Chronology of Workstation Computers

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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.


February 1
  • Compaq Computer announces the XP1000 workstation. It features 500 MHz Alpha 21264 processor, 128 MB RAM, 4 GB SCSI hard drive, 4 MB Level 2 cache, and Windows NT or Unix. Prices start at US$7152. Code name during development was Monet. [1559]
February 2
  • Sun Microsystems begins shipping the SunPCi expansion card for Sun Ultra workstation computers. The card contains an Advanced Micro Devices 300 MHz K6-2 processor, Caldera's DR-DOS operating system, 645 to 256 MB RAM, Sound Blaster sound, serial/parallel/USB ports, 24-bit graphics. Applications running on the card can access the workstation's drives and network connection. Price is US$495. [1559]
April 13
  • Silicon Graphics Incorporated announces it has changed its company name to SGI. [872.6] [1812]
June 22
  • At the PC Expo trade show in New York, Samsung and Alpha Processor demonstrate a computer running a 1 GHz Alpha processor using normal cooling methods. Alpha Processor announces a 750 MHz Alpha 21264 processor, to be released in July. [1559]
  • EMC announces plans to buy Data General for about US$1.1 billion. [2058.12]
  • Compaq Computer ceases development work on 32-bit Windows NT for the Alpha processor. [2059.4]
  • Microsoft announces it will not release any more software products for the Alpha platform. [2059.23]
(month unknown)
  • Sun Microsystems acquires Star Division Corporation. [1194.9]
  • IBM introduces AIX version 4.3.3. [1055.4]
September 20
  • Hewlett-Packard announces new Kayak workstation computers, the Kayak XM600 and XU800, with Windows NT Workstation. Prices start at US$1375. [1559]
October 7
  • At the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, California, Hewlett-Packard announces the 550 MHz PA-RISC 8600 processor, based on and compatible with the PA-RISC 8500 processor. A new feature of the 8600 is the ability to run in exact parallel with another 8600, providing fail-safe execution in the event of one processor failing. [1559]
  • Shipments of workstation computers worldwide during the year: 1.4-1.6 million. [1559]
  • Workstation shipments during the year: Dell 238,184; Sun Microsystems 322,541; Hewlett-Packard 312,031; Compaq Computer 208,268; IBM 217,774; others 193,686. [2060.20]
  • Market share of workstation computer shipments worldwide during the year: Sun Microsystems 21.6%, Hewlett-Packard 20.9%, Dell Computer 16%, IBM 14.6%, Compaq Computer 14%. [1559]


May 15
  • SGI releases the Visual Workstation models 230, 330, and 550. The systems use Intel processors, and come with the Windows NT or Red Hat Linux operating system. [1559]
September 27
  • In New York, Sun Microsystems announces the UltraSPARC III processor. The processor incorporates 29 million transistors. Speeds available are 600 and 750 MHz. [14.1] [1559]
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  • Sun Microsystems introduces the Sun Blade 1000 workstation, featuring the 600 or 750 MHz UltraSPARC III processor. [14.14] [1559]
  • Quote by John Shoemaker, Sun Microsystem executive vice-president of systems products, on Internet servers: "... they've [IBM and HP] made a lot of noise lately, but the bottom line is we kick their butts." [14.16] [1559]
December 28
  • IBM announces updates to its RS/6000 44 P Model 170 workstation, with 450 MHz Power3 II processor, 2 GB RAM, 146 GB hard drive, and GXT6000P graphics board. Price is US$30,000. [1559]
  • Market share of workstation computer shipments worldwide during October to December: Dell Computer 25%, Sun Microsystems 18%, Hewlett-Packard 16%, IBM 15%, Compaq Computer 12.5%. [1559]
  • Market share of workstation computer shipments worldwide during the year: Dell Computer 22%, Sun Microsystems 20%, Hewlett-Packard 18%, Compaq Computer 13%, IBM 13%. [1559]
  • Shipments of workstation computers worldwide during the year: 1.6-1.7 million. [1559]
  • Workstation shipments during the year: Dell 381,718; Sun Microsystems 358,909; Hewlett-Packard 289,674; Compaq Computer 230,248; IBM 176,264; others 215,439. [2060.20] [1559]
  • Market share of workstation computer shipments worldwide during the year: Dell Computer 23.1%, Sun Microsystems 21.7%, Hewlett-Packard 17.5%, Compaq Computer 13.9%, IBM 10.7%. [1559]


February 27
  • Sun Microsystems announces the Sun Blade 100 workstation computer. It features 500 MHz UltraSparc IIe processor, USB ports, IEEE 1394 FireWire ports, Solaris 8 operating system, support for up to 2 GB RAM, and support for two hard drives. Starting price is US$995 without monitor or 3D graphics card. [1559]
March 29
  • The Santa Cruz Operation announces Open Unix 8 operating system. The main new feature is the Linux Kernel Personality, allowing Linux software to run unchanged. [1559]
  • Caldera International acquires SCO. [1198.3]
May 29
  • SGI announces the Silicon Graphics 750 system, with Linux operating system. [1458.12]
  • SGI releases the O2+ workstation. One model features a 350 MHz PMC-Sierra RM7000A RISC processor, for US$7,495 and up. A second model features a 400 MHz R12000A MIPS processor, for US$14,495 and up. [1559]
  • Unit shipments of workstation computers worldwide during the year: 1.469 million. [2061.18]


March 14
  • Sun Microsystems launches the Sun Blade 2000 workstation computer. It features one or two 990 MHz or 1.05 GHz 64-bit Ultrasparc III processors, and up to 8 GB RAM. Prices start at US$10.995. [2061.18] [1559]
May 22
  • Sun Microsystems announces Solaris 9 operating system. [1559]
June 30
  • Total shipments of workstation computers in the US in the past six months: 360,064. [1454.128]
  • Market share of workstation processors in the US in the past six months: Intel 82%. [1454.128]
August 20
  • Sun Microsystems releases the Sun Blade 150 workstation. It features 550 or 650 MHz UltraSparc IIi processor, one or two 40 GB hard drives, up to 2 GB RAM. Prices start at US$1395. [1559]


May 6
  • Advanced Micro Devices launches the Athlon MP 2800+ processor for workstations. Price is US$275 in 1000-unit quantities. [1559]
November 18
  • Tadpole Computer launches the Vipar notebook computer. It features Sun Microsystems UltraSparc IIIi processor, Solaris 9 operating system, 2 GB RAM, up to 80 GB hard drive, DVD/CD-RW drive, wireless networking, GNOME 2.0, and StarOffice 7.0. Price is US$5995. [1559]


  • Orion Multisystems announces a series of workstations employing boards with twelve Transmeta Efficeon processors, and the Fedora Linux 2.6.6 operating system. Price for a 12-processor system with 24 GB memory (to be available in October) is about US$10,000. price for a 96-processor system with 192 GB memory (to be available in the fourth quarter) is about US$100,000. [1559]
September 1
  • Hewlett-Packard discontinues its zx2000 and zx6000 workstations based on the Intel Itanium and Itanium 2 processors. [1559]
October 5
  • In San Jose, California, the Fall Processor Forum is held. Sun Microsystems announces the UltraSparc IV+ processor. It features dual core, 90 nanometre process, 2 MB shared memory, 32 MB memory per core, speed of 1.8 GHz. The processor is scheduled to be available in mid-2005. Code name during development was Panther. [1559]
November 15
  • In San Jose's Tech Museum of Innovation, Sun Microsystems' Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy unveils Solaris 10 operating system. The software is set to ship at the end of January. [2325.40]


  • Sun Microsystems launches the Sun Grid, an Internet service providing access to Sun's grid of 10,000 computer nodes. Users can run processor-intensive projects over the Internet, paying only for processor time (US$1 per CPU hour) and storage space. [1614.6]


  • Silicon Graphics files for Chapter 11 bankriptcy protection. [2188.1]


April 20
  • Oracle announces it will acquire Sun Microsystems for US$7.4 billion. [2322] [2540.13]

End of 1999-2009.
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1968-1986 1987-1990 1991-1992 1993 1994 1995-1998 1999-end

A list of references to all source material is available.

Other web pages of interest:

  • Chronology of Personal Computers
  • This Day in Personal Computer and Video Game History
  • This Day in History

  • Last updated: 2022 April 29.
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