Chronology of Personal Computers

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Last updated: 2022 April 29.


1988

January
  • ANSI formally adopts SCSI as a standard. [750.49]
  • Digital Equipment and Apple Computer agree to integrate Macintosh and Vax computers. [1095.115]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Windows 2.03. [136] [1299.359] [1886.67] [2605.172]
  • Apple Computer releases its first Ethernet networking product, the EtherTalk NB Card for NuBus equipped Macintosh computers. [675.197]
  • To date, over 7 million Commodore 64 and 128 computers have been sold. [806.12]
  • In Europe, Mirrorsoft releases Tetris for the IBM PC. [1196.306]
January 29
  • Spectrum Holobyte introduces the Tetris computer game in the US. Price is US$34.95 for the IBM PC, and US$24.95 for the Commodore 64. This is the first entertainment software imported to the US from the Soviet Union. The game was written by Vagim Gerasimov and Alexi Paszitnov at the Computer Center of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Moscow. [307.98] [1196.306] [1407.D1]
January
  • Canon pulls the Cat computer from the market, after about 20,000 have been sold. [2605.100]
(month unknown)
  • Epyx introduces The Games: Winter Edition game for the Commodore 64. It is the first computer game to be licensed by the US Olympic Committee. Games included are the Luge, Cross Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Ski Jump, Slalom, Speed Skating, and Downhill Skiing. Price is US$39.95. [1068.12] [2003.18]
  • Apple Computer pays AT&T Microelectronics to develop a low-power, second-generation version of AT&T's C-machine Reduced Instruction Set Processor (CRISP), for use in Apple Computer's pen-based system. [660.1]
February
  • Apple Computer ships A/UX for the Macintosh II, Apple Computer's combination of the Mac interface with UNIX. [46] [75] [611.120]
  • Compaq Computer reports sales for the year 1987 as US$1.2 billion, setting the record as the fastest American company to reach that mark in a year. [113] [1559]
March
  • Microsoft introduces the Microsoft SDK for Windows. [1049.133]
  • The Open Software Foundation is founded. [153] (May [160])
March 17
  • Apple Computer files an 11-page copyright infringement suit in federal court in San Jose, California, accusing Microsoft of stealing visual display features of the Macintosh computer for use in Microsoft Windows 2.0. Apple claims Windows violates 13 different copyrights. Hewlett-Packard is also named as a defendant, for copyright violations in its New Wave software. [38] [46] [75] [309.256] [328.15] [346.193] [346.270] [477.160] [548.337] [580.191] [909.231] [1149.352] [1886.67] [2142.31] [2605.172]
January-March
  • Market share of personal computers in Europe: IBM 26.6%, Olivetti 8.6%, Apple 7.4%, Compaq 7.1%. [2132.S3.4]
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April 8
  • IBM announces it will license its patents on the Micro Channel architecture to competitors. [1408.D4]
April
  • Microsoft countersues Apple Computer, accusing the company of breaking the 1985 licensing agreement and deliberately trying to damage Microsoft's business with negative publicity. [1149.354]
  • Intel introduces the 25 MHz 80386DX microprocessor. Speed is 8.5 MIPS. [62]
  • Weitek introduces the Weitek 3167 math coprocessor chip as an enhancement to Intel's 386 CPU. The 3167 is a single chip equivalent to Weitek's earlier 1167 circuit board coprocessor. [511.319]
  • In New York, Microsoft announces the OS/2-based LAN Manager. [1299.367]
April 18
  • Dell announces its first PC using IBM's Micro Channel bus. [315.18] [1408.D4]
April 21
  • Tandy announces THOR-CD, an erasable re-usable compact disk system for music, video, or data. Delivery of production units is 18 to 24 months away. [306.33] [1408.D4]
  • Tandy announces the Tandy 5000MC personal computer, featuring an 80386 processor and IBM's Micro Channel bus. Price is US$4999-6999. [315.18] [1408.D4]
April
  • Olivetti announces its first PC using IBM's MCA bus. [315.18]
May 5
  • WordPerfect ships WordPerfect 5.0 for US$500. [502.49] [1527.184]
May 7
  • WordPerfect ships the first maintenance release for WordPerfect 5.0. [1527.184]
May 9
  • COMDEX/Spring is held in Atlanta, Georgia. [705.8]
May
  • At the COMDEX show, Commodore unveils the Commodore PC10-III computer. It features 640 kB RAM, 5.25-inch floppy drive, color graphics, mouse support. Price is US$999. [705.8]
  • At the COMDEX show, Commodore unveils the Commodore PC20-III computer. It features 640 kB RAM, 5.25-inch floppy drive, 20 MB hard drive, color graphics, mouse support. Price is US$1499. [705.8]
  • Apple Computer first mentions System 7, at the Apple Developer's conference. [750.52]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Excel 1.5 for the Macintosh. [346.170]
  • Lotus Development ships the four millionth copy of Lotus 1-2-3. [346.270]
May 20
  • At AppleFest in Boston, Massachusetts, Apple Computer introduces AppleLink - Personal Edition, an online service run by Quantum Computer Services. Cost is US$6 (non-primetime) and $15 (primetime) per hour, US$35 for Apple II software and first year's subscription, and US$35 per following year subscription. (The service is later renamed America Online.) [218] [1409.45] [2605.148]
  • Judge Robert Aguilor agrees to split the Apple Computer - Microsoft case into two separate phases, to decide if Microsoft had been licensed to use Macintosh features in Windows 2.03, and, if necesssary, to determine if Microsoft had violated Apple's copyrights. [1299.363]
(month unknown)
  • Abacus Software releases the Becker Basic programming language for GEOS for the Commodore 64. Price is US$49.95. It adds 273 new BASIC commands. [1114.28] [1148.44]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft PowerPoint software for the Apple Macintosh. [686.50] (1987 July [1886.67])
  • Commodore International introduces the Commodore Colt. [804.19]
June 2
  • IBM announces the PS/2 Model 70, as 16, 20, and 25 MHz 80386 systems. [131] [1309]
  • IBM announces the PS/2 Model 50 Z. [1309]
  • IBM announces the PS/2 Model 25 LS. [1309]
June
  • The Summer Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is held in Chicago, Illinois. [1136.36] [1114.36] [1148]
  • Lotus Development ceases production of Lotus Jazz for the Macintosh. [582.200]
  • An article in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine reports that pregnant women who worked with computer screens for more than 20 hours per week were 80% more likely to suffer miscarriage than women who did not use VDTs. [558.142] [813.22]
  • Microsoft ships Windows/286 2.1. [136] [146] [1897.129] (July [909.231]) (Windows 286 2.0 [1639.110]) (1987 [45])
  • Microsoft ships Windows/386 v2.1. [136] [146] (July [909.231]) (1987 [45])
  • Digital Research releases DR-DOS operating system. [478.3] [1639.114] [1897.129]
  • Apple computer releases the System 6.0 operating system for the Macintosh. [1886.67]
  • Intel introduces the 16 MHz 80386SX microprocessor, like the 80386 but with a 16-bit data bus. Price is US$219 each, in quantities of 100. Speed is 2.5 MIPS. [177.103] [296] [477.126] [540.64] [62] [627.82] [879.117] (July [1255])
  • The computer industry is hit with a world-wide shortage of microprocessors. [1200.1-14]
(month unknown)
  • Sales of the Commodore 64 to date: 8 million. [1148.36]
  • Sales of the Commodore 128 to date: 2 million. [1148.36]
  • Motorola releases the 33 MHz 68030 processor. Price is US$697 in 100-unit quantities. [1148.36]
  • Researchers at Apple Computer begin investigating using Acorn Computer's Acorn RISC Machine microprocessor in future Apple Computer products. [675.41]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Office for the Macintosh. [687.139]
  • ComputerLand co-founder John Martin files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, claiming US$1.6 billion in debts. [647.95]
  • AutoDesk buys Xanadu Operating Company. [677.49]
  • The bus standard used on IBM AT compatibles is given the name Industry Standard Architecture (ISA). [545.355]
  • W.H. Sim founds Creative Labs, Inc., in California, USA, a subsidiary of Creative Technology. [221]
  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the HP DeskJet ink jet printer. Price: US$1000. [309.89] [315.48]
  • An Indonesian programmer releases the first PC antivirus software. [1260.193]
  • Tandy acquires GRiD Systems. [510.41]
  • Adobe ships Adobe Illustrator 88 for the Macintosh. [582.92] [618.226]
  • Aldus ships Aldus FreeHand for the Macintosh. [582.92]
  • Novell ships NetWare for the Macintosh. [582.92]
  • NexGen begins work on the Nx586, an x86-class processor with performance advantages of RISC processing. [776.57]
  • Syquest introduces its SyQuest storage cartridge system to the Macintosh market. [612.209]
  • Massachusettes Institute of Technology releases the X v11 windowing system. [707.207]
  • QMS ships the ColorScript 100 Model 30 thermal-wax color printer. This is the first color PostScript printer. Price is US$25,000. Weight is 112 pounds. [731.85] [1057.316] [914.46]
  • The CD-ROM format ISO 9660:88 is adopted. [761.231]
  • Dell Canada begins operations. [791.13]
  • MicroProse sells the 500,000th copy of the F-15 Strike Eagle game. [1068.8]
  • The MSX 2+ personal computer is released in the UK. [2287.93]
  • Amstrad releases the ZX Spectrum +3 personal computer in the UK. It features a 3-inch disk drive in place of the tape drive of the Spectrum +2. Price is 250 pounds. [2584.14] (1987 [2287.95])
  • Amstrad releases ths ZX Spectrum +2A personal computer in the UK. It is a Spectrum +2 with +3 BASIC and port for external disk drive. [2584.14]
July
  • Computer Associates International introduces the CA-dBFast database software for Windows. [1049.131]
  • Businessland buys the Computer Craft chain of retail computer stores for about US$24 million in a stock swap. [734.205]
  • Lotus Development ships Agenda software. [307.87]
  • IBM ships OS/2 Extended Edition 1.0. [31]
July 19
  • IBM ships PC-DOS 4.00. It adds a shell menu interface and support for hard disk partitions over 32 MB. [31] [146] [1309] [1897.129] (August [1299.430])
July
  • The AmiExpo trade show for Amiga computers is held in Chicago. [1068.10] [1148.67]
(month unknown)
  • Quote from Intel General Manager Richard Bader: "The market is confusing, although it provides us with some sort of job security." [307.214]
  • Quote from WordPerfect CEO and President Alan Ashton: "If we continue to be solid, careful, and flexible, and give good service, it'll be pretty hard for someone to uproot us, unless we become too proud". [307.214]
  • Quote from IBM Chairman John Akers: "We're trying to change the habits of an awful lot of people. That won't happen overnight, but it will bloody well happen." [307.214]
  • Quote from Compaq Computer President and CEO Rod Canion: "If people are going to buy Micro Channel, they're going to buy it from IBM." [307.214]
August
  • The first issue of PC Computing magazine is published. [1129.157]
September 13
  • IBM introduces the IBM PS/2 Model 30 286, using the AT-bus. It features a 10 MHz 286, 512 kB RAM, VGA, and 20 MB hard drive. [133] [308.40] [1309] [1897.129]
September
  • Apple Computer introduces the Apple IIc Plus for US$1100. [46] [593.350] (April [75]) (US$675 [218])
  • Claris releases the AppleWorks 2.1 software. [218]
  • 61 companies support the formation of the Extended Industry Standard Architecture (EISA), to expand on the IBM PC bus The main "gang of nine" companies are: Wyse, AST Research, Tandy, Compaq Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Zenith, Olivetti, NEC Technologies, and Epson. The first letter of each company forms the acronym WATCHZONE. [113] [157] [308.40] [346.199] [346.271] [522.167] [203.29] [1084.417] [1410.C7]
  • Apple Computer introduces the Macintosh IIx computer, using Motorola's 16 MHz 68030 and 68882 processors. Base price is US$7770 with a 1.4 MB SuperDrive floppy drive, and 4 MB RAM, or US$9200 including an 80 MB hard drive. [46] [75] [593.350] [597.95]
  • Apple Computer releases GS/OS, a 16-bit operating system for the Apple IIGS. [218]
  • Tandy ships the first MCA-bus-based clone PC, the Tandy 5000 MC. [133]
  • Compaq Computer introduces its first laptop PC with VGA graphics, the Compaq SLT/286. It has a 12 MHz 286, 640 kB RAM, 20-40 MB hard drive, 3.5-inch disk drive, and built-in 10-inch grayscale LCD VGA screen. Price is up to US$5800. [133] [308.37]
October 7
  • The AmiExpo trade show is held in Los Angeles, California, over three days. [1709.36]
October
  • Microsoft ships the 1 millionth copy of Microsoft Windows 2.0. [606.81]
  • Ashton-Tate releases dBase IV for MS-DOS. [650.79]
  • Microsoft releases QuickBASIC 4.5. [539.PC-20] [795.90]
  • Microsoft releases OS/2 LAN Manager for networked PCs. [346.271] (1989 [1149.385])
  • NEC Technologies introduces NEC UltraLite laptop computer, the first "subnotebook". It features a stylus for input, and handwriting recognition. Weight is about 4.3 pounds; price is US$2999. [582.92] [646.53] [698.49] [2143.S3.11] (1989 [310.161] [2173.S3.17])
  • Symantec ships the Q&A software for OS/2. [522.41]
  • Apple Computer and Quantum Computer Services launch the AppleLink Personal Edition computer network. [316.22]
October 26
  • Netherlands Antilles issues a 115-cent + 55-cent semi-postage stamp for Youth Car Campaign, depicting a girl at a computer. [2465.1227]
October 31
  • At the Marriott Marquis hotel in New York, IBM officially annouces the release of Operating System/2 1.1 Standard Edition with Presentation Manager. Code-name during development was Trimaran. [16] [45] [123] [134] [135] [313.105] [379.256] [477.160] [522.41] [620.125] [778.113] [909.231] [1299.374] [1309] [1639.114] (November [858.71])
(month unknown)
  • U.S. Robotics introduces the Courier Dual Standard modem, supporting both v.32 and HST protocols, and the Courier v.32 modem. Prices are US$1600 and US$1500, respectively. [235] [313.34]
  • Toshiba introduces the T1600 16 MHz 286 portable. [313.36]
  • Microsoft's Bill Gates shows Aldus' Paul Brainerd a prototype of Microsoft Word for Windows. Brainerd decides to cancel Aldus' Flintstone word processor project. [618.261]
  • Ventura Publisher 2.0 for DOS is released. Price: US$895. [627.125]
November 3
  • In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the World of Commodore trade show is held, over four days. It is the first time in the United States for this event. [892.65] [241.23] [1148.37] [1709.80]
November
  • ReadySoft demonstrates its AMAX Macintosh emulator for the Amiga at the World of Commodore show. [623.45]
November 14
  • In Las Vegas, Nevada, the Fall COMDEX trade show is held, over five days. [1148.37]
November
  • In Japan, Henk Rogers releases Tetris for personal computers. [1196.312]
  • Ashton-Tate sues Fox Software and Santa Cruz Operations for infringing copyrights on the dBase language. [25] [148] [548.344] [650.66]
  • Microsoft releases MS-DOS 4.01. [146] [748.29]
  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the LaserJet IID laser printer. [795.142]
(month unknown)
  • Ashton-Tate releases the Framework III software. [650.74]
December 1
  • In Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the 6th Canadian World of Commodore trade show is held, over four days. [241.23] [817.80] [1148.37]
December
  • Samna releases Ami word processor for Windows. [1639.114] (November [477.160])
Year
  • Current installed base of personal computers in the US: 45 million. [1897.129]
  • Percent of US homes with personal computers: 22.4%. [214]
  • Shipments of Apple computers for the year: 1.271 million. [448.69]
  • Shipments of IBM pesonal computers for the year: 1.229 million. [448.69]
  • Shipments of Commodore personal computers for the year: 665,000. [448.69]
  • Estimate of loss in the US to software piracy: US$2.6 billion. [1520.18]
  • Worldwide spreadsheet sales for the year: 2,040,000 units. [627.73]
  • Market share of spreadsheet software for the year: Lotus 1-2-3: 68%. [627.73]
  • Unit shipments of personal computers during the year: about 19 million. [1199.60]

End of 1988. Next: 1989.

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.