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.


April (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the United Kingdom for the month: The Sims On Holiday by Electronic Arts. [1857.16]
  • America Online releases AOL 10.2 software for the Macintosh. [1715.118]
  • Microsoft releases Service Pack 3 for Windows 2000. [1435.16]
  • The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awards an Emmy to Apple Computer for its Final Cut Pro video-editing software. [1559]
August 23
  • Apple Computer launches Mac OS X 10.2 operating system. New features include instant-messaging client iChat, and handwriting recognition technology Inkwell. Price is US$129 for single user, or US$199 for a five-user package. Code-name during development was Jaguar. For the first time since the original Macintosh launch in January 1984, the "Happy Mac" icon is not part of the start-up sequence. It has been replaced by a silver-gray Apple icon. [1559] [1582.8] [1880.20] [1886.72] [2212.25] (August 24 [1646.8] [1873.25]) (August 13 [1918.45])
September 4
  • In Los Angeles, California, Microsoft introduces Windows Media 9 Series digital media software. [1559]
  • Microsoft releases Windows XP Service Pack 1. [1897.132]
  • Sun Microsystems announces it will not cease work on the x86 version of Solaris 9 operating system as previously announced. [1225.13]
  • Microsoft releases MSN 8.0. [2280.64]
  • America Online releases AOL 8.0. [2280.64]
November 7
  • In New York, Microsoft officially unveils the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition operating system. [1225.3] [1277.25] [1441.101] [1559] [1897.132] [1955.60] [1956.20]
  • Sun Microsystems posts an early access version of its Solaris 9 x86 operating system on its web site for download. [1225.13]
December 23
  • US district court judge J. Frederick Motz orders Microsoft to include Sun Microsystems' Java runtime environment in Windows. Microsoft announces it will appeal the decision. [1272.25] [1559]
December (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: DAOC: Shrouded Isles. [2154.20]
  • Software shipments in North America on DVD during the year: 685 million units. [1608.12]
  • Total computer game sales in the USA for the year: 52.9 million. [2155.20]
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  • Global software piracy rates: Canada 39%, USA 23%. [1434.1]


January 7
  • At the Macworld Expo, Steve Jobs unveils the Safari Web browser for Macintosh computers. The software is available as a free download. Jobs also introduces the Keynote presentation software, available for US$99. [1559]
  • At the Macworld Expo, Apple Computer debuts the iLife application suite, with iPhoto 2, iDVD 3, iMovie 3, iTunes 3, and Safari Web browser. [1886.72] [1958.44] [2213.21]
  • Microsoft releases the Windows Media Player 9 software for Windows. It includes video-smoothing technology and high-definition Windows Media Video. [1608.38] [1774.9]
  • Palm announces it will discontinue its Graffiti handwriting recognition software in favor of Jot technology, which Palm will rename Graffiti 2. Jot software is produced by Communication Intelligence Corporation. [1845.8] [1559]
January 21
  • U.S. District Judge J. Motz issues a preliminary injunction, ordering Microsoft to distribute Sun Microsystems' Java with Windows, and to cease distribution of its own implementation. [1559]
  • At the LinuxWorld show in New York, SuSE announces the SuSE Linux Office Desktop software, for US$129. It is SuSE Linux 8.1 with CodeWeavers' CrossOver Win32 API, allowing many Windows applications to run. [1470.26] [1559]
January 22
  • Microsoft releases the DirectX 9.0 graphics library. [1559] [1774.49]
January 25
  • The Slammer worm (also called Sapphire or SQL Hell) begins spreading across the Internet, exploiting a flaw in Microsoft SQL Server 2000, infecting personal computers around the world. Within ten minutes, the worm has reached 90 percent of the Internet, infecting over 75,000 machines. Within another thirty minutes, one-fifth of Internet data packets are infected. [1724.26]
January (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: SimCity 4. [2155]
  • Microsoft acquires Connectix's Virtual PC software line for the Macintosh and Windows. [1879.25] (Microsoft acquires Connectix [2180.32])
February (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: Command & Conquer: Generals. [2156.16]
March 6
  • In Utah, Caldera Systems (SCO Group) files a lawsuit against IBM, claiming IBM illegally used licensed Unix technology in its Linux software. SCO seeks US$1 billion in damages. If IBM does not meet SCO's demands within 100 days, SCO threatens to revoke IBM's Unix license, disrupting shipments of AIX. [1414.1] [1433.10] [2089.79] [2179.14] (March 7 [1437.4])
March (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: Shadowbane. [2216.20]
  • Apple Computer releases Mac OS X 10.2.5 operating system, with several minor updates and additions. It is available as a free download, or for US$19.95 on CD-ROM. [1559]
April 16
  • Corel releases the WordPerfect Office 11 software suite. It includes WordPerfect word processing, Quattro spreadsheet, and Presentations slide-show software. Price is US$299, or US$149 for an upgrade from a previous version. [1442.38] [1559] [1725.60]
April (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: Shadowbane. [2216.20]
(month unknown)
  • Microsoft begins the Windows CE Shared Source Premium Licensing Program, allowing developers to view, tweak, improve, and market their changes to all of the source code. Previously only about half of the source code was available, and they could not release their changes. [1777.9]
  • Corel announces it is dropping support for the Bryce graphics software. [2226.18]
May 19
  • Microsoft agrees to license SCO Group's Unix technology. [2091.31]
May 29
  • Microsoft and America Online settle their private antitrust lawsuit, with Microsoft paying US$750 million and granting a royalty-free seven-year license to use Internet Explorer with America Online's client software. [1433.3] [1788.9] [2648.40]
June 11
  • MacSoft / Destineer releases the Unreal Tournament 2003 game for the Macintosh in the USA. Price is US$49.99. [2214.38]
June 13
  • Linus Torvalds announces the release of the kernel of Linux 2.4.21. New features include support for the Advanced Micro Devices Opteron processor. [1559]
  • Microsoft announces that it is ending support for Internet Explorer on the Macintosh. [1559]
  • Quark releases the QuarkXPress 6.0 software for the Mac OS X. [2180.15]
June 23
  • Microsoft announces the new name for its mobile computing operating system: Windows Mobile 2003. [1846.10] [1847.4] [1559]
June 26
  • Microsoft releases Windows 2000 Service Pack 4. New features include support for USB 2.0 and wireless Internet connections. [1435.16] [1559]
June (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: Flight Simulator 2004: Century of Flight. [1567.188]
July 3
  • In Oakland, California, a pre-trial hearing is held in a patent dispute case of InterTrust versus Microsoft. The judge rules against Microsoft on all 33 disputed issues. InterTrust claims patent infringement of digital security technology in Windows XP, Office XP Suite, Windows Media Player, Xbox, .NET platform, and more. [1465.42]
  • Red Flag Linux Software of China releases the Chinese language version of Red Flag Linux Desktop 4.0. [1789.8]
July (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: Star Wars: Jedi Academy. [1567.188]
August 6
  • European antitrust regulators announce a preliminary decision to require Microsoft to provide greater technical information to its server competitors and to reduce the ties between Windows and Windows Media Player. [1559]
August 11
  • The MSBlast computer worm is released to the Internet. It exploits a flaw in Microsoft Windows. Despite the existence of a software patch 26 days earlier, 9.5 million computers are affected. [1559]
  • A jury rules that Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser infringes on patent rights held by Eolas Technologies and the University of California. Microsoft is to pay US$521 million, pending an appeals process. [1559] [2181.16]
August (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: Madden NFL 2004. [2411.28]
September 9
  • Microsoft launches Works Suite 2004 software package. It includes Word 2002, Encarta Encyclopedia Standard 2004, Money Standard 2004, Picture It Photo Premium 9, and Streets & Trips 2004. Price is US$100. [1559]
September 30
  • Microsoft launches Windows XP operating system Media Center Edition 2004. [1559] (October [1897.132])
(month unknown)
  • Corel abandons development of CorelDraw Graphics Suite for the Macintosh. [2181.13]
October 8
  • Yuji Ukai of EEye Digital Security discovers a security vulnerability in the Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASRV.DLL file) of Windows. Within hours, it is reported to Microsoft. (A patch is release in April 2004, then the Sasser worm begins spreading in May, affecting milions of computers worldwide.) [2100.116]
  • In San Francisco, Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs announces the release of iTunes software for Windows 2000 or XP. [2181.9]
  • Apple Computer announces the one millionth download of iTunes software for Windows. [2181.5]
October 24
  • Apple Computer releases Mac OS X 10.3 operating system. Code-name during development was Panther. [1884.9] [1886.72] [1918.45]
October (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: Final Fantasy XI. [2413.28]
November 7
  • Microsoft releases Windows Media Player 9 for the Mac OS X operating system. [1559]
November 10
  • Apple Computer releases Mac OS X 10.3.1. [1559]
  • Red Hat announces it will cease support for Red Hat Linux 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 8.0, at the end of the year, and Red Hat Linux 9 at the end of April. The company says it will not release any more versions of free Red Hat Linux. [1789.32]
November (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: Call of Duty. [2414.28]
(month unknown)
  • The Fedora Project releases Fedora Core 1 Linux distribution. [1789.32]
December (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: Call of Duty. [2415.30]

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

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