Chronology of Personal Computers

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Last updated: 2022 April 29.


1989

January 7
  • The Winter Consumer Electronics Show is held in Las Vegas, over four days. [920.6] [817.46] [1148.37]
January
  • Micrografx introduces the Picture Publisher image editor for Windows. [1049.135]
  • Intel introduces the 20 MHz 80386SX microprocessor. Speed is 2.5 MIPS. [62]
  • Commodore announces that 1 million Amiga computers have been sold. [412.6] (March [638.6]) (April/May [1710.71])
  • Apple Computer introduces the Macintosh SE/30, with MS-DOS and OS/2 disk compatibility. It uses a 16 MHz 68030 processor, and comes with 4 MB RAM and 1.4 MB SuperDrive floppy drive, for US$4370. Price with an 80 MB hard drive is US$6500. [46] [593.350] [597.95] [750.50]
  • Corel Systems introduces the Corel DRAW drawing software for Windows. [831.68] [1049.133]
January 18
  • On the CBS television show Wiseguy, a Commodore Amiga A2000 is shown. [1710.70]
(month unknown)
  • Berkeley Softworks releases GEOS 128 2.0 for the Commodore 128. Price is US$69.96. It includes geoWrite 2.1, geoSpell 128, geoPaint, geoMerge, and TextGrabber. [38.64] [817.7]
February
  • Dolch Computer Systems ships their 25 MHz 386 portable system. It features 4 MB RAM, 40 MB hard drive, 64K cache, 640x400 electroluminescent flat-panel display, 1.2 MB 5.25-inch drive, SCSI I/O port, for US$9495. [627.30]
  • Santa Cruz Operations announces the Open Desktop user interface for 80386-based UNIX systems. [309.256]
  • Compaq Computer stops retailing its computers through Businessland. Compaq computers account for fifteen percent of Businessland's total sales. [734.207] [2209.S3.5]
  • Apple Corps files a lawsuit against Apple Computer, charging Apple Computer with violating its 1981 agreement not to market audio/video products. (Apple Computer pays US$26 million in 1991 to settle the dispute.) [597.102] [1578.42] [1886.68] [2605.19]
February 25
  • In the TV show Friday the 13th, a Commodore PET computer appears. [1710.70]
February 26
  • The ABC TV network airs the movie Get Smart Again. Appearing is an Amiga A1000 computer with 1080 monitor. [1710.70]
March 3
  • The AmiExpo trade show is held in New York, over three days. 11,863 visitors attend. Commodore announces the A590 hard drive for the Amiga 500, and reports that the A2286 AT Bridgeboard had begun shipping in the previous week. [2010.5] [638.12] [2016.81] [1710.35]
March 9
  • In the TV show Days of Our Lives, a Commodore 64 computer is shown. [1710.70]
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March
  • Samna introduces the Ami Pro word processor for Windows. [620.129] [1049.150]
  • Apple Computer introduces the Macintosh IIcx. It features a 16 MHz 68030 processor, 1 MB RAM, 1.4 MB SuperDrive, and 40 MB hard drive, for US$5370. [46] [75] [310.187] [593.350] [597.95]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 4.0 for the Macintosh. [346.140] (\iMacWord\i, April [1701.352])
  • Microsoft buys about twenty percent of Santa Cruz Operation for about US$25 million. [1299.369]
March 15
  • Antic Software begins the Amiga Plus magazine. [1709.34]
March 21
  • In San Francisco Federal District Court, Judge William Schwarzer rules that Microsoft Windows 2.03 is not covered in the Apple Computer / Microsoft 1985 technology licensing agreement. The judge rules that only Windows 1.0 as it appeared in November 1985 was covered, and that Windows 2.03 is fundamentally different. This allows the issue to proceed to trial, in the suit of Apple Computer against Microsoft filed in March 1988. [309.256] [1149.355] [1299.383] (April [346.195])
January-March
  • Market share of personal computers in Europe: IBM 24.4%, Compaq 10.2%, Apple 8.0%, Olivetti 7.2%. [2132.S3.4]
(month unknown)
  • Broderbund introduces the Sim City game for the Commodore 64. Price is US$29.95. The game was written by Maxis Software. [1174.14] [1175.18]
  • Free Spirit Software announces the BASIC 8 software for the Commodore 128. It adds over 50 graphics commands to BASIC 7.0. Price is US$39.95. [817.6]
  • Berkeley Softworks releases the GEOS 128 2.0 graphical operating system for the Commodore-128. The package includes geoWrite 2.1, geoSpell, geoPaint, geoMerge, Text Grabber, and Desk Accessories. Price is US$69.95. [1174.15]
  • Electronics Boutique in the US discontinues offering Amiga hardware in stores. [1562.12]
April 3
  • Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Deskpro 286e computer in the USA. It features 1 MB RAM, five expansion slots, VGA graphics, and mouse port. Price is US$2699-3599, depending on configuration. [2163.C9]
April 4
  • IBM announces that it began manufacturing a version of the 80386 processor several months ago. [2164.D4]
  • IBM announces a new version of the PS/2 Model 30 computer. [2164.D4]
April 10
  • The Spring COMDEX trade show is held, in Chicago, Illinois. [243.6] [2165.D2]
  • At the Comdex show, Intel announces the 25 MHz i486 microprocessor. It integrates the 386, 387 math coprocessor, and adds an 8 kB primary cache. It uses 1.2 million transistors, employing 1-micron technology. Initial price is US$900. Speed is 20 MIPS. Bus speed is 25 MHz. [16] [75] [176.75] [177.103] [296] [310.8] [312.8] [540.64] [62] [620.131] [879.117] [900] [940.106] [947.102] [954.4] [1064.146] [1635.52] [1897.129] [2128.S3.11] [2165.D2] [2166.D4] (US$950 [477.126] [690.94])
  • At the Comdex show, Intel introduces the 33 MHz version of the 80386DX microprocessor and 80387 math co-processor. This version of the 387 incorporates new technology, making it inherently faster than previous 387 chips. [62] [312.13] [511.319] [2169.S3.14]
  • At Comdex, Toshiba America shows a working prototype of the Toshiba T-5200 portable computer, with a 11-inch diagonal 16-color 640x480 pixel LCD display. [2166.C8]
April 11
  • At the Comdex show, Atari Computer introduces the Portfolio portable computer. It features keyboard, MS-DOS, 128 KB RAM, 8 line by 40 character wide LCD display, uses memory cards, uses 3 AA batteries, includes word processor, spreadsheet, address book, calendar, and calculator. Weight is one pound; the system is about the size of a videocassette. Price is to be US$399 when released in June [309.57] [2167.D7]
April
  • At the Spring Comdex show, Sharp shows its PC-8000 portable computer, with 16 color 14-inch 640x480 LCD, and 80386 processor. [1069.22]
  • At Spring COMDEX, Toshiba demonstrates its 2.88 MB 3.5-inch disk drive, compatible with existing 1.44 MB disks. [1095.302]
  • At Comdex, Mission Cyrus Group of Canada shows the prototype Darius Proportable computer. It features 25 MHz 80386, gas plasma VGA display, two 32-bit Micro Channel-compatible slots, 1 MB RAM, built-in ink jet printer, built-in 2400 bps modem, optional 40/100/200 MB hard drive, detachable 101-key keyboard, optional barcode or magnetic card scanner. Weight is 20 pounds. Price likely to be US$10-20,000 later this year. [309.57] [2173.S3.17]
  • Apple Computer releases 32-bit QuickDraw for the Macintosh. [582.94] [750.50]
  • VCPI becomes an accepted industry standard for 80386-specific software. [511.366]
  • The VESA graphics standard emerges, providing a uniform method of accessing SuperVGA chipsets. [18]
  • Microsoft ships SQL Server. [346.271]
  • Motorola releases pre-announcement details about the 32-bit 68040 microprocessor. It will incorporate about 1.2 million transistors. [312.8] [423.136] [1064.246] [338]
  • Motorola announces the 50 MHz version of the 68030 microprocessor. [312.14]
April 18
  • Quarterdeck Office Systems is granted a patent by the US Patent Office entitled "An Improved Display System and Memory Architecture and Method for Displaying Images in Windows on a Video Display". The technology allows multiple MS-DOS programs to run simultaneously in separate windows. [2171.D4]
April 25
  • Commodore International appoints Harold Copperman as president and chief operating officer of Commodore Business machines in US, replacing Max Toy. [1175.10] [2174.D4]
(month unknown)
  • Country Road Software releases the StoryWriter 128 writer's aid for the Commodore 128. Price is US$12. [1175.16]
  • MSC Technologies changes its name back to Mouse Systems Corporation. [627.204]
  • Quote from a Lotus Development official, while demonstrating a new DOS version of Lotus 1-2-3: "We don't see Windows as a long-term graphical interface for the masses.". (Within a year, Microsoft will release Windows 3.0, firmly establishing Windows as a long-term graphical interface for the masses.) [312.14]
May 9
  • IBM introduces the IBM PS/2 Model P70 386 computer. It features MCA, 20 MHz 80386, 60 MB hard drive. Weight is 20 pounds. Price is US$7695. Price with 120 MB hard drive is US$8295. [1309] [2204.35] [2205.D4]
  • IBM introduces the IBM PS/2 Model 55 SX computer. It features 16 MHz 80386SX processor, MCA slots, 30 MB hard drive, 2 MB DRAM, 1.44 MB 3.5-inch floppy drive, VGA, 13-inch color monitor. Price is US$3895. Price with 60 MB hard drive is US$4295. [1069.181] [1309] [2204.35] [2205.D4]
  • Apple Computer announces details of the System 7.0 operating system for the Macintosh. [310.187] [548.159] [2205.D10]
May
  • Software Publishing introduces the Superbase 2 database management software for Windows. [1049.132]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 5.0 for DOS. [502.49]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Excel 2.2 for the Macintosh. It can handle spreadsheets up to 8 MB in size. [346.170] [346.271]
May 22
  • Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Deskpro 386/33 computer, models 84, 320, and 650. It features 33 MHz 80386DX processor, 64 KB 33 MHz cache, 2 MB RAM. Prices range from US$10499 to US$17999. [2120.15] [2208.D2] [2210.C7]
(month unknown)
  • Epson America releases the LX-800 9-pin 80-column dot-matrix printer for the Commodore-64/128. Price is US$299. [1175.10]
  • Harris Semiconductor introduces a 25 MHz version of the 80286 processor. Price is US$142 each in quantities of 1000. [312.13]
June 6
  • IBM introduces the Interleaf desktop publishing software for DOS-based personal computers. Price is US$750-995. [2122.D6]
June
  • Texas Instruments ships TIGA v1.1 software interface. [1084.188]
  • IBM introduces the Office Vision system. It took 4000 man-years of work costing US$1 billion to produce. [346.146] (May [618.288])
  • Apple Computer announces AppleTalk Phase 2. [593.B15] [676.158] [1064.145]
  • Claris releases AppleWorks 3.0 software. [218]
  • The Personal Computer Memory Card International Association (PCMCIA) is formed, to develop a memory card standard for personal computers. [20] [766.264] [965]
  • Microsoft forms a multimedia division. [1559]
  • Apricot Computers announces the first 486-based PC, in London, England. The VX FT system uses the 25 MHz Intel 80486 chip, IBM's MCA bus, and is priced starting at US$18,000. [310.8] [1093.38] (August [12])
June 16
  • Columbia Pictures releases the film Ghostbusters II to theaters in the US. A desktop personal computer is shown several times. [1993]
June 20
  • Lotus Development releases Lotus 1-2-3 3.0 for MS-DOS and OS/2, two years after its initial announcement. Price is US$495; upgrade price is US$150. [346.210] [346.271] [502.49] [511.219] [1089.255] [2125.D1] [2126.D6]
  • IBM announces the 486/25 Power Platform processor upgrade kit for the IBM PS/2 Model 70-A21. Price is US$3995. [1311] [2126.A13,D1]
(month unknown)
  • Hitachi countersues Motorola for patent infringement of Motorola's 68030 processor on Hitachi's H8/532 microcontroller. [548.368] [659.5]
  • Informix releases the WingZ spreadsheet for the Macintosh. [679.30]
  • Creative Labs introduces the Sound Blaster, an 8-bit mono PC sound card. [221]
  • MicroPro International changes its name to WordStar International. [346.287]
  • Linus discontinues the WriteTop pen-based microcomputer. [421.130]
  • Hayes Microcomputer Products buys modem competitor Practical Peripherals. [451.A8]
  • Texas Instruments wins official recognition in Japan of its patents on integrated circuits of almost 30 years ago. [606.156]
  • Epyx files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. [1524.26]
  • Phil Katz founds PKWare. [1055.18]
  • Maxis releases the SimCity game for the Macintosh. [1422.56]
  • Miles Gordon Technology releases the Sam Coupe personal computer in the UK. [2287.92]

End of 1989 January-June. Next: 1989 July.

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.