.
Sun Microsystems announces the 12.5 MIPS 20-MHz SPARCstation 1 for a base price of US$9000.
Motorola announces the availability of its 32-bit 25-MHz microprocessor, the 68040. The 68040 incorporates 1.2 million transistors, integrates the FPU, and includes instruction and data caches.
Intel introduces the 33-MHz 486 microprocessor. Speed is 27 MIPS.
Digital Research releases DR DOS 5.0.
||Microsoft introduces and ships Microsoft Windows 3.0. Microsoft spends US$3 million for opening-day marketing, as part of a US$10 million promotional campaign.|
The US Federal Trade Commission begins an investigation of Microsoft Corp., for alleged monopolistic practices in the PC software market.
Microsoft's sales revenues hit US$1 billion for the past year, the first personal computer software company to do so.
|Acer Incorporated buys Alto Computer Systems for US$94 million.
IBM and Microsoft end cooperative work on operating systems, dividing up work-to-date between them, in a series of cross-licensing agreements.
|The IEEE approves the 10BASE-T Ethernet specification.
IBM introduces the XGA MCA graphics card, as a replacement for VGA. Resolutions of 640x480 and 1024x768 are supported, with up to 65,536 colors in the 640x480 mode. At the same time, IBM joins the VESA group, making the XGA specification publicly available.
||Apple Computer discontinues many of it's Macintoshes, including the Mac Plus, SE, II, and IIx, with the Mac Classic to replace them.|
Motorola announces a new line of single-chip RISC processors, the first of which is the 88110.
|Apple Computer's AppleLink - Personal Edition is expanded and renamed America Online.
A judge rules that competitors to Intel can use the x86 designation for their processors. Intel decides to find different names for its new processors.
US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker throws out 5 of 6 claims in Xerox' suit against Apple Computer of the Star's system.