Bill Gates and Paul Allen form
Traf-O-Data in 1971 to sell their computer traffic-analysis systems.
1972: Gary Kildall writes PL/M, the first high-level programming language for the
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak are
building and selling "blue boxes" in Southern California in 1971.
April 1972: Intel introduces the 8008, the first 8-bit microprocessor.
Jonathan A. Titus designs the
Mark-8, "Your Personal Minicomputer," according to the July, 1974 cover of
Popular Electronics features the MITS
Altair 8800 on its cover, January 1975. It is hailed as the first "personal"
computer. Thousands of orders for the 8800 rescue MITS from bankruptcy.
Pictured below: The Homebrew Computer Club in 1975.
Paul Allen and Bill Gates develop
BASIC for the Altair 8800. Microsoft is born.
1977: Apple is selling its Apple II
for $1,195, including 16K of RAM but no monitor.
Software Arts develops the first
spreadsheet program, Visicalc, by the spring of 1979. It is released in October
and is an immediate success. Copies shipped per month rise from 500 to 12,000
between 1979 and 1981.
By 1980 Apple has captured 50% of the
personal computer market.
In 1980 Microsoft is approached by
IBM to develop BASIC for its personal computer project. The IBM PC is released
in August, 1981.
The Apple Macintosh debuts in 1984. It features a
simple, graphical interface, uses the 8-MHz, 32-bit Motorola 68000 CPU, and has a
built-in 9-inch B/W screen.
Microsoft Windows 1.0 ships in
Motorola announces the 68040, a
32-bit 25MHz microprocessor.
Microsoft's sales for 1989 reach $1
billion, the first year to do so.