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.


  • Micrografx introduces the Picture Publisher image editor for Windows. [1049.135]
  • Corel Systems introduces the Corel DRAW drawing software for Windows. [831.68] [1049.133]
(month unknown)
  • Berkeley Softworks releases GEOS 128 2.0 for the Commodore 128. Price is US$69.96. It includes geoWrite 2.1, geoSpell 128, geoPaint, geoMerge, and TextGrabber. [38.64] [817.7]
  • Santa Cruz Operations announces the Open Desktop user interface for 80386-based UNIX systems. [309.256]
  • Samna introduces the Ami Pro word processor for Windows. [620.129] [1049.150]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 4.0 for the Macintosh. [346.140] (\iMacWord\i, April [1701.352])
March 21
  • In San Francisco Federal District Court, Judge William Schwarzer rules that Microsoft Windows 2.03 is not covered in the Apple Computer / Microsoft 1985 technology licensing agreement. The judge rules that only Windows 1.0 as it appeared in November 1985 was covered, and that Windows 2.03 is fundamentally different. This allows the issue to proceed to trial, in the suit of Apple Computer against Microsoft filed in March 1988. [309.256] [1149.355] [1299.383] (April [346.195])
(month unknown)
  • Broderbund introduces the Sim City game for the Commodore 64. Price is US$29.95. The game was written by Maxis Software. [1174.14] [1175.18]
  • Berkeley Softworks releases the GEOS 128 2.0 graphical operating system for the Commodore-128. The package includes geoWrite 2.1, geoSpell, geoPaint, geoMerge, Text Grabber, and Desk Accessories. Price is US$69.95. [1174.15]
April 18
  • Quarterdeck Office Systems is granted a patent by the US Patent Office entitled "An Improved Display System and Memory Architecture and Method for Displaying Images in Windows on a Video Display". The technology allows multiple MS-DOS programs to run simultaneously in separate windows. [2171.D4]
(month unknown)
  • Quote from a Lotus Development official, while demonstrating a new DOS version of Lotus 1-2-3: "We don't see Windows as a long-term graphical interface for the masses.". (Within a year, Microsoft will release Windows 3.0, firmly establishing Windows as a long-term graphical interface for the masses.) [312.14]
May 9
  • Apple Computer announces details of the System 7.0 operating system for the Macintosh. [310.187] [548.159] [2205.D10]
  • Software Publishing introduces the Superbase 2 database management software for Windows. [1049.132]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Word 5.0 for DOS. [502.49]
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Excel 2.2 for the Macintosh. It can handle spreadsheets up to 8 MB in size. [346.170] [346.271]
June 6
  • IBM introduces the Interleaf desktop publishing software for DOS-based personal computers. Price is US$750-995. [2122.D6]
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  • IBM introduces the Office Vision system. It took 4000 man-years of work costing US$1 billion to produce. [346.146] (May [618.288])
  • Claris releases AppleWorks 3.0 software. [218]
June 20
  • Lotus Development releases Lotus 1-2-3 3.0 for MS-DOS and OS/2, two years after its initial announcement. Price is US$495; upgrade price is US$150. [346.210] [346.271] [502.49] [511.219] [1089.255] [2125.D1] [2126.D6]
  • Commodore 64 software sales for the past three months: US$15 million, according to the Software Publishers Association. [1176.30]
(month unknown)
  • Informix releases the WingZ spreadsheet for the Macintosh. [679.30]
  • Maxis releases the SimCity game for the Macintosh. [1422.56]
  • Apple Computer releases System 6.0.2 for the Macintosh. [1559]
  • Digital Communications Associates introduces the Crosstalk for Windows telecommunications software. [1049.130] [1069.52]
July 21
  • 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 27
  • Lotus Development ships Lotus 1-2-3 Release 2.2 for MS-DOS. [502.49] [511.219] [2145.D4]
(month unknown)
  • Aldus introduces the Aldus PageMaker desktop publishing software for OS/2 Presentation Manager. Price is US$795. [1069.52]
  • Borland International announces the Quattro v2 spreadsheet software for DOS. Price is US$495. [1069.111]
  • 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]
  • Hewlett-Packard introduces the New Wave software for Windows. [1049.148] [477.160]
  • 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 18
  • NeXT releases NeXTSTEP v1.0. [206.289] [2024] [1064.145] [2605.208]
  • 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]
  • The NeXTSTEP software is ready for the Next computer. [1359.76]
(month unknown)
  • Microsoft releases the BASIC Professional Development System 7.0. [795.90]
November 13
  • 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]
  • 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]
(month unknown)
  • Borland International transfers its Turbo Basic product to Robert Zale, the original developer. [1064.18]
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]
  • Market share of PC spreadsheet software: Lotus 1-2-3 54%, Microsoft Excel 12.6%, Quattro 3%. [527.59]

End of 1989. Next: 1990.
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1990 1991 1992-1993 1994-1995 1996-1997 1998-1999 2000-2001 2002-2003 2004 2005

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