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.


1988

January
  • Micrografx introduces the Micrografx Designer graphics program for Windows. [1049.134]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Windows 2.03. [136] [1299.359] [1886.67] [2605.172]
  • In Europe, Mirrorsoft releases Tetris for the IBM PC. [1196.306]
  • Impulse ships Turbo Silver 3.0 for the Amiga. [442.37] [1145.37]
January 29
  • Spectrum Holobyte introduces the Tetris computer game in the US. Price is US$34.95 for the IBM PC, and US$24.95 for the Commodore 64. This is the first entertainment software imported to the US from the Soviet Union. The game was written by Vagim Gerasimov and Alexi Paszitnov at the Computer Center of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Moscow. [307.98] [1196.306] [1407.D1]
(month unknown)
  • Epyx introduces The Games: Winter Edition game for the Commodore 64. It is the first computer game to be licensed by the US Olympic Committee. Games included are the Luge, Cross Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Ski Jump, Slalom, Speed Skating, and Downhill Skiing. Price is US$39.95. [1068.12] [2003.18]
February
  • Apple Computer ships A/UX for the Macintosh II, Apple Computer's combination of the Mac interface with UNIX. [46] [75] [611.120]
March
  • Microsoft introduces the Microsoft SDK for Windows. [1049.133]
March 17
  • Apple Computer files an 11-page copyright infringement suit in federal court in San Jose, California, accusing Microsoft of stealing visual display features of the Macintosh computer for use in Microsoft Windows 2.0. Apple claims Windows violates 13 different copyrights. Hewlett-Packard is also named as a defendant, for copyright violations in its New Wave software. [38] [46] [75] [309.256] [328.15] [346.193] [346.270] [477.160] [548.337] [580.191] [909.231] [1149.352] [1886.67] [2142.31] [2605.172]
(month unknown)
  • Brown-Wagh Publishing releases the Publisher Plus desktop publishing software for the Amiga. Price is US$99.95. Former name is Publisher 1000. [705.34]
  • MicroIllusions releases the Photon Paint software for the Amiga. Price is US$99.95. [705.35]
May 5
  • WordPerfect ships WordPerfect 5.0 for US$500. [502.49] [1527.184]
May 7
  • WordPerfect ships the first maintenance release for WordPerfect 5.0. [1527.184]
May
  • At the COMDEX show, NewTek introduces the Digi-View 3.0 paint program for the Amiga. [705.8]
  • At the COMDEX show, Oxxi releases the MaxiPlan 1.9 spreadsheet software for the Amiga. [705.8]
  • At the COMDEX show, Electronic Arts announces the DeluxePhotoLab graphics software for the Amiga. Price is U$149.99. [705.8]
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  • Apple Computer first mentions System 7, at the Apple Developer's conference. [750.52]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Excel 1.5 for the Macintosh. [346.170]
  • Lotus Development ships the four millionth copy of Lotus 1-2-3. [346.270]
May 20
  • Judge Robert Aguilor agrees to split the Apple Computer - Microsoft case into two separate phases, to decide if Microsoft had been licensed to use Macintosh features in Windows 2.03, and, if necesssary, to determine if Microsoft had violated Apple's copyrights. [1299.363]
(month unknown)
  • Abacus Software releases the Becker Basic programming language for GEOS for the Commodore 64. Price is US$49.95. It adds 273 new BASIC commands. [1114.28] [1148.44]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft PowerPoint software for the Apple Macintosh. [686.50] (1987 July [1886.67])
June 4
  • Sierra On-Line releases the King's Quest IV game. [1486.130]
June
  • Lotus Development ceases production of Lotus Jazz for the Macintosh. [582.200]
  • Microsoft ships Windows/286 2.1. [136] [146] [1897.129] (July [909.231]) (Windows 286 2.0 [1639.110]) (1987 [45])
  • Microsoft ships Windows/386 v2.1. [136] [146] (July [909.231]) (1987 [45])
  • Digital Research releases DR-DOS operating system. [478.3] [1639.114] [1897.129]
  • Apple computer releases the System 6.0 operating system for the Macintosh. [1886.67]
April-June
  • Commodore 64 software sales for the past three months: US$20 million, according to the Software Publishers Association. [1176.30]
(month unknown)
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Office for the Macintosh. [687.139]
  • Ashton-Tate releases the Full Impact spreadsheet program for the Macintosh. [679.30]
  • Adobe ships Adobe Illustrator 88 for the Macintosh. [582.92] [618.226]
  • Aldus ships Aldus FreeHand for the Macintosh. [582.92]
  • Novell ships NetWare for the Macintosh. [582.92]
  • Caere ships the OmniPage OCR software for the Macintosh. [685.155] [709.41]
  • MicroProse sells the 500,000th copy of the F-15 Strike Eagle game. [1068.8]
July
  • Computer Associates International introduces the CA-dBFast database software for Windows. [1049.131]
  • Lotus Development ships Agenda software. [307.87]
  • IBM ships OS/2 Extended Edition 1.0. [31]
July 19
  • IBM ships PC-DOS 4.00. It adds a shell menu interface and support for hard disk partitions over 32 MB. [31] [146] [1309] [1897.129] (August [1299.430])
September
  • Claris releases the AppleWorks 2.1 software. [218]
  • Apple Computer releases GS/OS, a 16-bit operating system for the Apple IIGS. [218]
October
  • Microsoft ships the 1 millionth copy of Microsoft Windows 2.0. [606.81]
  • Ashton-Tate releases dBase IV for MS-DOS. [650.79]
  • Microsoft releases QuickBASIC 4.5. [539.PC-20] [795.90]
  • Microsoft releases OS/2 LAN Manager for networked PCs. [346.271] (1989 [1149.385])
  • Steve Jobs begins persuading Lotus Development to develop the Improv spreadsheet program for the NeXT computer. [734.266]
  • Symantec ships the Q&A software for OS/2. [522.41]
October 31
  • At the Marriott Marquis hotel in New York, IBM officially annouces the release of Operating System/2 1.1 Standard Edition with Presentation Manager. Code-name during development was Trimaran. [16] [45] [123] [134] [135] [313.105] [379.256] [477.160] [522.41] [620.125] [778.113] [909.231] [1299.374] [1309] [1639.114] (November [858.71])
(month unknown)
  • Microsoft's Bill Gates shows Aldus' Paul Brainerd a prototype of Microsoft Word for Windows. Brainerd decides to cancel Aldus' Flintstone word processor project. [618.261]
  • Ventura Publisher 2.0 for DOS is released. Price: US$895. [627.125]
November
  • ReadySoft demonstrates its AMAX Macintosh emulator for the Amiga at the World of Commodore show. [623.45]
  • Ashton-Tate sues Fox Software and Santa Cruz Operations for infringing copyrights on the dBase language. [25] [148] [548.344] [650.66]
  • Microsoft releases MS-DOS 4.01. [146] [748.29]
November 30
  • Judge Stephen Trott of US Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, overturns ruling in case of Data East vs Epyx over Karate Champ vs World Karate Championship, base on lack of proof that Epyx copied Karate Champ. [1524.26] [2636.370]
(month unknown)
  • Ashton-Tate releases the Framework III software. [650.74]
December
  • Samna releases Ami word processor for Windows. [1639.114] (November [477.160])
Year
  • Estimate of loss in the US to software piracy: US$2.6 billion. [1520.18]
  • During the year, North American sales of MS-DOS-based software: US$2.2 billion. [627.38]
  • During the year, North American sales of Mac-based software: US$334 million. [627.38]
  • Worldwide spreadsheet sales for the year: 2,040,000 units. [627.73]
  • Market share of spreadsheet software for the year: Lotus 1-2-3: 68%. [627.73]

End of 1988. Next: 1989.
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1972-1979 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-end


A list of references to all source material is available.

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