Chronology of Personal Computers

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References are numbered in [brackets], which are listed here. A number after the dot gives the page in the source.

Last updated: 2022 April 29.


1985

July 9
  • Atari begins shipping the Atari 520ST computer. It features monochrome monitor, 512 kB RAM, 3.5-inch floppy drive, BASIC, and Logo. Price is about US$800. [1378.D5]
July
  • Micrografx releases In-A-Vision, the first application for Microsoft Windows from an independent software company. [346.191] [307.95] [1149.391] [1299.294]
  • Wang Laboratories announces a series of products to turn PCs into local and remote Wang terminals. [33]
  • NEC Home Electronics introduces its NEC JC-1401P3A Multisync monitor, the first multisyncing monitor. [582.91] [909.230] (1986 [109])
  • Aldus releases Aldus PageMaker software for the Apple Macintosh, for US$495. [120] [180.220] [237.60] [582.199] [1886.66] [2605.145] (late 1985 [582.94])
  • Microsoft ships the "premiere edition" of Windows to software developers, OEM customers, and select press members. [1299.284]
  • Quarterdeck Office Systems ships the DESQview 1.0 text-based DOS application multi-tasking software. [130] [1639.108] [1897.128] (June [477.159])
July 15
  • In Chicago, Illinois, the National Computer Conference is held. [1379.D5]
  • At the National Computer Conference, Verbatim introduces a prototype optical disk drive that can read, write, and erase data. [1379.D5]
July 19
  • IBM president of entry systems, William Lowe, says the rumors of an upcoming PC II are untrue. [1380.D1]
  • IBM announces that some PC AT computers shipped since the beginning of the year include a faulty Texas Instruments chip, affecting about 10% of shipments. Circuit boards with the flawed chip would be replaced for free. [1380.D1]
July 23
  • At the Vivian Beaumont Theater in the Lincoln Center in New York, Commodore International unveils the new Amiga 1000. It features a multitasking, windowing operating system, color graphics with a 4096-color palette, stereo sound, Motorola 68000 CPU, 256 kB RAM, and 880 kB 3.5-inch disk drive, for US$1295. [16] [187] [1145.52] [1381.D1] [1382.D5] [2634.139] (US$1200 [190.81]) (Fall 1985 [814.30])
(month unknown)
  • Intel begins circulating prototype chipsets of the 386 processor. [606.77]
August 5
  • Ashton-Tate ships dBase III and Framework for the TI Professional computer. [1383.D4]
August 14
  • Rod Brock, of Seattle Computer Products, writes to Microsoft president Jon Shirley, notifying the intent to sell SCP's royalty-free DOS license, and seeking a Microsoft buyout of SCP for US$20 million. (Two weeks later, Shirley responds negatively, claiming the license is non-transferrable.) [1299.310]
August
  • Delta Air Lines Flight 191 crashes at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport in Texas. Don Estridge, head of IBM's Entry Level Division, is killed. [1149.346] [1299.285]
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  • Microsoft and Apple Computer renew the original 1977 license for Applesoft BASIC, with Apple agreeing to kill MacBASIC. [1299.279] [2605.170]
August 22
  • Microsoft and IBM sign a joint-development agreement to work together on future operating systems and environments. [45] [106] [123] [346.267] [909.230] [1385.D1]
September 6
  • Franklin Computer introduces the ACE 2000 series, compatible with Apple Computer systems. The three models range in price from US$700 to $1000. [1386.32]
September 12
  • At the Apple Computer annual board meeting, chairman Steve Jobs announces that he will start a new company, to build computers for the higher-education market. [930.312] [2605.157]
September 13
  • Steve Jobs informs John Sculley of five Apple employees would will resign to join him in his new company. They are Bud Tribble, Dan'l Lewin, George Crow, Rich Page, and Susan Barnes. [930.314]
September
  • The one millionth copy of Microsoft Multiplan is sold. [346.268]
  • Computer company Gateway 2000 is formed, in Sioux City, Iowa, USA. [183]
  • Microsoft tries to entice Turbo Pascal users with a US$40 rebate on the purchase of Microsoft Pascal for US$300. [1299.263]
  • Commodore launches the Amiga 1000 computer. [2634.140]
  • Lotus Development ships Lotus 1-2-3 Release 2.0. [217] (November [346.268]) (July 1986 [502.49])
  • Satellite Software International ships WordPerfect 4.1 for US$500. [330.108] [502.49]
  • Apple Computer removes the Apple III from its product list. [2605.43]
  • Apple Computer introduces the UniDisk 3.5, a double-sided 3.5-inch disk drive, capable of storing 800 kB per disk. [218]
September 16
  • Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs resigns as chairman of Apple Computer. [16] [46] [75] [346.213] [346.268] [734.11,73] [930.319] [1205.34,39] [1886.66] (September 17 [1299.280] [2605.157])
  • Steve Jobs submits the company name Next, Incorporated to the California Secretary of State. [930.319]
September 23
  • Apple Computer files a lawsuit against Steve Jobs, claiming he secretly planned to form a company using several key Apple employees and technologies. [930.320] [1299.280] [2605.158]
September 30
  • Digital Research announces that it will modify its GEM operating system to avoid claims by Apple Computer of violating its copyrights. Digital Research will also pay Apple an undisclosed sum, and develop software for Apple computers. [1387.D4]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Excel software for the Macintosh 512K. [346.166,268] [1149.287] [1299.278]
October
  • Cauzin releases Cauzin SoftStrips, a form of barcode technology for publishing computer files in magazines, to be scanned into Macintosh computers. [582.202]
  • The first issue of MacUser magazine is published. [1206.61]
  • Microsoft France releases a French version of Multiplan 2.0 for the IBM PC. [346.119]
  • Apple Computer discontinues its 128K Mac. [75]
  • Newsfield in the UK releases the first issue of Amtix magazine for Amstrad computer users. Price is 1 pound. [2650.50]
October 15
  • IBM announces its Token Ring network, and PC Network software. The Token Ring system was co-developed with Texas Instruments. Network transmission speed is 4 Mbps. The system can use ordinary telephone wiring. Cost per computer is about US$800. [347.61] [620.123] [618.277] [1080.334] [1388.D1]
October 16
  • Intel introduces the 16 MHz 80386DX microprocessor. It uses 32-bit registers and a 32-bit (16 MHz) data bus, and incorporates 275,000 transistors (1.5 micron width). Initial price is US$299. It can access 4 gigabytes of physical memory, or up to 64 terabytes of virtual memory. Intel spent US$100 million in development costs. [41] [75] [176.74] [177.102] [296] [347.61] [477.125] [540.64] [62] [690.94] [879.116] [900] [940.106] [947.102] [1389.D4] [1635.52] [1897.128]
October
  • Hayes Microcomputer Products is issued a patent for the "Improved Escape Sequence with Guard Time", a technique to switch a modem from command mode to online mode. [164.14] [678.51] [769.69]
  • AT&T Computer Systems introduces the PC 6300 Plus. [166.58]
October 24
  • John Sculley agrees to allow some Macintosh technology in Microsoft's Windows in return for Bill Gates delaying release of Excel for Windows. [2605.171]
October 28
  • Bill Gates decides to proceed with an initial public offering of Microsoft stock. [1149.321]
(month unknown)
  • Chips & Technologies releases its first product, a set of five chips that are equivalent to 63 smaller chips on an IBM PC AT motherboard. [618.180]
November 14
  • India issues a 50-paise postage stamp for Children's Day, depicting a girl at a home computer. [2422.860]
November
  • The Comdex/Fall trade show is held in Las Vegas, Nevada. 1190 exhibitors and 77,000 visitors attend. [1133.22] [1390.C7] [1466.244]
  • Tandy announces it will offer Digital Research's GEM graphical user interface for its microcomputers. [346.190]
  • Near Lake Tahoe, a group of CD-ROM makers meet to discuss a standard format for data on CD-ROM discs. The High Sierra Proposal is settled on, later approved by the International Organization of Standardization as ISO-9660. [1299.336]
  • Microsoft announces that copy-protection measures have been removed from the Microsoft Access and Microsoft Chart products. [1299.297]
  • Hewlett-Packard releases the HP LaserJet Plus laser printer. [909.230]
November 20
  • Microsoft ships Microsoft Windows version 1.01 for the IBM PC, for US$100. It is delivered two years after the initial announcement of the product. [16] [107] [117] [120] [123] [130] [134] [136] [146] [346.192] [477.159] [548.159] [909.230] [1089.D3] [1133.22] [1280.46] [1299.292] [1629.34] [1631.40] [1639.109] [1648.52] [1799.3] [1897.124,128] [2605.171] (November 21 [1149.313]) (v1.03 [346.187,268] [1629.34])
November 22
  • Apple Computer and Microsoft sign a licensing agreement permitting Microsoft royalty-free rights to use graphical display technology of the Macintosh for Windows 1.0, and Macintosh versions of several Microsoft products. [309.256] [346.192] [477.170] [1149.314] [1205.34] [1299.292] [2605.171] (1984 [38])
(month unknown)
  • Quantum Computer Services begins operations of QuantumLink, a modem-accessed Commodore-specific telecommunications network. (The company is later renamed America Online.) [805.28] [1280.46]
  • Commodore stops production of the Commodore 64 several times during the year, restarting each time based on public demand. [802.21] [805.23]
December
  • Ashton-Tate delivers dBase III Plus. [346.268]
Year
  • Shipments of laptop computers for the year: 467,000. [1133.22]
  • During the year, Radio Shack sells 110,000 Tandy 1000 computers. [1133.21]
  • During the year, IBM sells 1.4 million IBM PC computers. [1133.21]
  • During the year, Compaq Computer sells about 190,000 PC-compatible computers. [1133.21]
  • During the year, AT&T sells about 120,000 PC-compatible computers. [1133.21]
  • During the year, Radio Shack sells 75,000 Tandy 1200 computers. [1133.21]
  • Market share of personal computers for the year: IBM 53%. [203.27]
  • Percent of US homes with a personal computer: 13.6%. [214]
  • Worldwide spreadsheet software sales for the year: 1,437,000 units. [627.73]
  • Market share of spreadsheet software for the year: Lotus 1-2-3 46%. [627.73]

End of 1985. Next: 1986.

1947-1968 1969-1971 1972-1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981
1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991
1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008-end


A list of references to all source material is available.

Other web pages of interest:

  • Chronology of Microprocessors
  • Personal Computer References in Pop Culture
  • This Day in Personal Computer and Video Game History

  • Last updated: 2022 April 29.
    Copyright © 1995-2022 (email: ).
    URL: https://pctimeline.info/
    Link to Ken P's home page.