Chronology of Personal Computer Software

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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.


1985

January
  • Forethought releases FileMaker software for the Macintosh, for US$199. [582.198] [1886.66]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 1.0 for the Macintosh. Price is US$195. [346.138] [1128.46] (1984 November [346.267]) (late 1984 [1149.316])
  • Microsoft shows Steve Jobs the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for the first time. Jobs is not impressed, claiming that Lotus Development's Jazz would be more popular. [346.160] [1299.272a]
  • Satellite Software International ships WordPerfect Jr. for US$200. It is designed for use on the IBM PCjr. [330.108]
January 20
  • As part of the Macintosh Office advertisement campaign, Apple Computer runs a TV ad during the SuperBowl called Lemmings, showing blindfolded business executives walking off a cliff. [582.117] [725.47] [930.234] [2605.144]
February
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 2.0 for DOS. [346.132] [346.267] [502.49]
  • IBM releases the TopView text-based DOS multi-tasking software for the IBM PC, for US$150. [35] [107] [130] [477.159] [1299.269] [1639.108] (January [346.184] [346.267]) (April [346.285]) (October 1984 [573.65])
March
  • Digital Research introduces its GEM operating environment for MS-DOS, though the program cannot run DOS applications. [1639.108] [1897.128] (1986 [205.40])
(month unknown)
  • Batteries Included releases the Calkit spreadsheet program for the Commodore 64. Price is US$49.95. [1146.56]
  • Creative Software releases the Trolls and Tribulations game for the Commodore 64. Price is US$24.95. [335.56]
  • CBS Software releases the Adventure Master game creator software for the Commodore 64. Price is US$44.95. [335.51]
  • Codewriter releases the Adventure Writer software for the Commodore 64. Price is US$39.95. [335.52]
  • Activision releases the Rock 'N Bolt game for the Commodore 64. [335.54]
  • Baen Software releases the Berserker Raids game for the Commodore 64. Price is US$34.95. [335.53]
  • Broderbund introduces The Ancient Art of War game for the IBM PC. Price is US$44.95. [1128.60]
  • Big Five Software introduces the Bounty Bob Strikes Back game. Price for the Commodore 64 is US$39.95; for Atari US$49.95. [1128.61]
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  • Spectrum Holobyte introduces the Gato World War II submarine simulation game. Price for IBM PC, Apple II, and Apple Macintosh is US$39.95. [1128.61]
April
  • Apple Computer releases System 2.0 operating system for the Macintosh. [1559] [1648.54]
(month unknown)
  • Avalon Hill releases the Maxwell Manor game for the Commodore 64. Price is US$39.95. [357.50]
  • Mastertronic releases The Games Creator software for the Commodore 64. Price is US$22. [357.50]
  • Spinnaker releases the Wizard of Oz game for the Commodore 64. Price is US$26.95. [357.55]
  • Artworx releases the Allegro music program for the Commodore 64. Price is US$39.95. [357.51]
  • Infocom releases the Wishbringer game for the Commodore 64. Price is US$39.95. [357.59]
  • Batteries Included releases the PaperClip word processor for the Apple IIe/IIc computers. Price is US$59.95. [1128.77]
  • ExperTelligence introduces the ExperLisp compiled LISP programming language for the 512K Macintosh. Price is US$495. [1128.77]
  • Spectrum Holobyte introduces the Art Studio graphics package for the IBM PC. price is US$49.95. [1128.77]
  • Hayden Software releases the Sargon III chess program for the 128K Macintosh. Price is US$49.95. [1128.84]
  • Hayden Software releases the Ensemble integrated software for the Macintosh. It includes database, spreadsheet, and graphics capabilities. Price is US$299.95. [1128.84]
  • Haba Systems releases the Quartet integrated software for the Macintosh. It features spreadsheet, graphics, and database functions. The package was written by MBA Software. Price is US$199. [1128.85]
  • Sorcim releases the SuperCalc 3a integrated software for the Apple IIe and IIc. It includes spreadsheet, graphics and database functions. Price is US$195. [1128.85]
  • Software Arts sells the rights to VisiCalc to Mitch Kapor, of Lotus Development, for US$800,000. [218]
May 2
  • At the Pierre hotel in New York City, Microsoft introduces the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software for the Macintosh. [346.162,267] [492.61] [1149.285] [1299.278]
May
  • Microsoft demonstrates Microsoft Windows at Spring COMDEX. Release date is set for June, at a price of US$95. [346.187]
  • Epyx releases the Summer Games II game for the Commodore 64. [809.20]
  • Total shipments of VisiCalc to date: 800,000. [1056.328]
May 27
  • Lotus Development releases Lotus Jazz for the Macintosh, for US$595. [346.165] (August [582.200])
(month unknown)
  • MicroProse releases the Kennedy Approach game for the Commodore 64. [351.52]
  • Activision releases the Alcazar: The Forgotten Fortress for the Commodore 64. Price is US$34.95. [351.62]
  • Avalon Hill releases the By Fire & Sword game for the Commodore 64. Price is US$25. [351.54]
  • CBS Software releases the Felony! game for the Commodore 64. Price is US$34.95. [351.58]
  • CBS Software releases the Quink game for the Commodore 64. Price is US$34.95. [351.59]
  • Lucasfilm Games releases the Ballblazer game for the Commodore 64. [351.59]
  • Epyx releases the Rescue on Fractalus game for the Commodore 64. [351.52]
June 10
  • Lotus Development completes its acquisition of Software Arts, and announces it has decided to end production of Visicalc. [1376.D4]
June
  • Microsoft releases a revised Microsoft Word 1 for the Macintosh. [346.139]
  • Microsoft announces Windows 1.0. [75] [150]
(month unknown)
  • Electronic Arts releases The Bard's Tale I graphics/text fantasy role-playing game for the Commodore 64. [1175.56]
  • Broderbund releases Karateka for the Commodore 64. [809.19]
  • Activision releases Hacker for the Commodore 64. [809.19]
  • Firebird introduces Elite for the Commodore 64 to the American market. [814.36]
  • Novell introduces NetWare 2.0 network operating system. [618.282]
  • SoftKlone Distributing releases the Mirror III communications program for PCs. [688.245]
  • Microsoft releases QuickBASIC 1.0. [795.90]
  • MacroMind introduces the VideoWorks animation program for the Macintosh. [1095.178]
  • Microsoft begins development of Visual BASIC for Windows. [606.77]
  • Sierra On-Line releases the King's Quest II game. [1474.77]
July
  • Accolade releases the Hardball! game. [243.52]
  • Micrografx releases In-A-Vision, the first application for Microsoft Windows from an independent software company. [346.191] [307.95] [1149.391] [1299.294]
  • Aldus releases Aldus PageMaker software for the Apple Macintosh, for US$495. [120] [180.220] [237.60] [582.199] [1886.66] [2605.145] (late 1985 [582.94])
  • Microsoft ships the "premiere edition" of Windows to software developers, OEM customers, and select press members. [1299.284]
  • Quarterdeck Office Systems ships the DESQview 1.0 text-based DOS application multi-tasking software. [130] [1639.108] [1897.128] (June [477.159])
(month unknown)
  • Electronic Arts releases the Skyfox flight simulator game for the Commodore 64. [241.112]
August 5
  • Ashton-Tate ships dBase III and Framework for the TI Professional computer. [1383.D4]
August
  • Microsoft and Apple Computer renew the original 1977 license for Applesoft BASIC, with Apple agreeing to kill MacBASIC. [1299.279] [2605.170]
(month unknown)
  • Micro-Systems Software introduces the Scribble word processor for the Amiga. [668.44]
September
  • The one millionth copy of Microsoft Multiplan is sold. [346.268]
  • Microsoft tries to entice Turbo Pascal users with a US$40 rebate on the purchase of Microsoft Pascal for US$300. [1299.263]
  • Lotus Development ships Lotus 1-2-3 Release 2.0. [217] (November [346.268]) (July 1986 [502.49])
  • Satellite Software International ships WordPerfect 4.1 for US$500. [330.108] [502.49]
September 30
  • Digital Research announces that it will modify its GEM operating system to avoid claims by Apple Computer of violating its copyrights. Digital Research will also pay Apple an undisclosed sum, and develop software for Apple computers. [1387.D4]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Excel software for the Macintosh 512K. [346.166,268] [1149.287] [1299.278]
October
  • Paperback Software begins marketing VP Planner spreadsheet software. [1395.D5]
  • Microsoft France releases a French version of Multiplan 2.0 for the IBM PC. [346.119]
  • Electronic Arts releases the Touchdown Football game for the Commodore 64. [241.112]
October 24
  • John Sculley agrees to allow some Macintosh technology in Microsoft's Windows in return for Bill Gates delaying release of Excel for Windows. [2605.171]
November
  • Tandy announces it will offer Digital Research's GEM graphical user interface for its microcomputers. [346.190]
  • Microsoft announces that copy-protection measures have been removed from the Microsoft Access and Microsoft Chart products. [1299.297]
  • MaxiSoft ships MaxiComm, the first commercially available dumb terminal emulation/communications program for the Amiga. [1167]
November 20
  • Microsoft ships Microsoft Windows version 1.01 for the IBM PC, for US$100. It is delivered two years after the initial announcement of the product. [16] [107] [117] [120] [123] [130] [134] [136] [146] [346.192] [477.159] [548.159] [909.230] [1089.D3] [1133.22] [1280.46] [1299.292] [1629.34] [1631.40] [1639.109] [1648.52] [1799.3] [1897.124,128] [2605.171] (November 21 [1149.313]) (v1.03 [346.187,268] [1629.34])
November 22
  • Apple Computer and Microsoft sign a licensing agreement permitting Microsoft royalty-free rights to use graphical display technology of the Macintosh for Windows 1.0, and Macintosh versions of several Microsoft products. [309.256] [346.192] [477.170] [1149.314] [1205.34] [1299.292] [2605.171] (1984 [38])
December
  • Electronic Arts releases the DeluxePaint image editor software for the Amiga. DeluxePaint was a rewrite of Prism for the IBM PC, which was an enhanced port of Doodle, created on a Xerox system. [448.27] [243.78] [241.112]
  • Ashton-Tate delivers dBase III Plus. [346.268]
Year
  • Worldwide spreadsheet software sales for the year: 1,437,000 units. [627.73]
  • Market share of spreadsheet software for the year: Lotus 1-2-3 46%. [627.73]

End of 1985. Next: 1986.
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