Chronology of Personal Computers

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Last updated: 2022 April 29.


1997

October 7
  • Sun Microsystems takes legal action against Microsoft for shipping Internet Explorer 4.0 with a non-standard implementation of the Java programming language. Sun files a breach of contract lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California. [674.16] [756.12] [948.104] [1131.10] [1559] [1564.279] (November [775])
October 10
  • Cayman Islands issues a postage stamp depicting a personal computer. [2405.133]
October 13
  • DMA Design releases the Grand Theft Auto game for the PC in the UK. [2581.15]
October 14
  • Integrated Device Technology unveils the IDT WinChip C6 processor, designed by Centaur Technology. The processor incorporates 5.4 million transistors in a 0.35-micron process. Prices are US$90 (180 MHz) and US$135 (200 MHz) each in 1000 unit quantities. [907.68] [1131.58] [1559]
October 15
  • Iran issues a 200 rial postage stamp for World Post Day, depicting a personal computer. [2422.1025]
October
  • The Learning Company releases Riven: The Sequel to Myst computer game. [1472.51] [2530.50]
  • Quote by Scott McNealy, chairman and CEO of Sun Microsystems, on Microsoft's downplaying the importance of Java: "It's like Kleenex being upset that there's a cure for the cold.". [1131.10]
  • Motorola exits from the Macintosh-compatible market. [666.6]
  • Activision releases the Quake II game for personal computers in the USA. [1499.98] [2530.50]
  • Apple Computer ships a beta test copy of its "Rhapsody" operating system to developers. [1880.20]
  • The Microprocessor Forum is held, in San Jose, California. [1000.24] [1102.26] [1131.9]
  • At the Microprocessor Forum, Advanced Micro Devices, Cyrix, and Centaur announce independent plans to extend the x86 architecture with new 3-D graphics extensions. [1102.26]
  • At the Microprocessor Forum, Intel announces details of the Merced processor, to use a new IA-64 64-bit instruction set, employing 0.18 micron technology, and to be released in 1999. [1131.9]
  • Netscape Communications releases Netscape Navigator 3.04. [919]
October 20
  • Apple Computer introduces the MessagePad 2100 handheld computer. It features Newton 2.1 operating system, 4.9 x 3.3 inch 480x320 pixel 16-shade grayscale LCD display, 4 MB RAM, stylus, two Type-II PC Card slots, four AA batteries. Size is 8.3 x 4.7 x 1.1 inches; weight is 1.4 pounds; price is US$999. [1173.56] [2605.202]
  • The U.S. Justice Department asks a federal court to hold Microsoft in contempt of court because it may be forcing PC makers to distribute Internet Explorer as a condition of selling Windows 95. Microsoft is formally charged with violating the terms of the 1995 Final Judgement. The federal court is asked to impose on Microsoft a US$1 million per day fine until the company stops tying the browser with Windows. [1711.8] [1897.131] [674.16] [765.15] [775] [939.64] [1000.1,43] [1559] [1564.269] [1627.5]
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October 22
  • Intel releases a 120 MHz mobile Pentium with MMX technology, designed for very small notebook computers. Price is US$177. [1559]
October 23
  • In Japan, NEC Computer releases 26 models of the PC98-NX series, its first industry-standard (Windows-Intel) personal computers. NEC also releases 15 new models in its proprietary PC98 series. [1559]
October 26
  • The Fox Broadcasting Company airs The Simpsons TV show in the US. A missile is fired, with the "Intel Inside" logo on the outside. [1922]
October 27
  • Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 4.0 on CD-ROM for retail distribution. Price is US$49. [913] [1559]
  • Intel and Digital Equipment settle the lawsuit launched by Digital in May. Intel will purchase Digital's chipmaking plants for about US$700 million. Intel will fabricate Alpha processors for Digital, and will take over development of Digital's StrongARM embedded processors. Digital will begin making servers and workstations based on Intel's IA-64 architecture. Both companies will enter into a ten-year cross-licensing agreement. [674.1] [1559] [1741.112]
(month unknown)
  • SyQuest releases the SparQ 1 GB removable cartridge storage drive. Price is US$199 for internal EIDE connection or external parallel port connection. Price is US$99 for three cartridges. [1131.37]
  • Nomai USA releases the Nomai 750.c 750 MB removable cartridge storage drive. Price is about US$300 for external parallel port connection, or about US$250 for internal SCSI-2 connection. Price is US$70 per cartridge. [1131.37]
  • Digital Equipment makes a deal to sell its chip plant to Intel. [942.112]
  • Franklin Electronic Publishers introduces the Franklin Rex-3-DS PC Companion PDA. It features Type II PC Card, two lithium batteries for about six months use, storage for 3000 contacts/tasks/appointments, 9 lines by 32 characters 1.3 x 2.1 inch monochrome LCD display, five buttons. Price is about US$180. [1158.114]
  • Franklin Electronic Publishers introduces the Franklin Rex-1 PC Companion PDA. It features Type II PC Card, two lithium batteries for about six months use, storage for 750 contacts/tasks/appointments, 9 lines by 32 characters 1.3 x 2.1 inch monochrome LCD display, five buttons. Price is about US$130. [1158.114]
  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the HP 620LX Palmtop PC. It features 16 MB RAM, 256-color 640x240 pixel 6.5-inch diagonal display, Windows CE 2.0, and lithium ion battery pack giving about 5.5 hours use. Price is about US$900; weight is 20.6 ounces. [1158.116]
  • Nokia introduces the Nokia 9000i Communicator, combining handheld computer, digital cell phone, and fax. It features 4.5 x 1.4 inch LCD screen, QWERTY keyboard, GeoWorks operating system, Intel 24 MHz 386 procesor, and 8 MB RAM. Price is US$850-1000 plus monthly cell phone charge; weight is 14 ounces; size is 6.5 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches. [1158.116]
  • Psion introduces the Psion Series 5 handheld computer. It features EPOC32 operating system, 5.25 x 2.0 inch 640 x 240 16-shade grayscale LCD display, 8 MB RAM, stylus, keyboard, CompactFlash slot. Two AA batteries power the unit for about 35 hours use. Size is 6.7 x 3.5 x 0.5 inches; weight is 12.5 ounces; price is US$699. [1173.56] [1158.120]
  • 3Com introduces the 3Com PalmPilot Professional handheld computer. It features six buttons and LCD display, stylus, 1 MB RAM, and two AAA batteries giving about ten weeks use. Price is about US$370; weight is 5.7 ounces. [1158.120]
  • Geofox introduces the Geofox-One Professional handheld computer. It features Psion EPOC32 operating system, 33.6 kbps PC Card modem, one Type II PC Card slot, about 25 hour battery life, 6.8-inch diagonal 640x320 monochrome LCD display. Weight is 13.7 ounces; size is 7.4 x 4.7 x 0.8 inches. [1158.114]
  • Borland International releases Borland Visual dBASE 7 for Windows 95 / NT 4.0. Price is US$349.95. [1142.70]
  • Quantum releases the Quantum Rushmore NTE 3000 storage device. It is a 268 MB solid state DRAM memory system, with a 17-mm IDE harddrive. Price is US$5832. [1142.70]
  • Microsoft ceases selling retail copies of Windows 3.1. [800.43]
  • Quote by Dell Computer chairman and CEO Michael Dell, when asked what he would do if he was in charge of Apple Computer: "I'd shut it down and give the money back to shareholders". [1559]
  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the HP 320LX Palmtop PC. It features Windows CE 1.1, 6.25 x 2.5 inch 640x240 pixel 16-shade grayscale LCD display, 4 MB RAM, stylus, keyboard, PC Card slot, CompactFlash slot, and is powered by two AA batteries. Size is 7,2 x 3.67 x 1.1 inches; weight is 15.6 ounces; price is US$499. [1173.56]
November 3
  • Umax Computer introduces the C500/240 Macintosh-compatible computer. It features 240 MHz PowerPC 603e, 3 GB hard drive, 24 MB RAM, CD-ROM. Price is US$1295. [1559]
November 4
  • Apple Computer announces a deal with CompUSA for a "store within a store" for Apple products in all 148 retail locations. [2605.292]
November 10
  • Apple Computer introduces the Power Macintosh G3 computer. It features 233 or 266 MHz PowerPC 750 processor, 66 MHz system bus, 4 GB hard drive, 32 MB SDRAM, 512 kB cache, 24X CD-ROM drive. Price starts at US$1999. [1193] [1205.36] [1559] [2605.134,292]
  • Hitachi announces the SuperH SH-4 200 MHz processor. Performance is reported to be 360 MIPS. Price is US$40 in quantities of 10,000. Volume production is expected for summer 1998. [1559]
  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the HP 360LX handheld computer. It features Windows CE 2.0, 8 MB RAM, 10 MB ROM, Hitachi 60 MHz SH-3 processor, 640x240 pixel grayscale display. Price is US$699. [1173.57] [1559]
November 12
  • Iomega announces it has sold ten million Zip drives. [1559]
November 14
  • The ANSI X3J16 and ISO WG21 C++ committee approves the latest C++ language draft, and submits it for official sanction. [1126.115]
  • Intel releases a software work-around for operating systems to avoid hanging when encountering the "F0" bug. The bug affects Pentium processors with and without MMX. [1559]
November
  • Seagate Technology ships its 100 millionth disc drive, a Seagate Medalist 2.5 GB 3.5-inch hard drive. The drive is presented to the Tech Museum of Innovation in California. [227]
  • Microsoft reports selling the 20 millionth Microsoft Office license. [1631.40]
  • Casio introduces the Cassiopeia A-11 Plus handheld computer. It features Windows CE 1.0, 4.6 x 2.4 inch 480x240 pixel 4-shade grayscale LCD display, 6 MB RAM, stylus, keyboard, PC Card slot, and it runs on two AA batteries. Size is 6.9 x 3.6 x 1.0 inches; weight is 13.4 ounces; price is US$399.95. [1173.56] [1559]
November 17
  • The COMDEX trade show is held in Las Vegas, Nevada, over five days. 4718 exhibitors and 519,000 visitors attend. [953.202] [1466.244] [1573.43]
November
  • At the Fall Comdex show, Philips Mobile Computing Group introduces the Philips Velo 500 handheld computer. It features 16 MB RAM, 16 MB ROM, 75 MHz 3.3-volt 32-bit MIPS-based Philips PR31700 RISC processor, two AA batteries or a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack (lasting about 12-15 hours), 6.25-inch diagonal 640x240 pixel 16-shade monochrome LCD display, two Miniature Card slots, 61-key keyboard, 28.8 kbps modem, and Windows CE 2.0. Weight is 15.3 ounces; size is 6.75 x 3.75 x 1 inches; price is about US$640. [1124.56] [1158.112] [1186.60]
  • At Fall Comdex, NEC Computer Systems Division of Packard Bell NEC announces the NEC MobilePro 700 handheld computers. It features 4-gray-scale backlit 7-inch diagonal 640x240 pixel display, Windows CE 2.0; 8 MB RAM, 33.6 kbps fax/modem, two AA batteries lasting about 30 hours, and keyboard. Size is 9.6 x 4.8 x 1.2 inches; weight is 24 ounces; price is US$699. [1158.112] [1173.56]
  • At Fall Comdex, NEC Computer Systems announces the NEC MobilePro 750C handheld computers. It features color 7-inch diagonal 640x240 pixel display, Windows CE 2.0; 8 MB RAM, 33.6 kbps fax/modem, lithium ion battery pack lasting about 11 hours, and keyboard. Weight is 28.8 ounces; width is 9.6 inches; price is about US$1000. [1158.112]
  • At the Fall Comdex, Sharp Electronics announces the Sharp Mobilon HC-4500C handheld computer. It features 6.5-inch 640x240 pixel 256-color LCD touch screen display, 16 MB RAM, 33.6 kbps fax/modem, one Type II PC Card slot, lithium ion battery pack, keyboard, and Windows CE 2.0. Price is about US$1000. [1158.112] [1559]
  • At the Fall Comdex, Sharp Electronics announces the Sharp Mobilon HC-4000 handheld computer. It features 4 MB RAM, 33.6 kbps fax/modem, one Type II PC Card slot, runs on two AA batteries for about 25 hours, keyboard, and Windows CE 2.0. Price is about US$600. [1158.112]
  • At the Fall Comdex, Sharp Electronics announces the Sharp Mobilon HC-4100 handheld computer. It features 12 MB RAM, 33.6 kbps fax/modem, one Type II PC Card slot, runs on two AA batteries for about 25 hours, keyboard, and Windows CE 2.0. Price is about US$700. [1158.112]
November 18
  • Cyrix shareholders approve a merger with National Semiconductor. Total value of the deal is US$550 million. [1559] [1634.60]
November 19
  • Hard drive maker Micropolis files for bankruptcy protection, indicating its intent to liquidate its assets. [1559]
  • Bell Laboratories in New Jersey announces that it has developed a 60-nanometre MOS transistor that is five times faster and one quarter the size of current transistors. It also uses 60 to 160 times less power. [1000.1]
November 25
  • Toshiba announces it is discontinuing the Infinia line and pulling out of the consumer desktop PC market. [1158.81] [1559]
(month unknown)
  • Palm Computing introduces the PalmPilot professional handheld computer. It features Palm OS 2.0, 3.25 x 2.5 inch 160x160 pixel monochrome LCD display, 1 MB RAM, stylus, two AAA batteries. Size is 4.7 x 3.2 x 0.7 inches; weight is 6 ounces; price is US$369. [1173.56]
  • Philips Mobile Computing Group introduces the Velo 1 handheld computer. It features Windows CE 1.0, 4.5 x 2.75 inch 480x240 pixel 4-shade grayscale LCD display, 4 MB RAM, stylus, keyboard, DRAM slot, Flashcard slot, ROM socket slot, 19.2 kbps modem, two AA batteries, rechargeable battery pack. Size is 6.25 x 3.75 x 1.0 inches; weight is 14.8 ounces; price is US$399.99. [1173.57]
  • Sharp Electronics introduces the ZR-3500X handheld computer. It features Synergy operating system, 2.25 x 3.5 inch 320x240 monochrome LCD display, 2 MB RAM, stylus, keyboard, 14.4 kbps modem, two AA batteries. Size is 6.3 x 3.5 x 1.0 inches; weight is 11.8 ounces; price is US$399. [1173.57]
  • Microsoft releases Office 97 Service Release 1. [1113.222]
  • IBM's Austin Research Lab runs the world's first 1 GHz microprocessor. [1143.10]
  • Over 77 million copies of Windows 95 are in use. [1125.5]
  • Iomega begins shipping Jaz 2 GB drives. [946.150]
  • Dragon Systems releases Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred Edition 2.0 for Windows, speech recognition software system. Price is about US$160. [1158.131]
  • Elitegroup Computer Systems introduces the PowerSpec 1660 computer. It features 166 MHz Cyrix Media GX processor, 16 MB RAM, 1 GB hard drive, 12X CD-ROM drive, 1.44 MB floppy drive, 33.6 Kb fax/modem, two speakers, one PCI/ISA slot, Windows 95, Microsoft Works, Microsoft Money Home Banking, Microsoft Entertainment Pack. Price is US$499. [1092.72]
  • Microsoft introduces the IntelliMouse mouse, with scroll wheel. Price is US$84.95. [1679.16]
  • Apple Computer introduces the Apple MessagePad 2100 handheld computer. It features Newton 2.1 OS, 8 MB ROM with various applications, 4 MB DRAM, 4 MB flash RAM, optional 2-4 MB flash PC Cards, two Type II PC Card slots, 16-shade 4.9 x 3.3 inch display, four AA batteries, and a stylus. Weight is 22.4 ounces; size is 1.1 x 4.7 x 8.3 inches; price is about US$1150. [1158.103]
  • Casio introduces the Casio Cassiopeia A-20 handheld computer. It features Windows CE 2.0, 8 MB RAM, 8 MB ROM, 6.2-inch wide 640x240 pixel 4-gray-scale display, keyboard, serial port, Type II PC Card slot, Compact Flash card slot, and two AA batteries or litium ion battery pack. Price is about US$600; weight is 15.2 ounces. [1158.108]
December 2
  • Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 4.01 Update Release. [913] [946.45] [1559]
December 5
  • Texas Instruments announces that it has created a manufacturing technique to create integrated circuits using copper wiring. This approach could lead to processors that are 10 times faster than today's chips, while using less power. [1000.1]
December 11
  • US District Judge Thomas Jackson issues a preliminary injunction against Microsoft, requiring Microsoft allow Windows 95 licensees the option of not including Internet Explorer. The request for imposition of a US$1 million per day fine is turned down. [756.12] [765.15] [775] [939.64] [1000.1] [1462.94] [1559] [1564.276] [1711.9]
December
  • Manufacturers of 56k modems agree to cooperate on a common standard. [1626.48]
  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the Vectra series of personal computers, with a base price os US$999. [1092.66]
  • Microsoft releases Windows 98 Beta 3 to testers. [946.59]
  • Opera Software releases the Opera v3.0 web browser. [932]
  • U.S. market share for Apple Computer: 3.4%. [851.19]
December 24
  • Shareholders of Hayes Microcomputer Products approve the merger with Access Beyond. The merged company will be called Hayes Corporation. [1559]
October-December
  • Intel-compatible microprocessor market share during October to December: Intel 87%. [1444.9]
  • Market share of Intel-compatible personal computer processors in the US during October to December: Intel 91.1%, Advanced Micro Devices 4.4%, Cyrix 2.7%, IBM 1.8%. [1575.52] [1627]
  • Market share of personal computers in the US during October to December: Compaq Computer 19%, Dell Computer 9.9%, Gateway 8.3%, IBM 9.9%, Hewlett-Packard 6.8%, Apple Computer 3.4%. [1559]
Year
  • Software shipments in North America on DVD: 5.5 million units. [1608.12]
  • Shipments of desktop personal computer operating systems in the USA during the year: 80 million. [1559]
  • Personal computer market share in Canada based on sales for the year: Compaq 19.8%, IBM 16.0%, Dell 7.4%, Hewlett-Packard 4.8%, Toshiba 4.4%, Packard Bell NEC 4.4%, Apple Computer 4.1%, Seanix 3.0%, Sidus 2.5%. [1439.21]
  • Market share of web browser software: Netscape Navigator 54.6%, Microsoft Internet Explorer 29.5%. [155.19]
  • Shipments of handheld computers in the US for the year: 2.4 million. [792.28] [890.9] [1814.28] [1643.28] (3.1 million [839.28]) (2.6 million [945.232])
  • Market share of handheld computers in the US during the year: PalmPilot 41%. [1643.28]
  • Worldwide shipments of handheld computers for the year: 5.5 million. [945.232]
  • Shipments of Windows CE devices during the year: 430,000. [1428.146]
  • Worldwide shipments of PalmPilot handheld computers for the year: about 350,000. [890.9] (1 million [1559])
  • Market share of handheld computers in the world during the year: Philips Electronics 2.9%. [1559]
  • Desktop use of Windows operating systems: Windows 95 48%, Windows 3.x 48%, Windows NT 4%. [1142.57]
  • Market share of x86 processor shipments: Advanced Micro Devices 7.5-10%. [1092.70] [1752.116]
  • Market share of office software application suites: Microsoft Office 79%, Lotus SmartSuite 13%, Corel WordPerfect Office 5%. [1008.62]
  • US shipments of CD-R drives for the year: about 2.4 million. [1158.152]
  • US shipments of CD-ROM drives for the year: about 30 million. [1158.152]
  • Shipments of notebook computers in the US during the year: Toshiba 1.2 million, IBM 785,000, Compaq Computer 777,000, Acer 505,000, Dell Computer 395,000, Packard Bell/NEC 267,000, Fujitsu 181,000, Hitachi 175,000, Gateway 173,000, Sharp 158,000, Apple Computer 129,000, Hewlett-Packard 106,000, Micron 90,000, Panasonic 59,000, AST 38,000, other 919,000. [1639.152]
  • Worldwide shipments of notebook computers for the year: 13 million. [904.191]
  • Shipments of personal computer operating systems for the year: Windows NT 4.0 13 million. [903]
  • Shipments of personal computer printers in Canada for the year: about 1.6 million. [874.25]
  • Worldwide personal computer unit sales during the year: Compaq 8.2 million, IBM 6.5 million, Dell 4.2 million, Hewlett-Packard 4.0 million, NEC 4.0 million. [1194.108]
  • Market share of personal computer shipments worldwide during the year: Compaq Computer 13.1%, IBM 8.6%, Dell Computer 5.5%, Hewlett-Packard 5.3%, Packard Bell NEC 5.1%. [1559]
  • 43 percent of US households have a personal computer. [1632.6]
  • Total US households with a personal computer: 44 million. [1633.6]
  • Worldwide shipments of personal computers for the year: 78-92 million. [835.10] [843.35] [947.101] [948.9] [1420.21] [1757.94]
  • Worldwide non-Apple personal computer market share: Compaq Computer 12%, IBM 9%, Packard Bell/NEC 5%, Dell Computer 6%, Hewlett-Packard 5%. [948.9]
  • Market share of personal computer operating systems worldwide during the year: Windows 95 69.4%, MS-DOS 10%, Windows NT workstation 9.2%, Mac OS 4.6%, Linux 2.4%, Unix 1%, OS/2 0.8%, other 2.7%. [1427.57] [1639.105]
  • Market share of home personal computers in the US for the year: Packard Bell NEC 23.3%, Compaq Computer 18.8%, Gateway 11.1%, IBM 7.0%, Acer 5.9%, Apple Computer 5.0%, other 28.9%. [1748.108]
  • During the year, 94.5% of personal computers and workstations were shipped with a Microsoft operating system. [929.53]
  • Shipments of cable modems for the year: 200,000. [938.38]
  • Shipments of personal computer operating systems for the year: Linux: 2.0 million. [175.64]
  • Market share of desktop operating systems in the US: Windows 95/98 69.4%, Windows NT Workstation 9.2%, Windows 3.x (with DOS) 7.7%, Mac OS 4.6%, Linux 2.4%, DOS (IBM, Digital Research, Microsoft) 2.3%, Unix 1.0%, OS/2 Warp 0.8%, other 2.7%. [1427.54,58]

End of 1997. Next: 1998.

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.