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Computer History Timeline II

1980 - 1991


1980 IBM hires Paul Allen and Bill Gates to create an operating system for a new PC. The pair buy the rights to a simple operating system manufactured by Seattle Computer Products and use it as a template. IBM allows the two to keep the marketing rights to the operating system, called DOS.
1980 IBM hires Microsoft to develop versions of BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL and Pascal for the PC being developed by IBM.
1980 Microsoft licenses Unix and starts to develop a PC version, XENIX.
1980 The programming language FORTRAN 77 is created.
1980 The first Tandy Color computer is introduced.
1980 AST is founded.
1981 MS-DOS 1.0 was released August, 1981.
1981 American National Standards Institute more commonly known as ANSI was founded.
1981 IBM joins the computer race with its IBM PC, which runs the new DOS operating system.
1981 Xerox introduces the graphical Star workstation. This computer greatly influences the development of Apple’s future computer models, Lisa and Macintosh, as well as Microsoft’s Windows.
1981 Hayes Introduces the Smartmodem 300 with its standard setting AT command set and a operating speed of 300 bits per second.
1981 Adam Osborne introduces the Osborne I, the first successful portable computer, which weighs 25 pounds.
1981 Hewlett-Packard Superchip the first 32-bit chip is introduced.
1981 Commodore ships the VIC-20, which later becomes the world’s most popular computer costing only $299.95.
1981 Logitech is founded in Apples, Switzerland.
1981 Adaptec is founded.
1981 Hayes releases the Smartmodem 1200 with transfer rates of 1,200 bits per second.
1981 CTX is established.
1982 Peter Norton creates Norton Utilities.
1982 Sony releases its first Trinitron monitor
1982 Microsoft releases FORTRAN for the PC COBOL for MS-DOS, and Multiplan for the Apple II and CP / M machines.
1982 Microsoft establishes a subsidiary in England to begin foreign sales efforts.
1982 WordPerfect Corporation introduces WordPerfect 1.0 a word processing program that will become one of the computer markets most popular word processing program.
1982 The first luggable computer is introduced.
1982 Sun is incorporated in February 1982, with four employees.
1982 Lotus Development Corporation is founded and Lotus 1-2-3, a spreadsheet program is introduced.
1982 Compaq Computer Corp. is founded by Rod Canion and other Texas Instruments Incorporated engineers. Compaq is the first company to introduce a clone of the IBM PC and become IBM’s biggest challenger in the corporate market.
1982 The Commodore 64 begins to be sold with 64 kilobytes (KB) of random-access memory (RAM) and containing Microsoft BASIC and dropping in price from $600 to $200 allows it to become the best-selling computer of all time.
1982 The HX-20 becomes the first notebook-sized portable computer is introduced by Epson.
1982 MS-DOS version 1.25 is released.
1982 Apple Computer is the first personal computer manufacture to hit the $1 billion mark for annual sales.
1982 The Intel 80286 processor is announced.
1982 Adobe is founded.
1982 BTC is founded
1983 The IBM XT is first introduced.
1983 The Time magazine nominates the PC as the "man of the year."
1983 The Apple IIe is introduced. The computer contains 64 kilobytes (KB) of RAM one megahertz 6502 processor and running Applesoft BASIC and sells for $1,400.
1983 Tandy, Epson and NEC all sell notebook computers however only the Tandy’s model 100 becomes popular because of its low price of $499.
1983 More then 10 million computers are in use in the United States.
1983 MS-DOS 2.0 was released March, 1983.
1983 True BASIC is created and is a compiled, structured language. It doesn't require line numbers, as the original BASIC did, and includes the advanced control structures necessary for structured programming.
1983 The QIC Standard becomes the first standard in the computer history for tape drives
1983 Microsoft Windows was announced November, 1983
1984 Bill Gates is featured on the cover of Time magazine.
1984 The 3.5-inch floppy diskette is introduced and later becomes an industry standard.
1984 Dell Computer is founded May 3, 1984 in Austin Texas.
1984 The now famous Apple commercial is shown during the Super Bowl, the commercial introduces the Apple Macintosh, a computer with graphical user interface instead of needing to type in commands. In six months sales of the computer reach 100,000.
1984 Dhrystone is developed.
1984 IBM develops EGA.
1984 The computer Museum opens in downtown Boston.
1984 Microsoft introduces MS-DOS 3.0 for the IBM PC AT and MS-DOS 3.1 for networks.
1984 The Tandy 1000 personal computer is introduced and becomes the best-selling IBM-compatible computer of the year.
1984 IBM introduces the Enhanced Graphics Adapter (EGA) video card with higher resolution, more colors, and a quicker response then previous video cards.
1984 University of Southern California professor Fred Cohen creates alarm when he warns the public about computer viruses.
1984 The begining of the greatest adventurecomputer gaming series is released by Sierra. Kings Quest 1: Quest for the crown is released to the public.
1984 The Yellow book of CD-ROM standards is written.
1984 Cirrus is established.
1984 ISA is expanded to 16-bit capability.
1985 The GNU manifesto is published by Dr. Dobb's Journal
1985 Microsoft and IBM begin collaboration on the next-generation operating system (OS/2).
1985 The computer company Gateway 2000 is founded in Siox City, Iowa.
1985 Intel introduces the 80386, a 16 MHz processor that incorporates 275,000 transistor and capable of accessing up to four gigabytes of memory. The processor sells for $299.
1985 Aldus Corporation introduces PageMaker for the Macintosh, a program that lets users mix type and graphics on the same page. The combination of this software and the new Apple LaserWriter laser printer begin the era of desktop publishing.
1985 The Mach Project begins at the Carnegie Mellon University.
1985 IBM develops NetBEUI.
1985 Microsoft Windows 1.0 is shipped and allows users to navigate the PC computers through a graphical user interface making the computer much easier to use. The software begins selling for $100.00
1985 The Nintendo Entertainment System makes its debut.
1985 ATI is founded.
1985 Boca is established.
1985 Corel is founded.
1986 Apple introduces the Mac Plus. The computer contained one megabyte of RAM, new keyboard that contained cursors and numeric keypad and sold for $2,600.
1986 Compaq introduces the first 386-based PC compatible computer.
1986 Microsoft is listed on the New York Stock Exchange selling shares to the public at $21 each, making Bill Gates one of the world’s youngest billionaires.
1986 More than 30 million computers are in use in the United States.
1986 MS-DOS 3.2 was released April, 1986.
1986 IMAP is developed by Stanford University.
1986 CD-i format is specified.
1986 Aztech is established.
1987 Microsoft purchases Forethought Incorporated. The company that developed the presentation software PowerPoint.
1987 Microsoft introduces Windows 2.0 and Microsoft Works.
1987 Microsoft and IBM release OS/2 1.0
1987 The Mac SE is introduced at $2,900
1987 IBM introduces the PS / 2 personal computer, which has improved graphics, a 3.5-inch diskette drive, and proprietary bus to help prevent clone makers competition.
1987 IBM sends clone manufactures letters demanding retroactive licensing fees.
1987 IBM develops 8514/A.
1987 MS-DOS 3.3 was released April, 1987.
1987 IBM introduces MCA.
1987 Microsoft Shares hits $100 per share.
1987 Apogee is founded, Apogee is well known for its computer games as well as the company who first released a 'Shareware' game.
1987 The SPARC processor is introduced by Sun.
1987 IBM introduces VGA.
1987 Elitegroup Computer Systems is established.
1988 Apple files a copyright infringement against Microsoft for Windows 2.03 and Hewlett Packard for New Wave in comparison with their Macintosh operating system.
1988 About 45 million PCs are in use in the United States.
1988 Creative Labs introduces the SoundBlaster, a sound card for the PC that contains an 11-voice FM synthesizer with text-to-speech, digitized voice input / output, a MIDI port, a joystick port and bundled software.
1988 EISA is developed as an alternative to MCA.
1988 Morphing is first introduced in the movie Willow.
1988 MS-DOS 4.0 was released July, 1988.
1988 MS-DOS 4.01 was released November, 1988.
1989 GriD Systems Corporation introduces the first pen-based computer.
1989 Intel releases the 486DX processor, with more than 1 million transistors and multitasking capabilities.
1989 Tim Berners-Lee develops HTML.
1989 Poqet announces the Poqet PC the first pocket-sized MS-DOS compatible computer.../history/198090.htm
1989 Asus is founded.
1990 Microsoft releases Windows 3.0 a completely new version of Microsoft Windows. The version will sell more then 3 million copies in one year.
1990 Microsoft exceeds $1 billion in sales and becomes the first company to do so.
1990 Microsoft releases its first product for the Russian market Russian DOS 4.01.
1990 The World, the first commercial Internet dial-up access provider comes online.
1990 Creative Labs introduces the SoundBlaster Pro.
1990 Quarterdeck releases its memory management program QEMM386 version 5.1 which quickly becomes the fastest-selling software program in the Untied States.
1990 The Multimedia Personal Computer (MPC) standards are developed by Tandy and Microsoft.
1990 Microsoft and IBM stop working together to develop operating systems.
1990 IBM introduces XGA.
1990 The NiMH battery begins being used for commercial use.
1990 Gopher is developed at the University of Minnesota. The program is a menu-driven search-and-retrieval tool and helps Internet users location information online.
1990 Intel releases the 80386SL processor which uses low power and found in many portable computers.
1991 Intel introduces the Intel 486SX chip in efforts to help bring a lower-cost processor to the PC market selling for $258.00
1991 Linux is introduced by Linus Torvald in 1991. Complete history on Linux can be found on our Linux / UNIX history section.
1991 The World Wide Web is launched. Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist at the European Partial Physics Laboratory (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland develops the Web as a research tool.
1991 The programming language FORTRAN 90 is created.
1991 Following its decision not to develop operating systems cooperatively with IBM, Microsoft changes the name of OS/2 to Windows NT.
1991 Creative Labs releases a multimedia upgrade kit that includes a CD-ROM drive, the SoundBlaster Pro sound card, a MIDI kit and a variety of software applications. The kit allows PC users to obtain all tools needed to meet the MPC standards.
1991 Pretty Good Privacy more commonly known as PGP a public key used for encryption is released as Freeware by Philip Zimmerman.
1991 The computer Monkey Virus is first discovered in Edmonton, Canada.
1991 The DLT tape drive is released as a very reliable, high-speed and high-capacity tape drive solution.
1991 The Enhanced Parallel Port (EPP) is developed by Intel, Xircom and Zenith Data Systems.
1991 TrueType a scalable font is introduced and developed by Microsoft and Apple and is used on all Apple computers and PC computers running Windows.
1991 MS-DOS 5.0 was released June, 1991.

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