Chronology of Personal Computers (1998)




  • The Macworld EXPO trade show is held. [1137.34]
January 8

  • The International Consumer Electronics Show is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. [947.148] [1000.1] [1138.37]

  • At the CES, Intel announces plans for Connected Car PC, featuring a dashboard unit and a passenger unit, allowing drivers access to traffic reports, directions, news, etc. The passenger unit would allow web browsing, games, video, email, etc. Cost is expected to be US$1000-2500, available in 1999. [946.19] [1138.37]
  • At the Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft announces the Palm PC handheld computer, running Windows CE 2.0. Code-name during development was Gryphon. [1158.28]
  • At the Macworld Expo, Microsoft unveils the final version of the Internet Explorer 4.0 web browser for the Mac OS. It is available for free. [1137.34]
January 9

  • New Line Cinema releases the film Wag the Dog to theaters in the USA. An Apple PowerBook Duo 280c laptop computer appears in a close-up. [2569]

  • Compaq Computer announces its intent to buy Digital Equipment for US$9.6 billion. [757.6] [787.30] [942.112] [947.35] (February 27 [1502.11] (US$8.5 billion [872.6])
  • Eklektix begins electronic (web) publishing of Linux Weekly News. [774]
  • IBM announces the 275 MHz PowerPC 750 processor. [1445.32]
  • Desktop PCs sold in US with Intel processor: 70%. [891.14]
January 22

  • Microsoft reaches a deal with the US Department of Justice, in which Microsoft will hide the Internet Explorer icon on Windows 95. [755.87]
January 26

  • Intel releases the 333 MHz Pentium II processor with MMX instructions, with a 66 MHz bus. It incorporates 0.25 micron CMOS manufacturing process. It is packaged in a Single Edge Contact cartridge for the Slot 1 interface. It contains 512 kB of Level 2 cache, operating at 167 MHz. Code-name during development was Deschutes. Price is US$722 in 1000 chip quantities. [29.24] [798.29] [946.54]
January 27

  • Apple Computer shifts development and distribution of ClarisWorks from Claris back to Apple, and renames it AppleWorks. Claris is renamed FileMaker, with primary focus the FileMaker Pro software. 30 Claris employees are laid off. [1559] [1590.23] [2605.159,293] (February [1886.71])
January 29

  • An auction is held for Power Computing assets. [2605.257]
(month unknown)

  • Intel announces MMX2, with 70 new processor instructions that perform one operation simultaneously on multiple floating point data items. [952.46]
  • To date, about 500,000 Windows CE devices have been shipped. [1444.46]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition for MacOS 8.0. Price is US$499, or US$299 for upgrade. [1132.29]
  • Cyrix renames the 6x86MX processor as the MII. [1233.136]
  • The Federal Trade Commission allows Intel to proceed with its acquisition of Chips & Technologies. [11.14]
February 6

  • International Telecommunications Union of modem vendors agree on v.90 as a common 56 kbps transmission standard. [940.60] [937.51] [1626.48] [1630.91]

  • Apple Computer releases QuickTime 3.0 for the Macintosh. [1590]
  • Intel introduces the Intel 740 3-D graphics accelerator chip. [1158.30]
  • Opera Software releases the Opera v3.1 web browser. [932]
  • IBM announces new PowerPC 750 processors created using a 0.20-micron process. [1445.32]
  • Sony announces it will introduce a PDA in Japan by the end of the year. It will feature: ARM7T 32-bit RISC processor, 2 kB SRAM, 128 kB Flash RAM on PlayStation memory card, 32×32 dot monochrome LCD display, 4-bit PCM sound, five button controls, infrared communications. Price will be about US$20-30. [1540.26]
February 15

  • The Fox Broadcasting Company airs The Simpsons TV show in the US.
    • An issue of “WIRED” magazine shows a desktop computer on the cover.
    • A personal computer is used to access the Internet over 28.8kbps modem.
    • Bill Gates appears, offering to buy out a competing Internet company. Instead of actually buying the company, two of his goons trash the office.
February 22

  • The Fox Broadcasting Company airs The Simpsons TV show in the US. A laptop computer is shown, with a wireless Internet connection. [1924]
February 27

  • Netscape makes source code for Netscape Communicator 5.0 browser available for free download on the Internet. [1502.11] (January [798.9])
  • Apple Computer ceases development of its Newton operating system and Newton OS-based products. [768.6] [1886.71] [2605.202,293]
(month unknown)

  • Sales of Apple Computer’s MacOS 8 to date: over 2 million. [1158.9]
  • Apple Computer reduces the price of the 20th Anniversary Macintosh to US$3999 to sell out remaining units. [1589.24]
  • Toshiba America Information Systems introduces the Toshiba Libretto 100CT portable personal computer. It features 7.1-inch diagonal active-matrix 16-color 800×400 pixel display, 166 MHz Pentium MMX processor, 32 kB Level 1 cache, 2 GB hard drive, 32 MB RAM, one Type II PC Card slot, 80-key keyboard, Windows 95. Size is 1.4 x 8.3 x 5.2 inches; weight is 2.4 pounds; price is about US$2500. [1124.56]
  • Corel releases Service Pack 3 for Corel WordPerfect Suite 8. [1124.79]
  • Toshiba America Information Systems introduces the Equium 7000S slimline desktop PC, designed to reduce maintenance costs and ease serviceability. [1124.52]
  • Apple Computer releases the MacOS 8.1 operating system. [1158.9]
March 13

  • JTS sells Atari assets to Hasbro Interactive subsidiary HIACXI for $5 million. [2605.5] (1999 [2636.xvi])

  • Apple Computer and Microsoft announces they will merge their two Java implementations into one Mac OS Runtime for Java. [1589.83] [1598]
  • In New York City, New York, the Seybold conference is held. Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs unveils the 300 MHz Power Macintosh G3, demonstrates a 400 MHz G3 processor with copper wiring, and 15.1-inch Apple Studio Display desktop LCD screen. [1591.25]
  • Be ships the first PC version of BeOS, Release 3. [1427.57] [1559] [1897.131]
March 18

  • Fiji issues a 63-cent postage stamp depicting a personal computer. [2405.1092]
March 22

  • The Fox Broadcasting Company airs The Simpsons TV show in the US. A personal computer (system unit, CRT monitor, keyboard) appears, with all glass sides showing the insides. [1925]

  • Handheld computer market share: 3Com (Palm) 59%, Sharp 17%, HP 13%. [839.28]
March 31

  • Blizzard releases the StarCraft game for personal computers in the US. [2530.50] [2601.99]
  • Shipments of personal computers in Japan during the past twelve months: 6.85 million. [1559]
March (month)

  • Top-selling computer game in the US for the month: Starcraft. [2496.116]

  • Handheld operating system market share from January to March: Palm OS 67%, Windows CE 18%. [1444.147]
  • Shipments of personal computers in Western Europe during January to march: 1.2 million. [1559]
(month unknown)

  • Everex Systems releases the Everex Freestyle Executive A-20 handheld computer. It features stylus, four front and nine side buttons, 8 MB RAM, 8 MB ROM, Windows CE, 3.1 x 2.4 inch 320×240 pixel backlit LCD display, microphone, serial and infrared ports, one CompactFlash slot, 33.6 kbps modem. Price is US$499; size is 4.7 x 3.1 x 0.6 inches; weight is 5.9 ounces. It operates for about 10 hours on AAA rechargeable batteries. [1195.202]
  • Philips Mobile Computing Group releases the Philips Nino 300 handheld computer. It features stylus, six side buttons, 4 MB ROM, 4 MB RAM, Windows CE, 3.0 x 2.2 inch 320×240 pixel backlit LCD display, microphone, speaker, serial and infrared ports, 19.2 kbps modem, one CompactFlash slot. Price is US$399; size is 5.5 x 3.4 x 0.8 inches; weight is 7.3 ounces. It operates for about ten hours on two rechargeable batteries. [1195.202]
April 2

  • Intel introduces the Mobile Pentium II processor, in speeds of 233 and 266 MHz. It features 66 MHz memory bus, and a bus to the Level 2 cache at half the processor clock speed. Code-name during development was Mobile Deschutes. [1110.45] [1639.142]

  • Intel releases the 350 and 400 MHz Pentium II processors, with 100 MHz memory bus interface. They incorporate 7.5 million transistors in 0.25 micron process. The 400 MHz version performs at 832 MIPS. [798.29] [839.9] [940.106] [943] [1124.35] [1233.131]
  • 3Com introduces the Palm III handheld computer. It features Palm OS 3.0, 2 MB RAM, 2 MB ROM, infrared port, 2.4 x 2.4 inch 160 x 160 pixel backlit LCD monochrome touch-screen display, serial port, stylus, six buttons. Size is 4.7 x 3.2 x 0.7 inches; weight is 5.7 ounces; price is US$399. [1815.61] [1816.50] [1195.202] [2605.199]
  • IBM launches the ThinkPad 600 portable computer. It features a titanium case. [1559]
  • Opera Software releases the Opera v3.21 web browser. [932]
April 15

  • Intel announces the 266 MHz Celeron processor with 32 kB Level 1 cache. The Celeron is a Pentium II processor with no secondary cache. Name of the processor was chosen with help from Lexicon Branding, Inc. Code-name during development was Covington. [843.30] [942.57] [974.105] [1110.9] [1124.107] [1639.28]
April 20

  • The COMDEX Spring ’98 and Windows World shows are held, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois, over four days. [1137.103]
  • At a public demonstration of Windows 98, Bill Gates crashes the operating system. [929.48]
April 26

  • The Fox Broadcasting Company airs The Simpsons TV show in the US. Homer Simpson appears unexpectedly on a multi-monitor jumbo screen, much like Bill Gates appearing on the jumbo screen at the Macworld Expo in August 1997. [1961]
April 30

  • The Republic of China issues a postage stamp for the 70th anniversary of copyright law, showing a personal computer. [2405.295]
(month unknown)

  • Casio releases the Cassiopeia E-10 handheld computer. It features stylus, four front and three side buttons, 8 MB ROM, 4 MB RAM, NEC VR4111 MIPS RISC processor, Compact Flash slot, Windows CE 2.0, grayscale 3.1 x 2.4 inch 320 x 240 pixel backlit LCD touchscreen display, microphone, speaker, serial and infrared ports, one CompactFlash slot. Price is US$399; size is 4.8 x 3.2 x 0.8 inches; weight is 6.6 ounces. Two AAA batteries power the unit for 10-25 hours. [1816.48] [1195.202] [1817.79] [1427.80]
May 6

  • At the Flint Center Theater, Steve Jobs introduces the Apple Computer iMac computer. It features 233 MHz PowerPC G3 processor, 512 kB backside cache, 32 MB RAM, 4 GB EIDE hard disk, ATI Rage IIc with 2 MB SGRAM video, 15-inch built-in monitor, 66 MHz PCI system bus, 10/100 BaseT Ethernet, IrDA infrared port, 33.6 kbps modem, two USB ports, 24X CD-ROM drive, and Bondi Blue case. Price is US$1299. (About 6 million are sold in the next four years.) [755.9] [762] [851.24] [1105.103] [1205.35] [1248.17] [1417.142] [2605.295]
  • Apple Computer introduces the Macintosh PowerBook G3 portable computer. It features 233 to 292 MHz PowerPC 750 processor, 12.3-14.1-inch TFT display, 0-1 MB Level 2 cache, 32-192 MB SDRAM, 2-4 MB SGRAM video memory, 2-8 GB IDE hard drive, 20X CD-ROM drive, floppy drive, 10Base-T Ethernet, ATI Rage LT video controller, 16 bit stereo sound, 32-bit CardBus interface, external VGA output. Size if 12.7 x 10.4 x 2 inches; weight is about 7 pounds. The system runs for about three hours on lithium-ion batteries. Systems are custom built to customer specifications. This is the first Apple computer with new solid-colored Apple logo. [1102.107] [2605.12]
May 11

  • Apple Computer announces that 1 million copies of QuickTime 3.0 have been downloaded from its Web site. [1598.26]
May 12

  • Microsoft receives a stay of the December 1997 court order, allowing Windows 98 to ship including Internet Explorer 4. [765.17] [1462.94]

  • At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple Computer announces it has licensed Symantec’s just-in-time Java compiler for integration into the Mac OS Runtime for Java. Apple also announces a new operating strategy, combining work on Rhapsody with the current Mac OS, under new name Mac OS X. [755.9] [1559] [1598] [1880.20] [1886.71] [1918.45]
  • Advanced Micro Devices launches the 300 MHz AMD K6 processor with 3DNow technology and 100 MHz bus. [940.106]
  • IDT releases the WinChip 2 processor, with 3DNow multimedia technology. [1195.44]
  • Microsoft ships Windows 98 to OEMs. [756.12]
May 18

  • The US Department of Justice and twenty state attorneys general file a lawsuit against Microsoft, charging the company with violations of the Sherman Act: exclusive dealing and unlawful tying, monopoly maintenance in the operating system market, and attempted monopoly of the browser market. The suit seeks a preliminary injunction for Microsoft either to offer Windows 98 without Internet Explorer, or bundle Netscape Navigator as well. [765] [784.31] [945.62] [1014.1] [1462.94] [1564.285] [1559] [1627.5] [1630.104] [1711.2] [1897.131] (May 21 [929.48])
May 22

  • GT Interactive releases the Unreal game for personal computers in the USA. [2530.50] (released by Epic Games [2601.99])
May 26

  • Advanced Micro Devices releases the K6-2 processor, featuring 266, 300, or 333 MHz speed, 100 MHz bus and cache, 3DNow! instructions, and incorporating 9.3 million transistors. [974.105] [1233.133] [1639.28] (June [2228.48])
(month unknown)

  • Hewlett-Packard releases the HP 660LX handheld computer. It features Windows CE 2.0, 32 MB RAM, 56 kbps PC Card modem, 640×240 pixel 6.4-inch diagonal 256-color display, docking station75 MHz RISC processor, 10 MB ROM, CompactFlash slot, Type II PC Card slot. The lithium-ion battery powers the unit for 5-6 hours. Price is about US$1000, weight is 21.2 ounces, size is 1.4 x 7.8 x 4.1 inches. [1639.56]
  • For a short time in the spring, Microsoft calls all small Windows CE devices PalmPC computers. [1169.148]
  • 3Com begins shipping the Palm III handheld computer. The Palm III features 2 MB RAM, two AAA batteries allowing use for 6-8 weeks. Weight is about 6 ounces. Price is US$399. [942.76] [1110.56]
  • Sharp Electronics releases the Mobilon HC-4500 handheld computer. It features 640×240 pixel 256-color 6.5-inch diagonal screen; 75 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM, 16 MB ROM, 33.6 kbps modem, NiMH rechargeable battery, PC Card slot, Windows CE 2.0. Size is 3.8 x 7.3 x 1.2 inches; weight is 17.6 ounces. [1186.59]
  • Compaq Computer releases the C-Series 2015C handheld computer. It features 6.5-inch diagonal 256-color 640×240 pixel screen, 65 MHz processor, 20 MB RAM, 16 MB ROM, 33 kbps modem, PC Card slot, NiMH battery, Windows CE 2.0. Size is 3.93 x 7.32 x 1.61 inches; weight is 15.2 ounces; price is US$900. [1186.59]
  • LG Electronics releases the Phenom Ultra handheld computer. It features 8.25-inch 256-color 640×240 pixel screen, 100 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM, 12 MB ROM, 33.6 kbps modem, Lithium Ion battery, PC Card slot, Compact Flash slot. Size is 10 x 5.2 x 1.3 inches; weight is 1.87 pounds; price is US$900. [1186.60]
  • NEC Computer Systems releases the MobilePro 750C handheld computer. It features Windows CE 2.0, 8-inch 256-color 640×240 pixel touch screen, keyboard, 33.6 kbps modem, PC Card slot, Compact Flash card slot, 78 MHz processor, 16 MB ROM, and 16 MB RAM. The system operates for about eight hours on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Size is 5.4 x 9.6 x 1.2 inches; weight is 1.8 pounds; price is US$899. [1096.59] [173.76] [1186.59] [1818.25]
  • Microsoft introduces the IntelliMouse Pro mouse. Price is US$70. [173.96]
  • Operating system desktop market share: Windows 95 62.9%, Windows 3.x 17.4%, Mac OS 5.6%, DOS 3.9%, Windows NT workstation 3.0%, others 7.2%. [1195.42]

  • Caleb Technology releases the UHD144 floppy disk drive, holding 144 MB on a cartridge. Drive cost is US$79 (internal) or US$100 (external), disks cost US$16 for a 3-pack. The drive can also read and write standard 1.44 MB floppy disks. [890.30]
  • Umax abandons the Macintosh-compatible market. [1886.71] (May [2605.256])
  • Lotus releases the SmartSuite Millenium Edition software. [1640.116]
  • Compaq Computer completes its acquisition of Digital Equipment. [844.4]
  • Micronix USA mail-order PC company goes out of business. [945.41]
  • IBM’s Microelectronics Division ends participation in the PowerPC alliance. [2605.70]
  • The KDE 1.0 graphical user interface for Lunix is released. [1648.53]
June 23

  • A federal Court of Appeals rules that Microsoft did not violate its consent decree by bundling Internet Explorer with the Windows operating system. Judge Jackson’s order for Microsoft to separate the browser from Windows is overruled. [1079.48] [1129.79] [1564.285] [1711.12] (June 24 [929.49])
June 25

  • Microsoft releases Windows 98 operting system. It features integrated Internet Explorer 4.0 Web browser, and Universal Serial Bus support. Code-name during development was Memphis. Total sales on the first day are 271,000 units. [797.12] [929.49] [159.14] [839.101] [1215.41] [1559] [1639.127] [1886.71] [1897.131]
June 28

  • Unit sales of Windows 98 in its first four days: 530,000. [1215.41]
June 29

  • Intel announces the 400 MHz Pentium II Xeon processor. It incorporates a dedicated 400 MHz bus between the processor and the secondary cache chips with up to 2 MB memory. [799.35] [168.68] [1639.28]

  • Shipment of personal computers in the USA during April to June: 19 million. [1559]
(month unknown)

  • 50 million US households have at least one personal computer. [1171.9]
  • Psion releases the Psion Series 5mx handheld computer. It features EPOC operating system, 36 MHz ARM 710T RISC processor, 16 MB RAM, CompactFlash card slot, infrared port, keyboard. Price is about US$500. [1194.64]
  • Everex releases the Freestyle Manager A-15 handheld computer. It features 8 MB RAM, 4-shade grayscale display, Windows CE. Price is about US$400. [1816.49]
  • Philips releases the Nino 312 handheld computer. It features Windows CE, 4-shade grayscale backlit display, 8 MB RAM, docking station, CompactFlash slot, rechargeable battery. Price is about US$460. [1816.49]
  • Sharp Electronics releases the SE-300 handheld computer. It features 1 MB Flash memory, one AA battery. Price is about US$180. [1816.50]
  • Quote by Paul Somerson in PC Computing magazine, regarding Windows 98: “… instead of fixing the steering and the brakes and the engine, they added a bunch of chrome.”. [1129.75]
  • Sri Lanka issues a 2.50-rupee postage stamp for the Year of Information Technology, depicting a laptop computer. [2529.206]
  • Microsoft pays SyNet US$5 million for the trademarked name Internet Explorer. [1215.46]
  • Adobe Systems releases Photoshop 5.0 for the Macintosh. [1072.28]
  • Borland International changes its name to Inprise. [52.6]
  • The first Java-targeted virus program appears, called Strange Brew. [1230.56]
  • Panasonic introduces the LF-D101 drive, the first DVD-RAM drive. It uses 2.6 GB single-sided and 5.2 GB double-sided discs. It can play CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW discs at 8X speed, and audio CDs. [1279.70]
  • Intel releases the Advanced Graphics Port (AGP) 2.0 specification, allowing graphics instruction and data throuput of 1.1 GBps (4X). [1609.51]


End of 1998 January-June. Next: 1998 July.

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