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.


July 7
  • Hewlett-Packard announces the HP DeskJet 400L color ink jet printer. Black print resolution is 600-by-300 dots per inch, at three pages per minute.. Price is US$149, including a black ink cartridge. [1559]
July 9
  • Apple Computer announces the resignation of Gilbert Amelio as CEO. His severance package is about US$7.5 million. Ellen Hancock also resigns from Apple Computer. [616.21] [670.3] [672.38] [762.48] [763.26] [764.31] [882.24] [1193.32] [1559] [1597.36] [1886.70] [2605.201,255,270]
  • The DVD Forum approves the DVD-RAM standard. [1279.68]
  • Hayes Microcomputer Products announces the intention to merge with Access Beyond. [1559]
  • Be introduces the BeOS operating system for Intel-based PCs. [1106.29]
July 16
  • The Republic of China issues two postage stamp on the use of integrated circuits, showing a personal computer. [2405.294]
July 21
  • Motorola Computer Group begins shipping the Motorola StarMax 5000 series of Macintosh-compatible computers. Price ranges from US$1999 to US$3399. [1011.134] [1559]
July 22
  • Apple Computer officially announces Mac OS 8.0. [1559] [1597.36] [2605.255]
July 23
  • Microsoft announces the next Windows operating system release, code-named Memphis, will be called Windows 98. [1559]
July 26
  • Apple Computer releases Mac OS 8.0 for US$99. Code-name during development was Tempo. (1.2 million copies ship in the first two weeks, making it the most successful Apple software product ever.) [749.4] [1000.45] [1134.26] [1158.9] [1193.32] [1206.35] [1449.25] [1559] [1597.27] [1897.131] (August [1721.29] [1880.20])
July 28
  • National Semiconductor announces an agreement to acquire Cyrix, for US$550 million in stock. [876.250] [1215.172] [1559]
  • Steve Jobs decides to not take on the role of chairman (and CEO) of Apple Computer, preferring to remain as head of Pixar Animation Studios. [1559]
(month unknown)
  • Umax Computer introduces the Umax SuperMac C600/280 computer. It features 280 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 1 MB cache running at 80 MHz, 40 MHz system bus, 12X CD-ROM drive, 4 GB hard drive, 32 MB RAM, 10Base-T Ethernet, 33.6 kbps fax/modem. Price is US$2395. [1011.134]
August 4
  • Motorola and IBM introduce the PowerPC 740 and 750 processors, available in 233 and 266 MHz speeds. Price is about US$550-570 in 1000-unit quantities. [1559] (1996 [1597.87])
August 5
  • The Macworld Expo trade show is held in Boston, Massachusettes, over four days. [1460.137] [1559] [1597.36]
  • Apple Computer announces Power Macintosh 8600 and 9600 systems with 300 to 350 MHz PowerPC 604e processors and Mac OS 8 operating system. Prices range from US$3700 to US$5400. [1029.72] [1559]
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August 6
  • At the Macworld Expo, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates announce a five-year alliance of Apple Computer with Microsoft. Terms include: cross-licensing of existing patents plus new patents over the next five years, Microsoft will release Office for Macintosh over next five years, Apple will make Internet Explorer the default browser on all shipping Macintosh systems, Apple and Microsoft will collaborate on Java compatibility, Microsoft will invest US$150 million in Apple stock and hold it for at least three years. Jobs will join a revamped Apple board of directors with Larry Elison of Oracle added, and A.C. Markkula removed. [11.14] [739.34] [762.47] [763.24] [1094.30] [1193.20,34] [1205.35] [1559] [1597.26] [1627.5] [1630.104] [1711.153] [1873.128] [1886.70]
  • At Macworld Expo, Motorola announces the StarMax 6000 Macintosh-compatible systems, with PowerPC 750 processors. [666.6] [739.29] [1597.38]
  • At Macworld Expo, Power Computing introduces the PowerTower Pro G3/275 Macintosh-compatible computer. It features 275 MHz PowerPC 750, 64 MB RAM, 2-4 GB hard drive, and 8 MB 1XMicro TwinTurbo graphics card. [1559] [1597.38]
August 12
  • Intel files a lawsuit against Digital Equipment, alleging patent infringement on fourteen computer technologies. [1559]
  • Steve Jobs begins designing what will become the iMac. [762]
  • Intel introduces the 300 MHz Pentium II. [1009.19]
  • Sematech (research consortium for chip makers) announces the successful manufacture of copper-based chips, rather than traditional aluminum. This will allow future processors to be smaller, faster, and cheaper. [941.61]
  • The US Department of Justice begins a review of Microsoft's investment in Apple Computer. [939.64]
  • Apple Computer ships Mac OS 8 operating system. [1886.70]
  • Microsoft releases the DirectX 5.0 software. New features include support for force-feedback game controllers, 3D hardware acceleration, and DirectSound3D. [1774.48]
  • The US Department of Justice approves Microsoft's purchase of WebTV Networks. [775] [935.59]
  • IBM ships ViaVoice for Windows. Price is about US$75. [1158.148]
  • Sony begins direct-to-consumer personal computer sales via VAIO Direct. [1096.28]
  • International Data Group and Ziff-Davis form Mac Publishing, to consolidate MacUser into MacWorld magazine, and continue MacWeek. [764.38]
  • DayStar Digital shuts down its manufacturing facilities, ceasing to make Macintosh compatible systems. [1193.21]
August 18
  • Advanced Micro Devices announces that IBM will use the K6 processor in low-end models of the Aptiva line. [1559]
  • Intel announces availability of a 200 MHz Pentium Pro processor with 1 MB of cache memory. Price is US$2675 in 1000-unit quantities. [1029.72] [1559]
August 19
  • Advanced Micro Devices announces it has ceased manufacturing the K5 processor. [1559]
  • Executives of Netscape Communications and other companies give depositions on Microsoft's antitrust activities to the Attorneys General of several states and the Department of Justice. [1564.266]
August 21
  • Guernsey issues a 63-pence postage stamp depicting a computer network. [2422.360]
August 26
  • Viet Nam issues a 400-dong postage stamp for the 50th anniversary of the Post and Telecommunications Union, depicting a personal computer. [2529.1024]
(month unknown)
  • Spectrum Holobyte changes its name to MicroProse. [1472.47]
September 2
  • Apple Computer buys Power Computing's Macintosh operating system license, customer database, and certain employees, for US$100 million in common stock and about $10 million for debts and closing costs. Power Computing will cease sales of Macintosh systems as of December 31. [739.29] [764.30] [1029.22] [1193.34] [1205.35] [1206.29] [1559] [1886.70] [2605.256]
September 8
  • Umax Computer announces that it has reached an agreement with Apple Computer for an extension on its license on the Mac OS 8 operating system. The license only covers Mac OS 8 until July 1998, and not on Common Hardware Reference Platform architecture machines. [1559] [2605.256]
  • Intel introduces the Mobile Pentium MMX processor, at speeds of 200 and 233 MHz. The chip is manufactured using 0.25 micron process. Code-name during development was Tillamook. [1130] [1147.35] [1559]
  • IBM halts plans to ship a NetPC computer. [1009.67] [1144.172] [1559]
September 9
  • Apple Computer announces it will not spin off its Newton Systems Group as it had announced in May. [739.40] [1559] [2605.201]
September 11
  • Motorola Computer Group announces it is leaving the Macintosh systems market, due to inability to reach a viable business agreement with Apple Computer on licensing the Mac OS. Motorola also announces it will not ship StarMax 6000 systems previously announced. [739.29] [1029.22] [1559] [2605.256]
September 15
  • Apple Computer announces several Power Macintosh 6500 systems with 275 to 300 MHz PowerPC 603e processors, and the Mac OS 8 operating system. [1011.134] [1559]
  • IBM announces that IBM Microelectronics will cease licensing the Macintosh OS. [739.30]
  • Quote by Aberdeen Group Inc.'s research analyst Mark Peabody: "The only influence Netscape has is with the web heads who are coding at 2 o-clock in the morning with 10 Cokes in front of them.". [670.1]
  • Pentium II systems begin shipping with Intel 440LX chip set and an AGP bus slot. [907.244]
  • IBM announces the CMOS 7s process, using copper traces in chips. [29.93]
  • Intel announces StrataFlash multilevel-cell flash memory, with double the capacity of current flash memory. [941.59] [1000.28]
September 16
  • Apple Computer announces that it has named Steve Jobs interim CEO of the company. [672.38] [1009.67] [1559] [1886.70] [2605.292]
September 17
  • IBM licenses the PalmPilot design from 3Com. [1559]
September 22
  • Compaq introduces the Compaq Deskpro 4000N, the first Net PC. It features 166 MHz Pentium processor, 1.6 GB hard drive, 32 MB RAM, one PCI slot, Windows NT 4.0. Price is US$1149. [700.7] [1559]
September 23
  • IBM announces the IBM WorkPad handheld computer. It features 1 MB RAM. Weight is 6 ounces; price is US$399. [1559]
  • Microsoft releases the first beta test of Windows NT 5.0 at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference. [730.68] [878.200] [903.43] [938.51] [952.44] [1138.38] [1444.35] [1639.127]
September 24
  • The US Federal Trade Commission announces it is investigating Intel for alleged practices of illegally withholding CPU sales to PC makers who buy competitor's products. [942.58] [11.14] [173.55] [1559]
September 29
  • Umax Computer unveils the J700 Macintosh-compatible computer. It features Mac OS 8, 233 MHz PowerPC 604e processor, 24 MB RAM, 2 GB hard drive, 24X CD-ROM drive, 10 Base-T Ethernet networking card. Price is about US$2000. [1559]
  • At the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, California, Microsoft releases the Windows CE 2.0 operating system. It includes support for 32-bit color and 16-gray-scale displays, TrueType fonts, Ethernet connectivity, and support for more processors. Code-name during development was Jupiter. [168.55] [1559] (October [1158.102]) (November [1648.53] [1897.131])
September 30
  • Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 4.0 Final Release for Windows 95 and Windows NT. (Over 1 million copies are downloaded on the first day.) [878.90] [946.45] [1559] (September 29 [800.57])
  • Market share of personal computers in the world for July to September: Apple Computer 3.3%. [1559]
  • Market share of personal computers in the U.S. for July to September: Apple Computer 4.4%. [1559]
  • Shipments of personal computers in Japan during July to September: 1.651 million. [1559]
(month unknown)
  • Franklin Rolodex Electronics introduces the REX PC Companion jandheld personal information manager. It is a 1/4-inch thick credit-card sized PC Card, weighing 1.4 ounces. It has a 160x98 black/white LCD display with five buttons. It can store about 3000 items, and uses two lithium watch batteries. Price is about US$150. [1130.68]
  • Texas Instruments releases the TI Avigo 10 handheld computer. It features stylus, seven buttons, 2 MB flash ROM, 1 MB RAM, Avigo operating system, 3.3 x 2.2 inch 160x240 pixel backlit PCD display, serial and infrared ports. Price is US$199; size is 5.5 x 3.3 x 0.8 inches; weight is 7 ounces. It operates for about 14 hours on two AAA batteries. [1130.68] [1158.124] [1195.202]
  • GT Interactive announces the acquisition of MicroProse for about US$250 million in stock. [1472.47]
  • Iomega introduces the Jaz 2 GB removable-storage drive. It uses an Ultra SCSI connection, and can also read/write 1 GB media. Price is US$549 internal, US$649 external, US$149 per cartridge. The system supports DOS, Windows, and Macintosh. [739.38] [1131.37] [1139.96] [1576.66]
  • Iomega introduces the Zip-Plus removable-storage drive. It improves on the original Zip drive by adding a power switch, universal power supply, and combination parallel/SCSI cable. Price is US$200. [739.38]
  • Corel introduces CorelDRAW! 8 for Windows 95/NT4, for US$695. [935.68]
  • IBM releases the IBM Aptiva S6S computer. It features a 266 MHz Pentium II processor, 512 kB L2 cache, 48 MB SDRAM, 17-inch MM75 multimedia monitor, ATI AGP video, 6.4 GB hard drive, two USB ports, Lotus SmartSuite 97, for US$3948. [935.88]
  • NEC Technologies introduces the NEC Multisync LCD 2000 20.1-inch diagonal flat-panel LC display. Price is US$7999. [935.116]
  • The IBM Personal Computer company introduces the ThinkPad 770 portable computer. It features 14.1-inch color thin-film transistor 1280x1024 resolution screen, 64-bit Trident graphics chip set, 233 MHz Pentium MMX, 32 MB RAM, 5.1 GB hard drive, UltraBay II storage slot, MPEG-2 hardware decoder, USB ports, PC Card slots. The storage slot can hold a DVD drive, floppy drive, CD-ROM drive, Zip drive, hard drive, or battery pack. Price is about US$7000. This is the first notebook computer with a DVD-ROM drive. [1011.37] [1602.39]
  • Corel introduces CorelDRAW! 7. [935.68]

End of 1997 July-September. Next: 1997 October.

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.
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