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.


January 9
  • Linus Torvalds releases Linux kernel 2.6.1. [1559]
January 14
  • A federal judge in Chicago, Illinois, upholds a lower court ruling that Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser infringes on patent rights held by Eolas Technologies and the University of California. [1559]
  • Corel announces the CorelDraw Graphics Suite 12 software for Windows. Corel announces that the package is no longer available for the Macintosh. [2226.18]
January (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: Delta Force: Black Hawk Down: Team Sabre. [2416.28]
(month unknown)
  • Adobe Systems announces it is ceasing future development of PageMaker for the Mac OS. [1501.16]
  • About 30,000 files (660 MB) forming about 5% of the Windows 2000 operating system source code is illegally released to the Internet. [1602.9]
February 4
  • Sun Microsystems introduces StarOffice 7 for Solaris x86. Price is US$80 per license. [1559]
  • Microsoft provides the Thai government a Thai-language reduced-feature version of Windows XP, for about US$40 per copy. Normal world price is US$199. [1559]
February 10
  • Corel releases the CorelDraw 12 graphics software suite. Versions are available in eight languages. Price is US$399 for full version, US$179 for upgrade, and US$99 for student version. [1559]
  • PalmSource announces that Palm OS 5 will be known as Garnet, and Palm OS 6 will be known as Cobalt. The Cobalt version will be more suitable for cell phones and other wireless devices. [1559]
  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issues a ruling stating that similar technologies for launching plug-in applications were demonstrated before Eolas filed its patent application in 1994. [1559]
February 17
  • Microsoft launches a version of the Office software suite supporting nine Indian languages. [1559]
February (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: Everquest: Gates of Discord. [2417.27]
  • Electronic Arts releases the Battlefield Vietnam game for personal computers in the USA. [2565.31]
March 16
  • Atari releases the Unreal Tournament 2004 game for Windows computers. [1568.70]
March 23
  • Ubisoft releases the Far Cry game for Windows computers in the US. [1568.70] (March 26 [1447.13])
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March 24
  • The European Competition Commission labels Microsoft an abusive monopolist. The Commission says Microsoft must offer European computer makers two versions of Windows, with and without Windows Media Player, must share technical information on server software with rivals, and must pay a US$613 million fine. [1559] [2111.45] [2314.81]
March 29
  • releases the OpenOffice 1.1.1 software suite for free download. [1559]
March (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: Battlefield Vietnam. [1552.124] [2418.32]
April 13
  • Microsoft and EEye Digital Security announce a security vulnerability in the Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASRV.DLL file) of Windows. Microsoft releases a patch to resolve the problem. (In May, the Sasser worm begins spreading, exploiting the flaw and affecting milions of computers worldwide.) [2100.117]
April 14
  • Lindows renames its operating system from Lindows to Linspire. [1559]
  • Microsoft files a trademark application for its Excel spreadsheet software, 19 years after introducing the product. [1559]
April 27
  • Corel releases WordPerfect Office 12 for Windows. Included are Wordperfect word processor, Quattro Pro spreadsheet program, and Presentations slide show software. Price is US$300 for full version, or US$150 for upgrade from a previous version. [1559]
April (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: City of Heroes. [1552.124] [2419.25]
May 1
  • The Sasser worm is first noticed on the loose, affecting Windows 2000 and Windows XP. The worm crashes and rebots computers, replicating itself to other computers. Millions of computers are quickly affected worldwide. [2100.117]
  • Market share of Web browsers: Microsoft Internet Explorer 93.9%. [1686.12]
May 19
  • Microsoft releases Microsoft Office 2004 for the Macintosh in the USA, and Microsoft Office: Mac 2004 in the United Kingdom. Price for the Standard Edition in the USA is US$399, or US$239 upgrade price. [1559] [1616.53] [2185.21] [2227.20]
May (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: City of Heroes. [2420.38]
(month unknown)
  • Software piracy rates around the world: USA and Canada 23%, Western Europe 36%, Asia Pacific 53%, Middle East and Africa 56%, Latin America 63%, Eastern Europe 71%. [1607.9]
June 21
  • releases version 1.1.2 of OpenOffice productivity software. [1559]
June 28
  • At Apple Computer's Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple debuts the Mac OS X 10.4 operating system. A major new feature is systemwide search technology "Spotlight". Code-name during development was Tiger. [1617.19] [1909.18]
June (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: City of Heroes. [1545.32] [1767.148]
(month unknown)
  • Microsoft releases the Microsoft Windows Media Player 10 software. The software is available for free from the Microsoft Web site. [1620.32]
July 9
  • Microsoft releases the Windows CE 5.0 operating system for handheld computers. Code-name during development was Macallan. [1559]
July 13
  • In Japan, the Fair Trade Commission issues a ruling that Microsoft violates the Anitmonopoly Act by the restrictions its Windows licensing agreements with computer makers. [1559]
July 16
  • The first virus that infects Windows CE appears. [1559]
July 27
  • Microsoft releases Service Pack 1 for Office 2003, containing bug fixes and stability improvements. [1559]
July (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: City of Heroes. [1560.32]
August 3
  • id Software releases the Doom 3 game for Windows computers in the US. [1545.34] [1552.60] [1568.72]
August 6
  • Microsoft releases Windows XP Service Pack 2 to computer manufacturers. [1557.16] [1784.75] [1897.133] [2318.38]
August 7
  • Microsoft releases the Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 operating system. [1897.133]
August 16
  • Microsoft releases the Microsoft Works 8 software. Applications include word processor, spreadsheet, database, email, calendar, standalone dictionary, and PowerPoint slide viewer. Price is US$49.95. [1559] [1621.40]
  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejects ten patent claims of the University of California, in a review of the patent for how a Web browser opens plug-in applications. [1559]
August 18
  • Microsoft releases Windows XP Service Pack 2 for automatic updates. [1559]
August (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: Doom 3. [2421.38] [2526.88]
September 14
  • Electronic Arts releases The Sims 2 game for Windows computers in the US. (One million copies are sold in the first ten days.) [1559] [1560.36] [1568.74] [1649.166] [2175.25] [2423.11]
September 20
  • THQ releases the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War game for Windows computers in the US. [1568.74]
September 30
  • The U.S. Patent Office issues a preliminary rejection of Microsoft's patent on the File Allocation Table (FAT) used in DOS and Windows since 1981. The agency rules that the ideas for FAT would have been obvious based on existing inventions at the time. [1559]
September (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: The Sims 2. [1563.34] [2527.84]
October 6
  • Microsoft releases Windows XP Service Pack 2 for retail sale. [1559]
  • Microsoft releases Virtual PC 7 software for the Apple Macintosh. The product emulates a Pentium processor, allowing the Microsoft Windows operating system and applications to run on the Macintosh. Price is US$249, including Windows XP Professional. [1559]
  • Microsoft releases an update to Office 2004 software for the Macintosh. [2180.18]
  • Microsoft releases the Windows XP Starter Edition operating system in Thailand. [1559]
  • Microsoft releases the Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 operating system. [1610.9] [1897.133]
October (month)
  • Top selling computer game in the USA for the month: World of Warcraft. [1568]
November 5
  • Apple Computer releases the Mac OS X 10.3.6 operating system. The minor release includes many updates and improvements. [1559]
November 8
  • Microsoft agrees to pay US$536 million to Novell to settle legal claims related to Novell's NetWare operating system. [1559]
  • Sony Online Entertainment releases the EverQuest II online game for personal computers. [2620.13]
November 9
  • Mozilla releases the Firefox 1.0 Web broswer. (5.6 million copies are downloaded in the first two weeks.) [1559] [1610.9] [1613.12] [1868.19] [1897.133] [1910.22]
November 12
  • Novell files a lawsuit against Microsoft, claiming the company used anti-competitive tactics against Novell from 1994 to 1996, by withholding technical information about Windows, and using its monopoly power to prevent hardware manufacturers from offering the WordPerfect word processor. [1559]
  • Qualcomm releases the Eudora 6.2 software for the Mac OS X. [2180.15]
(month unknown)
  • Adobe releases the Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 software for the Macintosh. Price is free. Price for Adobe Acrobat Standard is US$299. Price for Adobe Acrobat Professional is US$449. [2180.15]
December 11
  • File downloads of the Firefox Web browser reach ten million. [1559]
December 31
  • Microsoft officially ends support for Windows NT 4.0. [2403.20]
  • Software piracy rate in Canada: 36%. [2189.7]

End of 2004. Next: 2005.
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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

A list of references to all source material is available.

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