Chronology of Personal Computers

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Last updated: 2022 April 29.


1987

January
  • The Winter Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is held, in Las Vegas. [814.22] [705.61] [1117.8]
  • At the Winter CES, Berkeley Softworks introduces an 80 column version of the GEOS graphical operating environment for the Commodore 128. Price is US$69. [814.40] [241.28]
  • At the Winter CES, Commodore announces the Amiga 500. It features a 68000 processor, 512 kB RAM, floppy disk drive, and custom chips for animation, video, and audio. [16] [442.40] [804.19] [814.22]
  • At the Winter CES, Commodore International announces the Amiga 2000. [16] [804.19] [814.22]
  • At the Winter CES, Commodore debuts the Commodore 128D in the North American market. It is like a Commodore 128 with detachable keyboard, and built-in 1571 disk drive and power supply. Price is US$599. The unit was previously introduced in Europe. [804.19] [814.23] [1117.8]
  • At the Winter CES, Xetec shows the Lt. Kernal 20-Meg Hard Disk Drive for Commodore computers. Retail price is US$899 for use with the Commodore 64, or US$949 for with the Commodore 128. [814.24]
  • At the Winter CES, Commodore International introduces to the American market the PC10-1 and PC10-2 IBM PC-compatible computers, using the 4.77 MHz Siemens 8088 processor. Both models had been previously been available in Canada and Europe. The PC10-1 lists for US$999, and includes one 360 kB DSDD disk drive, 512 kB RAM expandable to 640 kB, MS-DOS 3.2, PC-XT compatible BIOS, keyboard, and GW-BASIC 3.2. The PC10-2 adds a second 360 kB drive, comes with 640 kB RAM, and costs US$1199. [115] [804.19] [814.22,26] [1117.8]
  • At the Winter CES, Atari announces two PC compatible systems, priced at US$499 and US$699. [814.22,26]
  • At the Winter CES, Atari announces a US$1500 laser printer. [814.22]
  • At the Winter CES, JCT shows 3.7 MB to 10 MB hard drives for Commodore computers, priced at US$595-795. [814.24]
  • Aldus introduces the Aldus PageMaker desktop publishing software for Windows. [1049.132] [1639.109] (December 1986 [120])
  • IBM announces enhancements for the IBM PC Convertible, including a 256K Memory Card. [1311]
  • Microsoft France releases a French version of Multiplan 3.0 for the IBM PC. [346.119]
  • Lotus Development files a lawsuit against Paperback Software (maker of VP-Planner) and Mosaic Software (maker of The Twin), claiming infringement of copyrights over the look and feel of Lotus 1-2-3. [116] [217] [1395.D1]
  • Apple Computer introduces the Apple Platinum IIe. [218]
  • Apple Computer introduces the AppleTalk PC Card. Price is US$399. [1886.67]
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January 29
  • Microsoft begins shipping Microsoft Word 3.0 for the Macintosh. (About 700 bugs are discovered, with several fatal ones. Within two months, Microsoft mails a free upgrade to 70,000 users at a cost of over US$1 million.) [346.140] (February [1299.328] [1701.333])
February
  • Intel introduces the 20 MHz 80386DX microprocessor. [62]
  • Apple Computer's John Sculley tells Ashton-Tate's Ed Esber that Apple Computer will not compete with Ashton-Tate by publishing the 4th Dimension database program. [617.6]
March 2
  • Apple Computer introduces the expandable Macintosh SE. It features 8 MHz 68000 processor, and 1 MB of RAM. A dual floppy system sells for US$2900. With one floppy drive and a 20 MB hard drive, price is US$3700. [16] [46] [75] [120] [593.350] [597.94] [1396.D1]
  • Apple Computer introduces the open architecture Macintosh II, the first for Apple with color graphics. It features 16 MHz 68020 processor, and 1 MB of RAM. A basic system with one 800 kB 3.5-inch floppy drive and no monitor sells for US$3900. A system with 1 MB RAM, one floppy drive, 40 MB hard drive, and color monitor is priced at US$7000. The system features a plug-and-play "NuBus" architecture for expansion cards. [16] [41] [46] [75] [120] [140] [178] [203.68] [582.95] [593.350] [597.94] [1396.D1]
March
  • In Seattle, Washington, Microsoft hosts the Second International Conference on CD-ROM. RCA demonstrates Digital Video Interactive, with full-color, full-screen motion, high-fidelity sound, and interactive computer-generated manipulation. Microsoft debuts CD-ROM extensions for DOS, and Microsoft Bookshelf for US$295. [222.9] [1299.338]
March 17
  • Apple Computer makes its 1 millionth Macintosh personal computer. Six Mac Plus computers are designated the 1 millionth Macintosh; one is given to Jef Raskin. [663.87] [734.69] [2605.98] (February [1396.D5])
March
  • Apple Computer releases System 4.0 operating system for the Macintosh. Size of the software is 260 kB. [1559] [1648.54] [1886.67]
  • Apple Computer discontinues the Macintosh 512K Enhanced. [597.94]
  • U.S. Robotics unveils its 9600 bps Courier HST modem, for US$995. BBS system operators can purchase the modem for US$495. [111] [235] (November 1986 [222.32])
  • 3M introduces the 2 MB high density 3 1/2-inch diskette. [307.78]
  • Microsoft stock hits US$90.75 per share, making Bill Gates, age 31, America's youngest self-made billionaire in history. [1149.330] [1299.332]
April 2
  • In New York and Miami, 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 Model 30 features 8 MHz 8086 processor, 640 kB RAM, 720 kB 3.5-inch floppy drive, 20 MB hard drive, three expansion slots, PC-DOS 3.3, for US$1695-2295. Model 50 features 10 MHz 80286 processor, 1 kB RAM, 1.44 MB 3.5-inch floppy drive, 20 MB hard drive, three expansion slots, PC-DOS 3.3, OS/2, for US$3595. Model 60 features 10 MHz 80286 processor, 1 kB RAM, 1.44 MB 3.5-inch floppy drive, 44 or 70 MB hard drive, seven expansion slots, PC-DOS 3.3, OS/2, for US$5295-6295. Model 80 features 20 MHz 80386 processor, 2 kB RAM, 1.44 MB 3.5-inch floppy drive, 44/70/115 MB hard drive, seven expansion slots, PC-DOS 3.3, OS/2, for US$6995-10995. [35] [75] [116] [120] [203.27] [205.34] [330.132] [346.199] [346.269] [415.59] [620.124] [618.285] [1309] [1397.D1]
  • 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. [116] [120] [346.199] [1309]
  • IBM unveils its Multicolor Graphics Array (MCGA) on its PS/2 Model 30. The MCGA is limited to 64K of memory, limiting 640x480 resolution to just 2 colors, but still allowing 320x200 in 256 colors. [116] [1309]
  • IBM introduces its Micro Channel Architecture (MCA) on its Model 50 and higher of the PS/2 line. [116] [346.199] [346.269] [415.59] [522.165] [1309]
  • IBM announces the 8514/A Display Adapter, a high-resolution graphics card for the MCA PS/2 line. The 8514/A adds 1024x768 in 16 colors to the standard VGA, at a cost of US$1290. With the addition of a US$270 Memory Expansion Kit, 640x480 and 1024x768 resolutions can be had in 256 colors. [117] [1309] (June [307.110])
  • IBM and Microsoft announce Operating System/2 (OS/2), Standard Edition for the IBM PS/2 computer line. [16] [31] [41] [123] [130] [146] [150] [346.200] [346.269] [379.256] [389.28] [415.59] [858.70] [1309] [1639.109] (April 1 [909.231])
  • IBM announces Operating System/2, Extended Edition, Version 1.1. [1309]
  • 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. [117] [146] [329.113] [346.254] [748.39] [909.231]
  • Microsoft announces Microsoft Windows 2.0. [123] [137] [1299.328] [1648.52] (April 1 [909.231])
April 13
  • The April 13 issue of Business Week magazine features Bill Gates on the cover. [2323.82]
April
  • Lotus Development announces it will create new versions of Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS, OS/2 Presentation Manager, the Macintosh, and mainframe computers. [627.73]
  • Intel finds a problem in the original 80386 processor. [2359.D4]
  • Forethought introduces the PowerPoint graphics software for the Macintosh. [1299.344] [2444.66]
  • Guy Kawasaki resigns from Apple Computer. [617.8]
  • Wang begins shipping 386-based PCs. [307.134]
  • IBM ships TopView v1.12. [130]
  • Advanced Micro Devices files suit against Intel, claiming Intel had breached contractual obligations in a 1982 technology sharing agreement between the two companies. [141]
May
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Excel 1.04 for the Macintosh II. [346.269]
(month unknown)
  • AT&T creates a modified silicon fabrication of its CRISP architecture CPU, operating at 20 MHz. [660.6]
June
  • IBM withdraws TopView from the market. [346.285] (1986 [383.14])
  • Microsoft and IBM release the OS/2 developers' kit. [493.65]
  • Microsoft sells its 500,000th mouse. [346.269] [1149.395]
(month unknown)
  • Mouse Systems changes its name to MSC Technologies. [627.204]
  • The Swedish National Board for Measurement and Testing makes a set of recommendations regarding electromagnetic emissions from monitors. This set is referred to as MPR. [688.117] (1988 [1067.210])
  • Microsoft releases QuickBASIC 4.0. [795.90]
  • Lotus Development announces its intention to announce Lotus 1-2-3 for the Macintosh. [679.30]
  • IBM discontinues the original IBM PC line. [203.28]
  • Linus introduces the WriteTop microcomputer, the first pen-based computer. It runs MS-DOS, uses an 8088 processor, and weighs 9 pounds. [421.130]
  • Hewlett-Packard releases the HP PaintJet color ink jet printer. [533.170]
  • Advanced Micro Devices acquires Monolithic Memories. [732.74] [908.67] [1300.D12]
  • National Semiconductor acquires Fairchild Semiconductor. [732.74]
  • Andrew Tanenbaum releases the Minix operating system for the PC, Macintosh, Amiga, and Atari ST. It is a free version of Unix with complete source code. [835.169] [1184.74] (1986 [1648.52])
  • Phar Lap Software and Quarterdeck Office Systems develop the Virtual Control Program Interface (VCPI), to allow 80386 protected-mode DOS extended applications to coexist with 80386-specific memory managers [511.366]
  • Intel introduces the 80387 math coprocessor. [511.312]
  • Letraset releases ImageStudio, the first commercial, gray-scale image-editing program for the Macintosh. [582.94]
  • Motorola unveils the 68030 microprocessor. [120]
  • Tandon introduces the Pac computer with 5.25-inch floppy drive and removable hard drive. [1080.46]
  • Zilog announces the Z180 processor, integrating serial input/output, direct memory accessing, memory management, and a new multiply instruction. Speed is 6-10 MHz at 5 volts. [824]
  • The computer virus Stoned first appears. It is the first computer virus to infect the Master Boot Record of IBM PC hard disks. [1260.193]
  • At the U.S. Computer Chess Open in Mobile, Alabama, Coffeehouse Chess Monster and Chessmaster 2000 are tied for best personal computer chess program. [241.72]
  • Judge William Ingram of the US District Court for the Northern District of California rules for Data East against Epyx in case of Data East's Karate Champ vs. Epyx's World Karate Championship. Epyx is ordered to recall World Karate Championship and International Karate. [1524.26] [2636.368]
  • MicroProse releases the Pirates! software for personal computers in the USA. [2229.119]
  • Acorn releases the Archimedes personal computer in the UK. [2287.90]
  • Sharp releases the X68000 personal computer in Japan. [2287.93]
  • Amstrad releases the ZX Spectrum +2 personal computer in the UK. It features a built-in tape drive. [2584.14] (1986 [2287.95])
July 7
  • Canon introduces the Cat computer, featuring 5-MHz 68000 processor, 9-inch monochrome screen, 3.5-inch 256 kB floppy disk drive, software in RAM (word processor, spreadsheet, telecommunications features), for US$1495. [2605.100]
July
  • In New York, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer demonstrates Windows 2 for 600 software developers. [1095.127]
  • WordPerfect creates an Amiga/Atari division within the company. [330.107]
  • Microsoft acquires Forethought, for US$12 million cash. Forethought is the maker of the PowerPoint presentation graphics program for the Macintosh. [346.269] [1299.344] [2444.66] (buys PowerPoint from Forethought for US$14 million [663.87])
  • Zilog announces the 16-bit Z280 processor, integrating a 256 byte instruction cache and memory management. Speed is 10-12 MHz at 5 volts. [32] [824]
  • IBM announces the IBM PC Convertible Model 3, with new back-lit LCD screen and longer battery life. [1311]
  • Apple Computer creates the company Claris, to handle some of Apple Computer's software for the Apple II and Macintosh. Apple Computer owns 82% of the company's stock. [218] [419.75] (April [627.203])
  • IBM ships the first PS/2 Model 80 systems. [307.134]
(month unknown)
  • ComputerLand is sold for about US$150 million. Only two years earlier it was worth about US$1.4 billion. [647.95]
August 4
  • IBM introduces the PS/2 Model 25, with an 8 MHz Intel 8086, combined system unit with monitor, no hard drive, and reduced-size keyboard, starting at US$1350. [118] [120] [1309]
August 10
  • Borland International announces the Quattro spreadsheet software for the IBM PC. [1402.D4]
August 11
  • At the Macworld Expo show, Apple Computer introduces HyperCard (with script language HyperTalk), MultiFinder 5.0 co-operative multitasking, and AppleFax Modem for the Macintosh. The Hypercard software allows users to create database applications with "cards" containing text, graphics, sound, and animation, linked to each other via hypertext links. The software will ship for free with new Macintosh computers, and costs US$49 for existing Macintosh owners. [140] [180.247] [320.36] [413.196] [593.350] [750.50] [1402.D4]
  • Advanced Micro Devices introduces its own processor compatible with Intel's 80286. AMD claims its processor is 28% faster. [1402.D4]
August
  • Raymond Lau releases the Stuffit file archive utility for the Macintosh, for US$15. [582.199]
  • Microsoft ships MS-DOS 3.3. [130]
  • Tandy introduces the Tandy 1000 TX, 1000 HX, 1400 LT, and 4000. [319.43]
  • The Association of Shareware Professionals (ASP) is formed. [10]
September
  • MicroDesign Resources begins publishing the Microprocessor Report as a monthly newsletter about the microprocessor industry. [659.3]
  • Microsoft releases its third mouse design. [1299.401]
  • Ashton-Tate ships dBase for the Macintosh. [617.4] (1988 [650.74])
  • Microsoft ships Microsoft Bookshelf, its first CD-ROM application. It includes ten reference works. [123] [1080.42] [1280.46] (June 1988 [1559])
  • The first issue of The Games Machine magazine is issued, in the UK. [2650.50] (October [2607.251])
  • Lotus Development announces Lotus 1-2-3 for the Macintosh. [346.170]
October 6
  • Microsoft announces Microsoft Windows 2.0, and Microsoft Windows/386, priced at US$195. [120] [130] [477.159] [1299.346] (September [909.231])
  • Microsoft unveils the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software for Microsoft Windows 2.0, the first major application for Windows. Included is Microsoft Windows v2.01. [119] [123] [346.204] [389.28] [477.159] [909.230] [1049.147] [1299.293,346,359] [1559] [1631.40] [1639.110] (November [346.270])
October
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 4.0 for the PC. [346.270] (September [502.49])
  • Lotus Development ships Lotus 1-2-3 2.01 for MS-DOS. [502.49]
  • Microsoft ships Microsoft Works for DOS. [346.236] [770.312] (March 1988 [346.270])
  • Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Deskpro 386/20, featuring a 20 MHz Intel 80386 and a cache controller. [119] [650.115]
  • The first issue of ACE magazine is issued, in the UK. [2607.251]
  • Compaq Computer introduces the 20 MHz Compaq Portable 386. [119]
  • Apple Computer releases System 4.2 operating system for the Macintosh. Size of the software is 2 MB. [1648.54] [1886.67]
  • WordPerfect ships WordPerfect software for the Atari ST for US$400. [330.109]
  • 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 telephone lines. The cost of the modem is US$1400. [120]
  • Ad Lib Incorporated unveils its Ad Lib Personal Computer Music System for US$245. The card provides FM synthesis with 11 simultaneous voices. [120]
November 2
  • Fall Comdex is held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over 100,000 people attend the week-long show. [1403.C3] [1404.C3]
November
  • At COMDEX, NewTek shows a prototype Video Toaster for the Amiga. [857.64]
  • Hewlett-Packard announces New Wave for Windows. [1299.359]
  • Borland International ships the Quattro spreadsheet program, including emulation of Lotus 1-2-3 commands. (This emulation will result in a nine-year legal battle over "look and feel" with Lotus Development.) [453.4]
  • Compaq Computer makes its one millionth personal computer. [47] [113]
  • IBM reports that it has shipped one million PS/2 systems. [327.26] [1311]
(month unknown)
  • Apple Computer begins shipping the Macintosh II. [710.136]
December 3
  • The 5th annual World of Commodore show is held, in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, over four days. [1116.8]
December
  • Microsoft releases OS/2 1.0 for the IBM PS/2. Code-name during development was CP DOS. It requires an 80286 processor and 3 MB RAM. It includes a DOS-compatibility box. [346.270] [379.256] [858.71] [909.231] [1436.10]
December 4
  • IBM ships first copies of OS/2 Standard Edition 1.0. [31] [75] [130] [134] [135] [329.5] [1311] [1404.C3] (November [146])
December 9
  • Microsoft ships Microsoft Windows 2.01. It features overlapping windows, and can use protected mode on the 80286 processor. [75] [130] [346.193,206] [477.159] [909.231] [1639.110] [1897.128] (November [146] [346.270])
December
  • Microsoft ships Microsoft Windows/386 software. [909.231] [1629.34] [1639.110] [1897.128] (November [346.270])
  • Microsoft ships the one millionth copy of Windows. [346.270] [1897.128]
December 31
  • Shipments of IBM PS/2 Model 30 computers to date: 350,000. [307.219]
  • Shipments of Apple IIgs computers to date: 340,000. [307.219]
  • Shipments of IBM PS/2 Model 50 computers to date: 308,000. [307.219]
  • Shipments of IBM PC AT Model 5170 computers to date: 263,000. [307.219]
  • Shipments of Atari 130XE and 65XE computers to date: 261,000. [307.219]
  • Shipments of MS-DOS to date: 10.5 million. [307.224]
  • Shipments of Apple Macintosh SE computers to date: 255,000. [307.219]
  • Shipments of Apple IIe computers to date: 231,000. [307.219]
  • Shipments of IBM PC XT Model 5160 computers to date: 217,000. [307.219]
  • Shipments of Leading Edge PC Model D computers to date: 210,000. [307.219]
Year
  • Percent of US homes with personal computers: 19.4%. [214]
  • Shipments of desktop scanners for the year: 48,000. [307.278]
  • Worldwide spreadsheet sales: 1,802,000 units. [627.73]
  • Market share of personal computers: IBM 39.2%, Compaq Computer 22.8%. [1299.348]
  • Market share of spreadsheet software: Lotus 1-2-3: 62%. [627.73]
  • Unit shipments of personal computers during the year: about 17 million. [1199.60]

End of 1987. Next: 1988.

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.