Chronology of Personal Computers (1992)




  • Microsoft stock reaches US$113/share, making Bill Gates the richest man in the United States, at US$6.4 billion. [772.32] (US$114 [1149.410])
  • The Federal Trade Commission gives IBM and Apple Computer approval to proceed with co-establishing the Taligent and Kaleida companies. [1294.36]
January 8

  • IBM announces price reductions of 10-16% on PS/2 systems. [1297.D4]
  • IBM begins shipping a 386SX upgrade for the PS/2 Model 57SX, giving it up to 88% faster performance. [1297.D4]
January 9

  • At the Winter Consumer Electronics Show, Apple Computer chairman John Sculley coins the term Personal Digital Assistant, referring to handheld computers that typically operate via a stylus on a LCD display. Sculley announces that Apple will enter the consumer-electronics market by the end of the year. [1300.D4] [1809.67] [1810.49]

  • Adobe Systems introduces the Adobe Illustrator 4.0 paint program for Windows. Price is US$695. [1049.133] [1093.264]
  • Ventura Software releases Ventura Publisher 4.0 desktop publishing software for Windows. Price is US$795. [1049.133]
  • Symantec introduces the Norton AntiVirus 2.0 software for DOS and Windows. Price is US$129. [1049.148]
  • Logitech releases the updated ScanMan Model 256 8-bit grayscale hand-held scanner with FotoTouch software for Windows. Price is US$449. [1049.142]
  • Frame Technology introduces the FrameMaker 3.0 desktop publishing software for Windows. Price is US$795. [1049.132]
  • NEC introduces the first double-speed CD-ROM drive. [687.37] [1515.32] (Sony [909.236])
  • Microsoft releases the Windows Style Guide. [688.99]
  • Microsoft hosts the Windows NT developers conference. [1059.28]
  • Microsoft hosts a User Interface Design Preview, to solicit input on the Windows interface from Windows application developers. [688.99]
  • Chips and Technologies withdraws its M/PAX multiprocessor chip set from the market, due to lack of interest from systems makers. [659.5]
January 22

  • At the first NeXTWORLD Expo, held in San Francisco, Steve Jobs announces that a version of the NeXTSTEP operating system will be made for Intel-based personal computers. Jobs also announces Turbo versions of NeXTstation, NeXTstation Color, NeXTcube with 33-MHz 68040, NEXTSTEP 3.0 OS. [206.289] [734.319] [2605.212]
(month unknown)

  • At Microsoft, Bill Gates fires Michael Hallman as president of the company. [1149.418]
  • Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Deskpro 486/50L computer. It features 8 MB RAM, 120 MB IDE hard drive, 50 MHz 486, 256 kB cache, seven EISA slots, 1.2 MB disk drive, 1.44 MB disk drive, 512 kB VGA. Price is US$11,299. [1067.255]
  • Outbound Systems ships the Outbound Notebook System 2030E. It features a 25 MHz 68030, 40-120 MB hard drive, floppy drive, 4 MB RAM, and weighs 6.25 pounds. Prices start at US$3300. [422.113]
  • Outbound Systems ships the Outbound Notebook System 2030S. It features a 33 MHz 68030, 40-120 MB hard drive, floppy drive, 4 MB RAM, and weighs 6.25 pounds. Prices start at US$3900. [422.113]
  • IBM introduces the Limited Availability release of OS/2 2.0. [1067.301]

  • Novell Vice President of Strategic Marketing Darrell Miller meets with Apple software managers to propose porting the Mac OS to run on Intel machines. [2605.227]
  • Dell Computer cuts computer prices by up to 38%. [1572.130]
  • Microsoft introduces the Microsoft C/C++ Development System 7.0 for Windows. Price is US$499. [1049.139] [1093.273]
  • Lotus Development introduces Lotus Write 2.0 for Windows. Price is US$199. [1049.150]
  • IBM introduces the PS/2 Model 56 SLC. [1312]
  • IBM introduces the PS/2 Model 57 SLC. [1312]
  • The PCMCIA approves an amendment to PCMCIA release 2.0, defining a Type III 10.5-mm card slot. [1057.45]
  • Claris releases the Claris Hollywood 1.0 v2 presentation software for Windows. Price is US$499. [1049.145]
  • Aldus releases the Aldus Persuasion 2.1 presentation software for Windows. Price is US$495. [1049.144]
  • Advanced Micro Devices announces plans to enter the 486 processor market later in the year. Products pre-announced are 5.0 volt Am486DX and Am486SX, and 3.3 volt Am486DXLV and Am486SXLV. [660.5]
  • Advanced Micro Devices announces the availability of the 40 MHz Am386DX processor, for US$114 in 1000 unit quantities. [660.5]
  • Advanced Micro Devices announces the 33 MHz Am386SX processor, priced at US$76 in 1000 unit quantities. [660.5]
  • Intel announces the 25 MHz 386SX processor, for US$82.50 in 1000 unit quantities. [660.5]
  • Intel sues Chips and Technologies for patent infringement, regarding Chips and Technologies’ Super386 and SuperMath chips. [735.11] [1067.28]
  • Five years of arbitration with Intel ends, with Advanced Micro Devices being awarded full rights to produce and sell its Am386 line of processors. Advanced Micro Devices is also awarded US$15 million in damages, though it had asked for US$2.2 billion. [141] [735.7] [1067.28]
  • The PowerOpen Association is formed, with the goal of producing specifications for an open software/hardware platform that can run all UNIX, DOS/Windows (via emulation), and Macintosh applications. [205.308]
  • Intel announces 3.3 volt versions of the 486SX processor. [736.5] [751.5]
February (month)

  • Top selling MS-DOS computer game in the USA during the month: Star Trek: 25th Anniversary. [2313.66]
  • Top selling Amiga computer game in the USA during the month: Team Suzuki. [2313.66]
  • Top selling Macintosh computer game in the USA during the month: Flight Simulator. [2313.66]
(month unknown)

  • Toshiba America Information Systems introduces the T4400 SXC portable computer. It features 8.5-inch 640×480 thin-film-transistor active matrix color LCD, 25 MHz 486SX processor, 120 MB hard drive, 1.44 MB floppy drive, ZIF socket for 486DX processor. Size is 11.75 x 8.33 x 2.33 inches, weight is 7.75 pounds, price is US$7999. Runs for about 3 hours on nickel-cadmium battery pack. [1067.42]
  • Addison-Wesley publishes the book Accidental Empires by Robert X. Cringely. The book is a history of the personal computer industry. [735.28]
March 6

  • The computer virus Michelangelo is activated on PCs. [1260.193] [1502.11] [1897.130]

  • Berkeley Systems releases the After Dark 2.0 screen saver software for Windows. Price is US$49.95. [1049.136]
  • Aldus releases the Aldus FreeHand 3.1 paint program for Windows. Price is US$595. [1049.133]
  • Hewlett-Packard releases the NewWave 4.0 software for Windows. [1049.148]
  • IBM introduces the PS/2 Model 35 SX-4B1 and PS/2 Model 35 SX-4B2. Both use 386SX processors. [1312]
  • IBM introduces the PS/2 Model CL57SX, IBM’s first color laptop computer. [1312]
  • Intuit releases the Quicken for Windows 1.01 personal accounting software. Price is US$69.95. [1049.142]
  • Peachtree Software releases the Peachtree Accounting for Windows 5.0 software. Price is US$99. [1049.142]
  • Motorola cancels plans for a 68050 processor, to concentrate work on products that were to follow the 68050, including the “Q” project (likely to emerge as the 68060), and a LP040, a low-power 68040 processor. [735.5]
  • Intel introduces the i486DX2 microprocessor, with clock speeds of 25/50 MHz (external/internal). For the most part, the DX2 acts like a 25 MHz 486 that internally runs twice as fast. Price is US$550 each in quantities of 1000. Performance is 41 MIPS, 25.4 SPECint89, and 15.9 SPECfp89. Code-name during development was P24. [152] [177.103] [477.128] [540.64] [62] [661.19] [879.117] [955.4]
  • Microsoft and Intel announce Digital Video Media Control Interface (DVMCI). [768.32]
  • Apple Computer introduces the CD150 CD drive, replacing the AppleCD SC Plus. [423.144]
  • Microsoft launches its first TV advertising campaign, for Windows. [123]
  • Microsoft buys Fox Software for 1.36 million shares of Microsoft’s common stock, valued at US$175 million. [123] [389.29] [708.47] [494.6] [1058.32] [1299.436]
  • Apple Computer and IBM found Taligent, to work on a platform-independent operating system. [206.289] [400.6] (1991 October [205.95] [399.32] [431.87])
  • AutoDesk introduces AutoCAD Release 11 for Windows. Price is US$3500. [1049.129]
  • Intel and Microsoft announce the Advanced Power Management (APM) specification for laptop computers, which allows the system to shut down power to system resources not currently in use. [477.126]
  • Linus Torvalds changes the version of his Unix-like operating system (Linux) from v0.13 to v0.95, and releases it. [1648.50]
  • The CeBIT trade show is held in Hannover, Germany. [1057.25] [1067.10]
  • At the CeBIT trade show, NuTek Computers demonstrates a Macintosh-compatible system board with a 68030 processor. The system runs a Motif-based operating system. [1057.25] [1067.10]
  • Quarterdeck Office Systems ships the DESQview/X 32-bit operating system, capable of running X Windows programs on a 386. [477.165] [1057.25] (April [1057.32])
  • Apple Computer announces the Macintosh LC II, replacing the Macintosh LC in the US. The LC II uses a 16 MHz Motorola 68030, and comes with 4 MB RAM, 256 kB video RAM, and a 40 MB hard drive, for US$1700. With 512 kB video RAM, and an 80 MB hard drive, the price is US$2050. [46] [75] [418.137] [1057.45]
March 27

  • Microsoft releases the Microsoft Excel 4.0 software for Windows in the US. Price is US$495. [1049.147] [1058.40] [1701.220,337]

  • Three-month Advanced Micro Devices shipments of 386 processors: 2 million. [737.3]
(month unknown)

  • MiniStor Peripherals introduces the Portables series of 1.8-inch diameter platter hard drives, for use in notebook computers. A 32 MB model fits in a PCMCIA Type III slot. Price is US$425 for engineering samples. [1057.32]

  • IBM ships the OS/2 2.0 operating system. It requires an Intel 386 processor, 4 MB RAM, and adds WIN-OS/2 3.0 for Windows 3.0 compatibility. Code-name during development was Cruiser. [477.165] [479.128] [606.81] [688.44,688.107] [734.347] [858.71] [1299.383] [1572.28] (March [1057.32] [1639.116])
April 6

  • COMDEX/Spring ’92 is held, in Chicago, Illinois. [1038.121] [1057.48]
  • At the Comdex / Windows World conference, Microsoft unveils Windows 3.1, including scalable TrueType fonts. The software comprises over 3 million lines of code. (One million copies of the new and upgrade versions are sold through retail channels within the first 50 days.) [75] [123] [388.6] [477.165] [479.128] [620.131] [688.44] [909.232] [1057.32] [1271.36] [1299.437] [1629.34] [1639.116] [1886.69] [1897.130] (May [509.177] [534.130] [721.156])

  • At Spring COMDEX, Toshiba demonstrates its 2.88 MB 3.5-inch disk drive, compatible with existing 1.44 MB disks. [1095.302]
April 14

  • US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker makes a ruling in the Apple Computer versus Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard lawsuit, stating that most of the elements in Apple Computer’s suit were covered by Apple Computer’s agreement with Microsoft, or were not copyrightable. [712.51] [759.34] [1058.28] [1299.438] [2605.173]

  • Microsoft releases the Microsoft SDK for Windows 3.1. Price is US$349. [1049.133]
  • Lotus Development releases Lotus 1-2-3 for Windows 1.1. Price is US$595. [1049.147]
  • Sinclair Research ceases production of the ZX Spectrum computer. [1447.33]
  • Go releases its PenPoint operating system for mobile pen-based computers. [1057.45] [1093.159]
  • Microsoft ships Windows for Pen Computing operating system. [1093.159] [1897.130]
  • Cyrix introduces the 25 MHz Cx486SLC microprocessor. It features an internal 32-bit data path (with 486 integer instruction set), but with a 16-bit external data path (386SX interface). It includes a 1 kB cache, but no coprocessor. It uses 0.8 micron CMOS technology, incorporating 600,000 transistors. Price is US$119 each in quantities of 1000. [477.129] [402.65] [540.64] [736.1] [1067.37] (March [759.251])
  • Microsoft releases PowerPoint 3.0 presentation software for Windows. Price is US$495. [1049.145] [1093.264]
  • Apple Computer releases the A/UX v3.0 operating system. It combines System 7.0 with AT&T;’s UNIX System V release 2 version 2, and BSD Unix 4.3 enhancements, and X Window System (X11 2.1.1 and MacX). [712.221] [1093.283]
  • US market share of word processor software: WordPerfect 71%. [1059.86]
  • In Boston, Massachussettes, Microsoft and Digital Equipment announce Windows NT for computers based on the 64-bit Alpha processor. [1299.438]
  • Microsoft ships the French and German versions of Microsoft Excel 4.0 software for Windows. [1701.283]
April 30

  • In the first four months of the year, Microsoft has shipped 10 million copies of Windows 3.0. [606.141] [1057.155]
April (month)

  • Top selling IBM PC computer game in the UK during the month: Eye of the Beholder. [2581.23] (\iUltima VII\i [2653.24])
(month unknown)

  • Epson discontinues the NB-SL/25C color notebook computer due to problems with producing the metal-insulator-metal LCD screen. [1058.32]
  • Compaq Computer introduces the Deskpro/I computer line. [1058.63]
  • Apple Computer and Sharp announce an agreement to co-develop a personal digital assistant, based on Apple’s software and Sharp’s hardware. [420.125]
  • Mark Williams sells the 40,000th copy of the Coherent 3.2 Unix-compatible operating system. [1058.32]
  • Mark Williams announces the 32-bit Coherent 4.0 Unix-compatible operating system for Intel 386/486 systems. Price is US$99.95. The system will allow direct running of Unix COFF binaries. [1058.32]
  • Computer Associates announces it will acquire the Nantucket company. [1058.32]
  • Hewlett-Packard announces the 21.4 MB 1.3-inch diameter Kittyhawk hard drive. Drive size is 2 x 1.4 x 0.4 inches. Price is US$210 in 1000 unit quantities. [1058.32,132]
  • Compaq Computer resigns from the ACE initiative. [820.14] [737.5]
  • The Santa Cruz Operation withdraws support from the ACE initiatice. [737.5]
  • Dell Computer introduces the 320SLi portable computer. It features 20 MHz 386SL processor, 2.5-inch diameter 60 MB hard drive, up to 10 MB RAM, 85 key keyboard, 9.5-inch VGA grayscale LCD screen, one PCMCIA 2.0 socket, external 3.5-inch floppy drive. Size is 7.75 x 11 x 1.25 inches; weight is 3.5 pounds; price is US$2199. The systems runs for about 3 hours on batteries. [1058.136]
  • Gateway 2000 introduces the Handbook portable computer. It features a Chips & Technologies PC/Chip processor, 78 key keyboard, 7.6-inch diagonal CGA LCD screen, 2.5-inch diameter 40 MB hard drive, up to 3 MB RAM. Size is 5.9 x 9.8 x 1.4 inches; price is US$1295. The system can run for about 4 hours on batteries. [1058.136]

  • The game Wolfenstein 3-D is released for personal computers. [2288.28]
  • WordPerfect releases the WordPerfect 5.1 word processor for Windows. Price is US$495. [1049.151]
  • Corel releases the CorelDraw 3.0 drawing software for Windows. Price is US$595. [742.281] (June [1049.133])
  • AutoDesk ships AutoCAD Release 11 for the Macintosh. [632.178]
  • Apple Computer introduces the 33 MHz 68040-based Macintosh Quadra 950 (replacing the Quadra 900). It includes 8 MB of RAM, 230/400 MB hard drive options, and 24-bit video supporting 19-inch color monitors. Prices range from US$7200-9200. [46] [75] [420.149] [759.241]
  • Sun Microcomputers’ Sunsoft division introduces the Solaris 2.0 operating system for Intel-based PCs. [174.13]
  • The Business Applications Performance Corporation (BAPCo) announces its first benchmark suite, for x86 processor-based microcomputers. The suite costs US$795. [738.5]
  • Intel produces the first test Pentium processor. [1100]
May 22

  • California Superior Court confirms the arbitror’s ruling in the arbitration between Intel and AMD. [751.5]

  • Microsoft ships the Spanish version of Microsoft Excel 4.0 software for Windows. [1701.284]
May 29

  • At the Spring Consumer Electronics Show, Apple Computer announces the Newton pen input device. Features include: multitasking NewtOS operating system, ARM 610 processor, one PCMCIA 2.0 card slot, 7 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch size, 3 x 6 inch screen, and weight of under one pound. [421.129] [1058.63] [2605.192]
(month unknown)

  • Intel announces availability of the 3.3 volt 386SL processor. Pricing is US$102 for 20 MHz with cache, US$84 without cache, and US$60 for 10 MHz without cache. [751.5]

  • Motorola begins volume shipments of the 33 MHz 68040 processor. A 40 MHz version is scheduled to ship in September. [338]
  • In Taiwan, the Computex show is held, with 150 exhibitors. [1093.44]
  • Borland International releases the Turbo Pascal for Windows 1.5 software development package. Price is US$149.95. [1049.140]
  • Borland International releases the Turbo C++ for Windows 3.1 software development package. Price is US$149.95. [1049.140]
  • Borland International releases the Borland C++ Application Frameworks 3.1 software development package for Windows. Price is US$749. [1049.139]
  • Borland International releases the Borland C++ 3.1 programming language system for Windows. Price is US$495. [1049.139]
  • Compaq Computer introduces the ProLinea computer line. [1058.63] [1572.130]
  • WordStar International releases WordStar for Windows 1.5. Price is US$119. [1049.151]
  • Cyrix introduces the Cx486DLC microprocessor. It is a 32-bit bus version of the Cx486SLC, pin-compatible with the Intel 386DX. It incorporates a 1 kB cache, and incorporates 600,000 transistors. Price for 25 MHz is US$99, 33 MHz is US$119; 40 MHz is US$159. [477.129] [540.64] [751.1]
  • The ISO 10646 standard is passed by member countries, providing a standard 32-bit character set of all known characters and symbols. [770.93]
  • Logitech announces the ScanMan Color, a hand-held 24-bit 400 dpi color scanner, for US$699. [759.62]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Excel 4.0 for the Macintosh. This is the first major application to support AppleScript. [706.42] [754.18]
  • Intel introduces the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) local-bus standard for personal computer systems. Bus speed is 8-33 MHz, supporting up to 10 devices. [545.359] [551.197] [752.7] [477.102] [750.177] [965]
  • The PCI Special Interest Group assumes control of PCI, making it an open industry standard. [750.177]
  • A jury rules that Advanced Micro Devices cannot use Intel microcode used in the Intel 80287 for AMD’s 287. [752.1] [965]
  • Mass Microsystems begins shipping its FloptiPak 21 21 MB Floptical drive for the Macintosh. Price is US$700. [423.117]
  • Creative Labs introduces the Sound Blaster 16 with Advanced Signal Processor, a 16-bit stereo PC sound card. [221] [1897.130]
  • IBM and Microsoft sign a “divorce” document, formally ending their cooperation on operating systems development. IBM claims no rights to Windows NT, can use Windows source code until September 1993, and will pay Microsoft a royalty for each copy of OS/2 sold. Microsoft pays a lump sum of US$25-30 million for the use of IBM patents. [68] [1299.438]
June 22

  • US President George Bush presents Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates with the National Medal of Technology. [123] [1299.440]

  • The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) announces a local-bus standard for personal computer systems. Bus speed to the processor is defined between 32-66 MHz, supplying 2-3 devices. [752.7]
(month unknown)

  • IBM introduces the PS/2 Ultimedia Model M57SLC computer. It features 20 MHz IBM 386SLC processor, VGA, six MCA slots, XGA video adapter, M-Audio audio board, 3.5-inch 2.88 MB floppy drive, 600 MB SCSI CD-ROM drive, 4 MB RAM, 160 MB SCSI hard drive. Price is US$5995. Optional 15-inch 8515 color monitor is US$950. [1093.269]
  • Northgate Computer and Everex Systems cancel plans to merge companies. [1093.26]
  • IBM introduces the 486SLC processor. [606.64]
  • Intel ships the OverDrive processor. Prices for 16 MHz and 20 MHz systems: US$549; for 25 MHz systems: US$699. [751.7]
  • AutoDesk releases AutoCAD Release 12 for DOS. Price is US$3750. [1093.46]
  • Acorn Computers introduces the Acorn A4 notebook computer. It features 2 MB RAM, 2 MB floppy drive, RISC OS v3.0 in 2 MB ROM, edgelit VGA 640×480 LCD screen, 3 button mouse, 12 MHz ARM3 RISC processor, optional PC Emulator for DOS. Weight is 6.7 pounds; price is US$2675. The system operates for about 2.5-3.5 hours on rechargeable nickel-cadmium battery pack. [1093.72]
  • Olivetti Italy introduces the Olivetti Quaderno notebook computer. It features 20 MB hard drive, 7-inch 640×400 LCD screen, 16 MHz NEC V30HL processor, 1 MB RAM, DOS 5.0. Weight is 2.25 pounds; size is 8 x 5 x 1 inches; price is about US$1300. The system runs for about 10 hours on rechargeable nickel-cadmium battery pack. [1093.70]
  • IBM’s Individual Computer Products International introduces IBM Ambra personal computers in Europe, based on Advanced Micro Devices and Intel processors. Prices range from US$1600 to US$2700. [1093.26]
  • SCSI-s is adopted as a standard. [1158.247]
  • Microsoft ships the Windows Sound System. [909.238]
  • Nolan Bushnell, chairman of Octus, quote: “Within three years, televisions will have either a Windows or Mac interface.”. [1049.16]
  • Quote from Robert X. Cringely: “If IBM is God in the PC universe then Bill Gates is the pope.”. [618.228]
  • Fortune magazine inducts Steve Jobs into its National Business Hall of Fame. [734.344]
  • To date, one million copies of OS/2 2.0 have been sold. [606.81] [1572.28]
  • Canon introduces Canon CJ10 combination 400 dpi color printer, scanner, and copier. Price is US$10,295. [770.44]


End of 1992 January-June. Next: 1992 July.

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