Chronology of Personal Computers (1989)



July 5

  • Fujitsu buys 38% of Poqet Computer. [2129.D4]
July 6

  • Apple Computer announces it will sell its 16.4% stake of Adobe Systems. [2130.D1]
July 10

  • In San Francisco, California, Intel officially announces and demonstrates the first EISA 82350 chip set. Full production is likely by September. [1069.30] [2133.D4]
July 14

  • IBM and Compaq Computer sign a patent cross-licensing agreement, covering all patents filed before July 1, 1993. [2137.35]

  • Digital Communications Associates introduces the Crosstalk for Windows telecommunications software. [1049.130] [1069.52]
  • Commodore International stops production of the Commodore 128 and 128D. [803.4] [804.19]
  • AT&T; and Intel sign an agreement to produce 386-based PCs. [166.58]
July 18

  • The US Commerce Department announces plans to allow the sale of a greater range of computers to the Soviet Union and Eastern-bloc nations. The limit on data processing rate is raised from 6.5 million bits per second to 68, allowing the low-end Apple Computer Macintosh and the most basic IBM PS/2 to be exported. [1069.26] [1084.17] [2139.A1]
July 21

  • Zenith Data Systems introduces the Zenith Minisport portable computer. It features 720 KB 2-inch disk drive, 1 MB RAM, backlit LCD display. Weight is 6 pounds; price is US$1999. Price with 2 MB RAM is US$2799. Optional external 3.5-inch disk drive is US$299. Optional internal 1200 bps modem is US$199. [310.94] [2141.D3] [2143.S3.11]
  • US Federal District Judge William Schwarzer tentatively rules that most visual features of Windows 2.03 are covered by the 1985 license agreement between Microsoft and Apple computer. Of 260 similarities claimed by Apple, ten remain to be decided. [2142.31]
July 25

  • US Federal District Judge William Schwarzer confirms his earlier decision removing all but ten of Apple Computer’s claims against Microsoft. [346.195] [1299.384] [2145.D3] [2605.173]
  • IBM begins shipping Personal System/2 Enhanced 80386 Memory Option with 4-megabit DRAM memory chips. Price is US$3495. This is the first personal computer product using 4 megabit memory chips. [1069.17] [2144.D4]
July 27

  • Lotus Development ships Lotus 1-2-3 Release 2.2 for MS-DOS. [502.49] [511.219] [2145.D4]
July 28

  • At the Chicago Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, the AmiEXPO trade show is held, over three days. 10,437 people attend. [448.55] [640.6] [1176.88] [1710.6]
(month unknown)

  • Eastman Kodak introduces the Diconix 150 Plus portable printer. It features emulation of IBM Proprinter, Epson FX-80/85, IBM Graphics, 200 character buffer, AC adapter. Size is 2 x 6.5 x 10.75 inches; weight is 3 pounds; price is US$499. It runs for up to 12 hours on five C cell batteries. [1069.191]
  • Texas Instruments begins shipping the TIGA-340 graphics card. [1064.246]
  • At the CeBIT show, Sharp shows its PC-8000 portable computer, with 16 color 14-inch 640×480 LCD, and 80386 processor. [1069.22]
  • NEC Home Electronics introduces the MultiSync 4D analog color monitor. It features 15-inch diagonal display area, variable vertical scan rates from 50 to 90 Hz, and support for VGA, SuperVGA, 8514/A, 1024×768, Apple Macintosh II. price is US$1799. The 19-inch MultiSync 5D supports 1280×1024 resolution at 0.31 dot pitch, and sells for US$3699. [1069.50]
  • DayStar Digital introduces the Accelerator II and Accelerator IIx accelerator cards for Apple Macintosh II and IIx computers. They feature speeds of 25 to 50 MHz, zero wait states, 32 kB cache of 15 ns static RAM, optional 40 MHz 68882 math coprocessor, Extended CPU Interface (XCI) backplane card. Prices range from US$2995 to US$6995. [1069.52]
  • Aldus introduces the Aldus PageMaker desktop publishing software for OS/2 Presentation Manager. Price is US$795. [1069.52]
  • Symantec releases the Think C v4.0 compiler for Macintosh computers. Price is US$249. [1069.81]
  • Borland International announces the Quattro v2 spreadsheet software for DOS. Price is US$495. [1069.111]
August 5

  • In Boston, Massachusettes, the SIGGRAPH show is held. NewTek shows the Video Toaster for the Amiga. Release price is to be US$1595. [1176.33]
August 10

  • The first Macworld Expo is held, in Boston, Massachusettes. About 30,000 people attend. [869.119] [2222.C6]
August 14

  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the HP DeskWriter 300 dpi ink jet printer for Macintosh computers. Weight is 15 pounds; price is US$1195. [1069.52] [2222.C6]

  • Wallaby Systems intrduces the Wallaby Laptop System. It features 15 MHz 68000, 800 kB 3.5-inch floppy drive which can read and write IBM PC and Macintosh formatted disks, 1 MB RAM, printer, Isopoint device, 640×400 monochrome display. Size is 12 x 8 x 4 inches; weight is under 10 pounds; price is US$2995. The system requires ROM chips from a Macintosh Plus or SE to operate. [1084.49] (Outbound company [559.73])
  • NEC Information Systems announces the PowerMate 286 computer. It features Super EGA, 10 MHz 80286 processor, 512 kB RAM, 1.2 MB 5.25-inch floppy drive, four 16 bit slots, keyboard. Size is 14 x 16 x 5 inches; weight is 21 pounds; price is US$1299. [1084.49] [2223.D12]
  • NEC Information Systems announces the PowerMate 286 Plus computer. It features 12 MHz 80286 processor, 1 MB RAM, MS-DOS 3.3, 1.2 MB 5.25-inch floppy drive, Price is US$1999. Price with 42 MB hard drive is US$2899. [1084.49] [2223.D12]
  • NEC Information Systems announces the PowerMate SX computer. It features 2 MB RAM, 1.2 MB 5.25-inch floppy drive, keyboard. Price is US$2699. Price with 42 MB hard drive is US$3599. [1084.49] [2223.D12]
  • Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, issues a Zenith laptop computer to each new student, as part of US$13728 tuition. [2224.41]
(month unknown)

  • Cellular Computer Systems introduces the Electronic Portable Information Center (EPIC) portable computer. It features 12 MHz 286 compatible processor, keyboard, 11-inch monochrome backlit VGA LCD display, cellular phone, 1200 bps modem, 1 MB RAM, 1.44 MB 3.5-inch floppy drive, 20 MB hard drive, DOS, various applpications. Weight is 23 pounds; price is US$8495. [1084.49]
  • To date, there are about 25 million MS-DOS users worldwide. [1089.364]
  • AST Research introduces the AST Premium/386C computer. It features 20 MHz 80386 processor, 64 kB cache, 1.2 MB 5.25-inch flopy drive, six expansion slots, VGA. Price is US$4395. [1089.287]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Mail 2.0 email system. Prices are US$395 (1 server, 1 workstation), US$125 (1 workstation), US$1495 (20 workstations), US$595 (MCI Mail gateway), US$295 (AppleLink gateway). [1084.60]
  • QMS introduces the QMS ColorScript 100 Model 10 color wax thermal-transfer PostScript printer. It features SCSI port for external hard drive, 4 MB RAM, 16.7 MHz 68020 processor, Adobe PostScript interpreter, 35 fonts, 300 dpi resolution. At its heart is a Mitsubishi G370 thermal transfer print engine. It supports AppleTalk, parallel, and serial connections. Price is US$9995. Ribbons cost US$105. [1056.137] [1084.50] [1176.81]
  • MicroNet Technology introduces the SBX-1000 5.25-inch diameter full height 1 GB hard drive for Macintosh computers. Price is US$9850. This is the first 1 GB hard drive for the Macintosh. [1084.50]
  • Quote by Nicholas Negroponte, director of MIT’s Media Lab, “in the future, the primary means of communication with computers will be through speech, not through graphics”. [1084.26]
  • Tandy introduces the WP-2 laptop computer. It features a 5.5 MHz Z80 processor, 62 key QWERTY keyboard, 32 kB RAM, 80×8 character LCD display, built-in word processor, 100,000 word spell checker, 200,000 word thesaurus, communications software. Size is 8.5 x 11.75 x 1 inches; weight is 3.1 pounds; price is US$349.95. The system runs for about 12 hours on four AA batteries. [1056.56] [1084.26]
  • Advanced Logic Research introduces the ALR PowerFlex Model 40 computer. It features 12.5 MHz 80286 processor, 1 MB RAM (expandable to 16 MB), socket for 80287 math coprocessor, 3.5-inch floppy drive, 40 MB hard drive, six expansion slots. Price is US$1495. Optional 16 MHz 80386SX processor card costs US$395. [1084.111]
  • Advanced Logic Research introduces the PowerCache 4 Model 130 desktop computer. It features 25 MHz 80486 processor, 128 kB external cache, 2 MB RAM (expandable to 32 MB), six MCA expansion slots, VGA card, 3.5-inch floppy drive, 130 MB SCSI hard drive, for US$9990. The Model 150 comes in a tower case with 150 MB ESDI hard drive, for US$11490. The Model 340H comes in a tower case with 340 MB ESDI hard drive, for US$14490. The Model 650H comes in a tower case with 650 MB ESDI hard drive, for US$16490. [1084.112]
  • Pacific Data Products introduces the Pacific Page PostScript Emulation cartridge for the HP LaserJet II printer. It uses the PhoenixPage interpreter from Phoenix Technologies. Price is US$695. [1064.197] [1084.56]
  • Hewlett-Packard announces the LaserJet IIP laser printer. It features 512 kB RAM, 4 paper-per-minute speed, 14 internal fonts, and one font cartridge slot. Price is US$1495. [1176.90]
  • Mindscape announces it is dropping disk-based copy protection for all future game releases. [1176.32]
  • Intel unveils the i860 RISC processor. It is the first microprocessor capable of executing two instructions per clock cycle. It features a RISC core, floating point unit, memory management unit, graphics unit, instruction cache, data cache, 4 GB address space, 40-50 MHz speed, and incorporates over one million transistors. [16] [556.24] [1056.333]
  • In Japan, NEC introduces the PC-9801LX5C portable computer. It features 80286 processor, two 3.5-inch floppy drives, 40 MB hard drive, 9-inch supertwist 640×480 8 color LCD. Size is 4.5 x 13.3 x 14.9 inches; weight is 19 pounds; price is about US$5250. This is the first portable computer with a color LCD. [1069.22]
September 1

  • Grid Systems ships the Grid MXV-01 CD-ROM drive for the Grid 1500 series laptop computer. This is the first CD-ROM drive designed for a battery-powered laptop computer. [2377.31]

  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the New Wave software for Windows. [1049.148] [477.160]
  • Poqet Computer ships the Poqet PC computer, featuring 512 kB RAM, 6.8 x 2.7 inch monochrome LCD screen, 80×25 text, 640×200 pixels, 77 keys, 7 MHz Intel 80C88 processor, 640 kB ROM, MS DOS 3.3 and GW BASIC in ROM, card slots for ROM or RAM. The system runs for about 100 hours on AA batteries. Weight is 1 pound; price is about US$2000. [1084.115]
  • Epyx Software lays off most of its staff. [804]
  • Apple Computer introduces 1.4 MB floppy drives for the Macintosh. [582.95]
  • Apple Computer buries 2700 Lisa/Mac XL computers in a landfill in Logan, Utah. [2605.80]
  • Atari announces the Atari TT, featuring a 16 MHz 68030 processor, 2 MB RAM, a 3.5-inch floppy drive, and a built-in genlock device. Price is US$1500. [440.19]
  • Newsfield releases the first issue of Prepress With the Macintosh magazine in the UK. [2650.50]
  • At the Seybold Computer Publishing Conference, Apple Computer and Microsoft announces an alliance to standardize on Apple’s TrueType font technology, and Microsoft’s printer page-description language TrueImage. [416.195] [593.41] [618.226] [680.165] [1255.295] [1299.386]
  • IBM releases OS/2 1.2. It adds high performance file system (HPFS) with long filenames and extended attributes. Code-name during development was Sloop. [135] [346.243] (October [858.71])
September 20

  • Apple Computer announces the Macintosh Portable, featuring a 16 MHz Motorola 68000 CMOS processor, 1 MB RAM, 40 MB hard drive, 3.5-inch 1.4 MB SuperDrive floppy drive, keyboard, trackball, 9.8-inch active matrix 640×400 monochrome LCD screen. Weight is 17 pounds; size is 15.25 x 14.3 x 4 inches; price is US$6500. The system runs for about 8 hours on a lead-acid gel battery pack. [46] [75] [593.350] [597.95] [750.52] [1069.98] [1084.154] [1205.36] [2605.159]

  • Apple Computer announces the Macintosh IIci, featuring a 25 MHz 68030 processor, 25 MHz 68882 math coprocessor, 4 MB RAM, 80 MB hard drive, 3 NuBus slots, 3.5-inch 1.4 MB SuperDrive, for about US$8700. [46] [75] [593.350] [597.95] [1069.98] [1084.154]
  • Electronic Arts first sells shares to the public. [1176.32]
(month unknown)

  • Toshiba introduces the T1000SE portable computer in the US. It features 640×400 pixel monochrome CGA LCD display, 9.54 MHz 80C86 processor, 1.44 MB 3.5-inch floppy drive, 1 MB RAM, MS-DOS 3.3 in ROM, removable battery pack, and a plug-in RAM card slot. Size is 12.4 x 10.2 x 1.8 inches; weight is 5.9 pounds; price is US$1699. [1056.96] [1207.153]
  • Zenith Data Systems introduces the SupersPort SX portable computer. It features 16 MHz 80386SX processor, 40 MB hard drive, 1.44 MB floppy drive, 1 MB RAM, 10-inch monochrome VGA LCD screen, MS-DOS 3.3. Weight is about 17 pounds; price is about US$6000. [1056.102]
  • Toshiba America Information Systems introduces the Toshiba T3100SX portable computer. It features 16 MHz 80386SX processor, 40 MB hard drive, 1.44 MB floppy drive, 1 MB RAM, VGA amber LCD screen, MS-DOS 4.01. Weight is about 16 pounds. This is the first commercial battery-operated portable computer with a gas-plasma display. [1064.26] [1056.102]

  • France’s Groupe Bull buys Zenith Data Systems for US$511 million. [523.102]
  • Grid Systems Canada unveils a handheld computer that features handwriting recognition, 1 MB RAM, 10 MHz processor. Price is CDN$3500; weight is 4.5 pounds. [1808.11]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Excel for OS/2 with Presentation Manager. It is the first major application available for PM. Price is US$495. [346.272] [1084.81]
  • Cyrix introduces the FasMath 83D87 math coprocessor, pin-compatible with Intel’s 387. [511.329] [509.219]
  • Motorola releases details of the architecture of the 68040 processor. [338]
  • In London, England, the Personal Computer Show is held. [1145.45]
  • Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq LTE Model 1 notebook computer. It features 9.54 MHz 80C86 processor, 640×200 CGA LCD screen, 3.5-inch 1.44 MB floppy drive, 640 kB RAM. Weight is 6 pounds; price is US$2395. Model 20 adds 20 MB hard drive; price US$2999. [113] [646.53] [1056.96] (1990 [1058.131])
  • Compaq Computer introduces the LTE/286 Model 1 notebook computer. It features 80C286 processor, backlit electroluminescent supertwist 640×200 CGA LCD screen, 640 kB RAM, 3.5-inch 1.44 MB floppy drive, 2 expansion slots Price is US$3899. Model 20 adds 20 MB hard drive; price US$4499. Model 40 adds 40 MB hard drive; price US$4999. [1056.96]
  • The NeXTSTEP software is ready for the Next computer. [1359.76]
  • IBM signs a deal with NeXT to license the NeXTSTEP operating system, for US$10 million. [170.65] (1988 [618.310])
October 20

  • The AmiEXPO trade show for Amiga computers is held in Santa Clara, California, over three days. [448.21] [2012.11] [1176.89]
(month unknown)

  • NEC Home Electronics introduces the ProSpeed CSX portable computer. It features color LCD with 640×400 resolution in 16 colors, 16 MHz 80386SX processor, 42 MB hard drive, 2 MB RAM, 1.44 MB floppy drive, 18.5 pounds weight. Price is US$8499. This is the first commercial color LCD portable computer. [1064.49]
  • CompuAdd introduces the CompuAdd 316s computer. It features 16 MHz 80386SX processor, 5.25-inch floppy drive, 1 MB RAM. Price is US$1495. [1064.49]
  • Hyundai Electronics America introduces the Hyundai Super-386s computer. It features 16 MHz 80386SX processor, 5.25-inch floppy drive, 1 MB RAM. Price is US$1895. [1064.49]
  • Acer America introduces the Acer 1100/SX computer. It features 16 MHz 80386SX processor, 5.25-inch floppy drive, 1 MB RAM, VGA controller, mouse, Windows/386. Price is US$2195. [1064.49]
  • AST Research introduces the AST Premium 386SX/16 computer. It features 16 MHz 80386SX processor, 5.25-inch floppy drive, 1 MB RAM. Price is US$2695. [1064.49]
  • IBM introduces the IBM LaserPrinter laser printer. It features 10 page per minute print speed, 300 dpi resolution, 10 founts, 512 kB RAM, and emulation of HP PCL, IBM Proprinter, IBM Proprinter XL, IBM Quietwriter, IBM 7372 plotter, and HP 7475A plotter. Price is US$2595. [1064.50]
  • Microsoft releases the BASIC Professional Development System 7.0. [795.90]
  • Commodore Magazine folds. [1176.54]
  • Alps America introduces the LPX2020 LED printer. It features 300 dpi resolution, HP PCL emulation, 2 MB RAM, 34 fonts, National Semiconductor 32GX32 processor (rated at 15 MIPS). Price is US$7495. [1064.50]
  • Imprimis Technology introduces the Imprimis Elite 1.2 GB and 1.5 GB 5.25-inch hard drives. They feature 12 ms average access time, 5400 RPM. Prices are US$4-5000. [1064.50]
  • Microware Systems introduces the OS-9000 real-time operating system for systems based on Intel 386 and Motorola 680×0 processors. Price is US$995. [1064.79]
  • Opus Systems introduces the Portable Mainframe computer. It features 16 MHz 80386SX, 640×480 monochrome gas-plasma display, 2 MB RAM, 40 MB hard drive, 3 expansion slots, Opus Personal Mainframe coprocessor board with 20 MHz Motorola 88000 and 4 MB RAM. Weight is 22 pounds. It can run Unix or DOS. Price is US$13995. [1064.81]
  • Sharp Electronics introduces the Sharp PC-4641 portable computer. It features 10 MHz NEC V40 processor, 640 kB RAM, 40 MB hard drive, 720 kB 3.5-inch floppy drive, 640×400 CGA supertwist electroluminescent backlit LCD. Size is 12.1 x 13.7 x 3.2 inches, weight is 13.4 pounds, price is US$3595. Runs about 2.5 hours on batteries. [1064.177]
  • GRiD Systems introduces ther GRiD 140 XT portable computer. It features 8 MHz NEC V20 processor, 768 kB RAM, 20 MB hard drive, 720 kB floppy drive, 640×200 CGA supertwist electroluminescent backlit LCD. Size is 12.5 x 14.25 x 3.5 inches; weight is 12.8 pounds; price is US$2750. Nickel cadmium rechargeable batteries give power for 2-3 hours. This is the same computer as the Tandy 1400LT. [1064.177]
  • Integrated Information Technology announces the NP-3C87 math coprocessor, compatible with the Intel 80387 chip, and with extra instructions for 4×4 matrix multiplications and more internal registers. 1064.342]
  • At the Microprossor Forum, several conference speakers predict that processor clock speeds will not exceed about 50 MHz. [1056.17]
  • John Crawford, chief architect of the Intel 80486 processor, predicts that in 1999, Intel will release a processor incorporating 50 million transistors, and be 386 compatible. [1056.17]
  • Wang Laboratories introduces the PC 250/16 computer. It features a 16 MHz 80286 processor, 1 MB RAM, 3.5-inch floppy drive. Price is US$2095. [1056.49]
  • Wang Laboratories introduces the PC 280/20 computer. It features a 20 MHz 80286 processor, 1 MB RAM, 3.5-inch floppy drive. Price is US$2995. [1056.49]
  • Wang Laboratories introduces the PC 350/16S computer. It features a 16 MHz 80386SX processor, 1 MB RAM, 3.5-inch floppy drive. Price is US$2695. [1056.49]
  • Wang Laboratories introduces the MC 350/16S computer. It features a 16 MHz 80386SX processor, 2 MB RAM, 3.5-inch floppy drive, 16 bit VGA, 5 MCA slots. Price is US$2995. [1056.49]
November 13

  • COMDEX is held in Las Vegas, Nevada, over five days. [449.20] [1443.1]
  • At the fall COMDEX show, IBM strongly endorses Microsoft Windows for low end PCs, and Microsoft publicly endorses OS/2 as the future platform for higher-end PCs. IBM and Microsoft agree to jointly develop a consistent, full-range of systems software. [38] [45] [123] [389.29] [477.160] [1064.22] [1149.358]
  • IBM and Microsoft issue a joint statement that Microsoft would hold back features for Windows to help industry acceptance of OS/2. (This letter causes the Federal Trade Commission to begin an investigation of Microsoft for anticompetitive collusion.) [1149.373]

  • Software Publishing introduces the Superbase 4 database management software for Windows. [1049.132]
  • Weitek introduces the Weitek 4167 math coprocessor chip as an enhancement to Intel’s 486 CPU. [511.319]
  • WordPerfect ships WordPerfect 5.1 for US$500. [502.49] [1527.184]
  • Borland International releases the Quattro Pro 2.0 spreadsheet program. [453.4] [548.339]
  • Compaq Computer introduces its first server PC, the Compaq Systempro. This is also the first EISA PC. [113] [704.162]
November 30

  • In Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the World of Commodore trade show is held, over five days. [449.8]
(month unknown)

  • Quote from Steve Lapinski, vice president of marketing at Epson: “Our customers don’t expect us to be at the forefront of technology.”. [1064.17]
  • Borland International transfers its Turbo Basic product to Robert Zale, the original developer. [1064.18]
  • Intel begins production of the 80486 microprocessor. [477.126]
  • Apple Computer begins shipping the Macintosh Portable. [710.138] (spring 1988 [686.50])
  • GRiD Systems introduces the GRiDPad portable computer. It features 8 x 5 inch 640×400 pixel non-backlit LCD touch screen, five buttons, serial port, 10 MHz 80C86 processor, 1 MB RAM, MS-DOS 3.3 in ROM, metal stylus. Size is 12.5 x 9.25 x 1.5 inches; weight is 4.5 pounds; price is US$2370. [1058.131] [1056.94] [1955.61] (1990 [692.213])
December 14

  • Xerox files a US$150 million lawsuit challenging the validity of Apple Computer’s copyrights covering the Lisa and Macintosh computers’ graphical user interface. Xerox claims Apple Computer copied the Xerox Star system interface. [46] [75] [594.47] [734.43]

  • Microsoft ships Microsoft Word for Windows 1.0. [477.160] [1049.151] [1299.399] (November [1701.333]) (December 1988 [909.231])
  • Iris Associates ships the Notes software for Windows. [548.159] [1897.129]

  • Worldwide shipment of CD-ROM drives for the year: 236,000. [909.232]
  • Market share of PC spreadsheet software: Lotus 1-2-3 54%, Microsoft Excel 12.6%, Quattro 3%. [527.59]
  • Market share of desktop operating systems, based on worldwide shipments: OS/2 less than 1%, MS-DOS 66%. [1149.359]
  • Current installed base of personal computers in the US: 50 million. [1897.129]
  • Percent of US homes with personal computers: 24.0%. [214]
  • Unit shipments of personal computers during the year: about 22 million. [1199.60]


End of 1989. Next: 1990.

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:

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