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.


1990

January
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Office for Windows. [1268.135] (June 1989 [1886.68])
February
  • Adobe introduces the Photoshop image editing software. [1886.68]
March
  • Microsoft introduces the Entertainment Pack Volume 1 for Windows. [1049.136]
  • Lotus Development ships Lotus 1-2-3/G for OS/2. This is the first major application available for OS/2. [502.49] [548.159] [606.81]
March 23
  • US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker throws out five of six claims in Xerox' suit against Apple Computer, claiming infringement of the Star's system. [594.47] [2605.80] (May [346.195])
April
  • Microsoft introduces Russian MS-DOS 4.01 for the Soviet market. [123]
May
  • Microsoft introduces the Microsoft Project for Windows project management software. [1049.145]
  • Microsoft introduces PowerPoint presentation software for Windows. [1049.145]
  • Asymetrix introduces ToolBook for Windows, an object-oriented visual development package. [1049.129]
  • Digital Research releases DR DOS 5.0. [146] [511.242]
May 22
  • At the Center City Theater at Columbus Circle in New York, Microsoft introduces and ships Microsoft Windows 3.0. This version allows addressing memory above 640 kB. Microsoft spends US$3 million for opening-day marketing, as part of a US$10 million promotional campaign. [15] [28] [45] [75] [123] [146] [150] [346.239] [346.272] [379.256] [389.29] [477.161] [479.128] [548.159] [595.26] [606.81] [620.130] [618.296] [721.156] [769.4] [909.232] [1149.359] [1299.1] [1527.176] [1639.114] [1897.129] [2605.173]
(month unknown)
  • John Dvorak quote: "I think Windows 3.0 will get a lot of attention; people will check it out, and before long they'll all drift back to raw DOS. Once in a while they'll boot Windows for some specific purpose, but many will put it in the closet with the Commodore 64.". [648.20]
June
  • Adobe Systems introduces the Adobe Type Manager for Windows software. [1049.147]
  • A US District Court judge rules that Paperback Software's duplicating the menu interface of Lotus 1-2-3 is a violation of copyright (the "look and feel" lawsuit was filed in 1987). [16] [161] [217]
  • Microsoft ships PowerPoint 2.0 for Windows, the first application to use OLE (Object Linking and Embedding). [909.232]
(month unknown)
  • Timeworks releases the Publish It! Easy 2.0 page-design program for the Macintosh. [675.99]
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  • Walt Disney Computer Software releases The Animation Studio for the Amiga computer, for US$179. [645.18] (1989 [2014.C12])
  • Claris buys Filemaker from Nashoba Systems, and renames it FileMaker II. [861.21]
  • Stac Electronics releases Stacker for DOS. [748.46]
July
  • Informix Software introduces the Wingz for Windows software. [1049.147]
  • Lotus Development files lawsuits against Borland International (maker of Quattro) and Santa Cruz Operations (maker of SCO Professional) claiming copyright infringement of the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet software. Borland International files a lawsuit against Lotus Development first, hoping to have the trial in California rather than Boston. [217] [453.4] [548.340]
  • Accolade releases the Star Control game for personal computers. The game is based on the Space War game of 1961. [1794.63]
(month unknown)
  • MacroMind releases the Director 2.0 softwarefor the Macintosh. Price is US$695. [1095.178]
  • Borland International introduces the Paradox 3.5 database program for DOS. Price is US$795. [1095.127]
  • Borland International introduces the Turbo C++ Professional 1.0 software development package for PC-DOS. Price is US$299.95. Price for Turbo C++ 1.0 is US$199.95. [1095.186]
  • Lotus Development introduces the Improv spreadsheet program for the NeXT Computer. Price is US$695. [1095.147]
August
  • Microsoft releases LAN Manager for Windows. [772.29] [1186.25]
September
  • IBM and Microsoft end co-operative work on operating systems, dividing up work-to-date between them, in a series of cross-licensing agreements. Microsoft will work on Windows, DOS, and a portable version of OS/2. IBM will continue development of 16-bit (v1.x) and 32-bit (v2.0) versions of OS/2. [162] [346.245] [379.256] [477.161] [511.95] [795.15] [909.232] [1299.399] [1897.129] (November [38])
(month unknown)
  • Microsoft ships the one millionth copy of Windows 3.0. [1149.362]
October
  • IBM releases OS/2 1.3. Code-name during development was Cutter. Code-name at Microsoft was Tiger. [769.306] [1299.383] (December [858.71])
  • IBM demonstrates the NeXTSTEP operating system running on an IBM RS/6000 workstation. [734.283]
  • Microsoft's Bill Gates quote: "Even for the next ten years, [DOS] will have a significant role to play." [23]
November
  • Zortech introduces the Zortech C++ software development package for Windows, DOS, and OS/2. [1049.140]
  • Berkeley Softworks releases GeoWorks Ensemble software for IBM PC compatibles. [1129.165] [1897.129] (1991 [909.236])
  • Berkeley Softworks releases PC/GEOS 1.0 for MS-DOS, with GeoWorks Ensemble. [477.164] [1639.116]
(month unknown)
  • Microsoft announces Microsoft Money personal finance software. [1149.379]
December 14
  • Apogee Software releases the Commander Keen game for personal computers, as shareware. [2583.175] [2649.89]
December
  • Microsoft begins shipping the first version of the Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) library for Microsoft Windows 3.0. [511.67]
  • Ashton-Tate's lawsuit regarding the copyright on the dBase language is dismissed in court. US District Court judge Terry Hatler rules that the dBase language is not copyrightable, because it originated from a public domain program: JPLDIS from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. [25] [548.344] [676.51] [679.51]
Year
  • Shipments of operating system software during the year: DOS 14 million, OS/2 300,000, UNIX 400,000, Mac OS 2,000,000. [1299.420]
  • Shipments of Microsoft Windows 3.0 for the year: 2.75 million. [1080.197]
  • Market share of PC spreadsheet software: Lotus 1-2-3 47%, Quattro 14%, Microsoft Excel 14%. [527.59]

End of 1990. Next: 1991.
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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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