happened when, in summary
By: Andy Mesa
This page summarizes
pretty much everything relating to Apple in the past 3
decades in chronological order (including a few relevant
events of IBM,
Microsoft, and NeXT).
For more information read Owen
Linzmayer's excellent Mac
Bathroom Reader, with
detailed accounts of all the events mentioned below from
the people who actually experienced it. As usual, if you
have any information you would like to add or correct,
- 1967: Jef Raskin (one of
the Mac creators) writes Ph.D. thesis on the Graphical
User Interface (GUI) at Penn State University. He coins
the term "Quick Draw" for the first time -- 17 years
later Apple uses "QuickDraw" as the name for the Mac's
graphic libraries in tribute to Raskin's
- 1968: Bill Fernandez
introduces his high school buddy Steve Jobs to his
neighbor Steve Wozniak. Enough said.
- 1970: Xerox
opens Palo Alto
Research Center (PARC) to research advances in
computer science. Raskin begins to take several trips to
PARC as a
visiting scholar for the Stanford Artificial Intelligence
- 1972: Jobs becomes one
of the first 50 employees at Atari, under Atari founder
Nolan K. Bushnell. Jobs later asks Woz for help in
creating the sequel to the smash hit "Pong", entitled
"Breakout". Jobs cheats Woz out of $5000.
- 1973: PARC
finishes work on the $40,000 Alto, that only certain
schools can buy. It becomes the first integrated
GUI-operated computer (though many concepts existed
before). It also used the first laser printer, and was
connected to other Altos using the first Ethernet
- 1975: Woz begins
attending meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club. Woz
becomes intrigued by the Altair 8800 often shown there.
He cannot afford one so he decides to build his own
microcomputer. Work begins on the Apple I.
- March: Woz finishes work
on the Apple
I. He first asks his employer, Hewlett
Packard, if they are interested in an $800 machine
that runs BASIC. All the departments in HP turns down his
- April 1: Apple Computer
Company is founded by Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Ron
- May: $666.66 Apple
I introduced at the Home Brew Computer Club meeting.
Paul Terell, president of Byte Shop chain, makes 50
- June: Byte Shop order
finished 1 day before deadline. Ron Wayne leaves
- Fall: Woz shows an
II prototype to Commodore representatives. Commodore
turns him down.
- August: Jobs asks his
former boss, Nolan Bushnell, for information on
investors. Bushnell recommends Don Valentine, who in turn
recommends Mike Markkula, who becomes a key person in
Apple's history for over twenty years.
- October: Commodore buys
MOS Technology, the company who makes the processors that
power the Apple
II and of course the Commodore PET and CBM computers
(and later the VIC -20 and C-64 computers, as well as
Atari and others).
- January 3: Apple
Computer, Inc. is officially created and the company
is incorporated. Mike Markkula invests $92,000 in Apple,
with intent to invest $250,000.
- April: The Apple
II is publicly introduced for $1295.
- January 3: 34-year-old
Jef Raskin joins Apple Computer exactly one year after
becoming incorporated. Becomes employee #31.
- June 17: Jobs' daughter,
Lisa Nicole, is born out of wedlock. He initially denies
the possibility of being the father, but came to accept
- January: Daniel Fylstra
writes CalcuLedger (later to become VisiCalc). Offers it
to Apple and Microsoft for $1 million. Both turn him
- Spring: Raskin refuses
proposal to work on Annie Project, a $500 game machine.
Suggests a GUI project instead.
- May: Raskin writes
proposal for the PITS (Person In The Street's) Computer.
It would supposedly to solve the complexities of the
- June: Apple
II+ introduced for $1195.
- July 30: The Lisa
Project, a $2000 Apple
III-like computer, begins under Ken Rothmuller.
Expected release was March 1981.
- August: Apple licensees
AppleSoft BASIC from Microsoft
for $21,000. Written by Randy Wigginton, who also created
- September: Raskin gets
approval to begin work on Macintosh Project, a $500
portable computer similar to his PITS proposal.
- October: Fylstra
releases VisiCalc. It becomes one of the most successful
programs ever, being the first "killer app".
- November: Jobs takes his
first visit to PARC
in exchange for allowing Xerox
to invest $1 million in Apple.
- December: Jobs returns
to PARC with
several vice presidents and management heads.
- March: Lisa
project revamped to include many of the features of the
Alto, with several more. Rothmuller complains the specs
are too much to be accomplished if they want to retain
the current release schedule and keep the final price
reasonable. Jobs fires Rothmuller for "not cooperating",
later replaced by John Couch.
- Summer: Jobs hires 15
Xerox employees to
work on the Lisa
Project who are all excited to "get out of the lab" at
Xerox, and work on a real product that will someday
- May 19: The Apple
III is released at the National Computer Conference
(NCC) for $4340 to $7800 depending on configuration --
this is one of the first multiprocessing desktop
- December 12: Apple goes
public. Apple's share rises 32% that day, making 40
employees instant millionaires. Jobs, the largest
shareholder, makes $217 million dollars alone. Markkula
makes $203 million that day, an incomprehensible 220,700%
return on investment . Neither Jef Raskin, nor Daniel
Kottke (one of the original Apple employees) were allowed
to buy stock and so made no money during this time. Many
more would have been left out, if it had not been for the
heroic and generous egalitarian efforts of Woz (who gives
away much of his stock for the sake of other
- January: Jobs forces
himself into the Macintosh Project, after earlier
dismissing and often trying to cancel it.
- March: Mike Markkula
becomes president of Apple. The original ship date for
is missed, coming out 3 years later.
- June: Xerox
introduces at NCC the $16,595 Star (a sort of successor
to the Alto).
- August 12: IBM
introduces the IBM PC for $1565. With 16k RAM, and an
optional 5.25" floppy drive, running the first version of
MS-DOS. Basically it is a poor rip-off of CP/M based
Altair machines of the decade before, and is not as
efficient or polished as the Apple
II's. Nevertheless, it becomes an instant
- January 22: Jobs
convinces Bill to write a BASIC interpreter and to write
Applications for the Mac.
- February: The Mac
case-design is finished and finally approved. All the
signatures of the members of the project are placed
inside the mold.
- March 1: After Raskin
forced out of the Macintosh project (by Jobs), Raskin
- July 30: The
applications bundled with the Lisa
finally work together under the OS for the first
- September 1: Lisa
is declared ready for market.
- Late in the year:
"1984" ad, originally for the Apple
II. It is never run.
- January 19: The
is introduced for $9998. The Apple
IIe is introduced for $1395, later arguably becoming
the most successful and most popular Apple computer. It
will be produced for 10 and a half more years.
- Spring: Chiat/Day
rewrites "1984" for use in the now famous commercial
advertising the Macintosh during Super Bowl XVIII.
- May: Apple enters
Fortune 500 at #411 after only five years of existence.
It becomes the fastest growing company in history.
- April 8: Jobs convinces
John Sculley, then president of PepsiCo, to become
president and CEO of Apple in a famous quote
(paraphrased) where Jobs says to Sculley, "Do you want to
make sugar-water all your life or do you want to change
- May 16: The original
ship date for the Macintosh at the NCC is missed.
- September: Lisa
released without bundled software for $6995.
- October 7: The Macintosh
Introduction Plan, a list of popular developers and
celebrities that are invited to beta-test the Mac, is
- November: The Lisa
divisions are combined to form the Apple 32 SuperMicro
- December: The Apple III+
is introduced for $2995. It replaced the defective Apple
- December 15: Chiat/Day
airs "1984" for the first time. It was aired in the
signoff slot of KMVT Channel 11, at 1:00 AM
(coincidentally, on my third birthday). This is customary
for the company, so it can be eligible for the
advertising awards issued that year.
- Late 1983: IBM
sells 1 million IBM PCs, and introduces the big flop IBM
- Bill Gates first announces Windows, and how the GUI
will revolutionize the PC. Microsoft will not release it
for 4 more years.
- January 17: The
30-second version of "1984" appears in theater previews
across the country. It was so admired, it was often
replayed for free.
- January 22: Apple airs
"1984" during the third quarter of Super Bowl XVIII to a
- January 24: $2495
and $3495 Lisa
- April 24: Apple
IIc introduced at the Apple Forever Conference in San
Diego. The Apple
III is discontinued.
- September: Apple
IIc wins Industrial Design Excellence Award.
- Microsoft announces and released Word, Multiplan,
File, Chart, BASIC for the Mac, and other programs.
- January: Apple renames
2/10 the Macintosh XL, and discontinues all other
- January 20: "Lemmings"
commercial comes out at Super Bowl XIX. IS/IT types find
it so insulting that they hold it against Apple for
- March: Apple
IIe enhanced introduced.
- April 29: As Lisa sales
are finally taking off (as the expandable Mac) Jobs gets
control of the Lisa project. Jobs sees the Lisa as
competition to the Macintosh so he cancels the Lisa
- May 15: The last
XL is produced at a Carrollton, Texas factory.
Sun Remarketing buys
thousands of the last Lisas to sell as expanded
- May 24: Jobs tries to
force Sculley out of Apple by forming a coup against
- May 31: Jobs is stripped
of all his duties. He job description becomes "global
thinker", and his remote office dubbed "Siberia".
- July 29: Gates sends
Sculley a memo suggesting licensing of the Mac OS and
prospective companies who might create Mac clones.
- September: Apple sells
500,000 Macintosh models.
- September 12: Jobs
announces intent to create new company with other
- September 17: Jobs
distributes his resignation letter to Apple and several
other news media figures.
- September 23: Apples
files suit against Jobs. Apple claims Jobs knows
sensitive technology secrets that he might use in his new
- November 22: Sculley
signs agreement to let Bill Gates use Mac technology in
Windows, if Microsoft continues to produce products for
- Microsoft releases Excel for Macintosh.
- January: Apple settles
law suit against Jobs out of court. Jobs agrees not to
hire any Apple employees for 6 months, and to always make
computers that are more powerful than anything Apple has
to offer...yes, you read right.
- February: Jobs finishes
selling all but one of his 6.5 million shares of stock to
begin NeXT, Inc.
- June: Paul Rand,
responsible for the IBM
logo, designs the NeXT logo and suggests the use of the
- September: The Apple
IIGS is introduced for $999.
- Aldus introduces the TIFF format, later to become the
desktop publishing standard. Compaq
introduces the first Intel 386 PC, replacing IBM
as the PC technology leader.
- January 3: Apple
celebrates its tenth birthday. A coffee table book, So
Far, later chronicles the experiences of the last ten
- Early in the year: Ross
Perot invests $20 million in NeXT,
- Spring: Projected
release of first NeXT machine. The NeXT Computer would be
a year and a half late.
- March 17: Apple declares
6 different Mac Pluses the 1 millionth Mac. Raskin is
presented with one of them, which he still uses.
- March 17: Apple
introduces the MacSE and more importantly the MacII --
which is a 68020 based Open-Macintosh that includes Plug
& Play NuBus slots, multiple monitor support, 32 bit
color, ADB and many other technologies that PC's won't
see for up to 10 more years.
- August 11: Microsoft
releases the first version of its GUI OS, Windows 1.01.
It's arcane user interface is almost unusable, a large
- The IIe
extended is introduced. Raskin releases the Canon
Cat, a computer that was much more like his PITS and Mac
proposals of several years earlier. It fails to become
popular, but it wins several design awards.
- January: Microsoft
releases the second version of Windows, version 2.03.
Seeing as 1.01 was almost unusable, many improvements
were made, most of which were taken from the Mac. Such
features include Mac-like icons, and overlapping instead
of tiling windows.
- September: The Apple
IIc+, the last in the Apple II line, is introduced.
GS/OS System 1, a Mac-like GUI for the IIGS,
- October 12: the NeXT
Computer is released for $6500. It included a 25 MHz '30
processor, 8 MB RAM, 250 MB optical disk drive, math
coprocessor, digital processor for real time sound,
faxmodem, and a 17" monitor.
- February: Apple Corps.,
the Beatle's record company, files a trademark
infringement suit against Apple over Mac's sound
capabilities and CD-ROM's (which are treading into the
- September: Apple rents
space at the Logan landfill and trashes the remaining
- September 18: The
NeXTSTEP OS is introduced. It will eventually be bought
by Apple and used in its next generation OS,
- February: Dan'l Lewin, a
NeXT founder, resigns.
- May 22: Windows 3.0
- September 18: The
NeXTstation is released for $4995, one year after the
introduction of the NeXTSTEP OS. It used the new 25 MHz
'40, 2.88 MB floppy drive, 105MB HD, 8MB RAM, and
monochrome monitor. Also introduced was the NeXTstation
Color for $7995 with a 16" monitor capable of 4,096
colors, and 12 MB RAM. The $7995 NeXTcube was next, with
the same configuration as a NeXTstation Color except it
could use a 32-bit video board for 16.7 million colors in
- April 12: Sculley gives
a demonstration to IBM
engineers of a IBM PS/2 Model 70 running Pink, a now
defunct object-oriented OS that made IBM-compatible
computers look a lot like Macs running System 7.
- June: Ross Perot, one of
NeXT's board of directors and founder, resigns saying it
was one of his biggest mistakes.
- July 3: IBM
sent a letter of intent to Apple, saying it would help
finish Pink and license its RISC processor in the works
- October 2: The
becomes official. Among the many agreements, Apple and
IBM will create
PowerPC-based machines and produce two companies,
Taligent and Kaleida. The former a now-defunct company
that worked on the now-defunct Pink, the latter a company
that produces multimedia tools.
- October 9: Apple settled
suit with Apple Corps, agreeing to pay $26.5
- January 22: Steve Jobs
announces NeXTSTEP 3.0, NeXTSTEP 486, a version of
NeXTSTEP that could run on an Intel 486 simultaneously
with MS-DOS, and promises 33 MHz '40 processor versions
of the NeXTcube and NeXTstation/Color at the NeXTWORLD
Expo in San Francisco. NeXT would eventually move its OS
entirely to the Intel x86 platform. Coincidentally, the
exposition is held at the same time and in the same city
as the Macworld Expo.
- March-May: Microsoft
introduces Windows 3.1. Microsoft does not make another
update (besides 3.11) for 3 years. Even today Windows 3.1
has about 40% market share. Windows 95 and Mac OS are
both at around 16-17%.
- Late September: NeXTSTEP
3.0 is released.
- June: Bud Tribble, a
NeXT founder, resigns.
- January: Rich Page, a
NeXT founder, resigns.
- February 10: Jobs lays
off 280 of his 530 NeXT employees on "Black Tuesday".
Sells his hardware line to Canon, and tries to become a
Microsoft-like company by concentrating only on the
NeXTSTEP OS for the Intel x86 platform.
- April: Motorola
ships the first 50 MHz and 66 MHz PowerPC 601. The first
generation of PowerPCs has begun. George Crow, the last
NeXT founder besides Jobs, resigns.
- May: NeXTSTEP for Intel
Processors (compatible with 486 and Pentium processors)
- June 18: Michael
Spindler replaces Sculley as CEO of Apple. Sculley holds
- September: Software developers, most notably Aldus
and Adobe, show beta native-PowerPC versions of their
- October: IBM
releases 50 MHz, 66 MHz, and 80 MHz PowerPC 601, and an
80 MHz 604.
- October 15: Sculley
resigns from Apple, joins the ailing Spectrum.
- November: Apple
licensees PowerPC ROMs to DayStar Digital, so they can
begin creating PPC Upgrade cards. DayStar also later
becomes one of the first Mac OS license holders, as well
an authority in multiprocessing PowerPC-based Macs.
- January: Apple releases
the 66 MHz PowerPC Upgrade Card, the first commercial
- February: Apple
announces the Copland Project (defunct Mac OS 8,
superseded by Rhapsody).
- May 9: Kaleida lays off
20% of its employees.
- March 14: Apple releases
the first PowerMacs (6100/60, 7100/66, 8100/80) using the
- June: Apple releases
System 7.5, with a bunch of new features everybody
already had as shareware.
- September: Apple
licenses the Mac OS to Radius and Power
IBM and Motorola
ship 66 MHz and 80 MHz 603, and a 100 MHz 604. PReP
(a.k.a. CHRP, PPCP) Project begins, which will be able to
run Windows 95/NT and the Mac OS in one PowerPC
- February: IBM
and Motorola introduce
the 100 MHz 603e, up to 30% faster than a 603.
- April: IBM
releases 120 MHz 601.
- May: Power
Computing releases the first Mac clones, including
the very successful Power 100.
- June: Apple releases the
first PCI Mac, the $5000 PowerMac 9500/120 using the new
- November: PReP becomes
CHRP as Apple, IBM ,
and Motorola releases
the first CHRP specifications.
- February: Apple
licensees the Mac OS to Motorola,
allows authority to sublicense for the first time.
- April 1: Apple celebrates its 20th birthday. The
Anniversary Macintosh is announced to commemorate the
- April: IBM
releases 166 MHz and 180 MHz 604e.
- May-July: Apple
licensees Mac OS to IBM.
PowerPC 603e and 604e reach 200 MHz.
- August: Apple kills
Copland Project (most of the technology is absorbed into
other projects). IBM
and Motorola demo their
CHRP prototypes. The third generation of PowerPC
processors (G3) is announced. Motorola,
Apple, and IBM predict
an exponential gain in performance.
- October: System 7.55 is
- December: Apple buys
NeXT, Inc. for $430
million. Development of Windows NT for PowerPC stops when
Microsoft tries to extort Motorola for hundreds of
Millions of dollars, on top of royalties already agreed
to (for the right to port NT for MS).
- January 24: Mac OS 7.6,
the first part of Apple's new OS strategy, is released
exactly 13 years after the introduction of the
- January 26: Steve Jobs,
back as an "advisor" due to the NeXT deal, announces the
future of Rhapsody, Mac OS 8, Allegro, and Sonata, the
Mac, NeXT, and Apple in general at Macworld Expo.
- April: Motorola
introduces 300 MHz 603e.
- June: Motorola
introduces 350 MHz Mach 5 604e.
- July: President and CEO
Gil Amelio and VP Ellen Hancock are forced to resign.
- July 22: Mac OS 8 is
finally released. Selling 1.25 million copies in less
than 2 weeks, it becomes the best-selling software in
- August 6: former
"advisor" Steve Jobs becomes "de facto head", announces
Microsoft alliance at the Macworld Expo in Boston. Among
the agreements are a cross-platform license, $150 million
invested in Apple stocks, an undisclosed amount of money
for Apple (rumored to be $800 million), the production of
MS Office for 5 years, and MS Internet Explorer as the
default browser for the Mac OS.
- September: Motorola
releases PowerPC 750 (G3) processor. Apple releases
- September 2: Apple buys
license and core assets, halts all CHRP licensing.
shipment of StarMax 6000, the first CHRP Mac.
- September 11: Motorola
discontinues all StarMax models and leaves Mac-clone
market altogether. IBM
later does the same.
- September 16: formerly
"de facto head" Steve Jobs becomes "interim CEO" of
Apple. Jobs remains CEO to this day.
- October: Apple seeds
Rhapsody Developer Release 1.0. The new next-generation
OS holds great promise for the computer industry.
- November 10: At
worldwide "Apple Event", Apple releases the PowerMac
G3. The Apple
Store is also introduced, and a deal is made with
CompUSA for an
"Apple store within the store". Though this greatly
increases Mac sales, many disappointed by lack of bigger
- December: The US Justice
Department forces Microsoft to stop forcing clone vendors
to bundle MS Internet Explorer with Windows 95.
- January 7: Jobs
announces a projected $47 million profit for the first
quarter at Macworld Expo, finally bringing Apple back to
- January 31: Power
Computing goes out of business for good. All office
computers and supplies are auctioned off. Owners of
stock are mailed Apple stock.
- February 4: IBM
shows off their prototype 1.1 GHz (1100 MHz) PowerPC
- February 27: After a
little over 5 years, the Newton/eMate line has been
discontinued by Apple. Instead, mobile-based products
using Mac OS technology will be developed by 1999. Bandai
also liquidates all Bandai @World (Pippin) consoles. This
centers Apple on the Macintosh as its only computing
- March 15: Apple "stores
within stores" open in all of the 149 CompUSA
locations across the country, answering the cry of many
Mac users who loathe the pathetically small, incomplete,
and out of stock Apple sections most retail computer
- May: Apple announces the
iMac and new PowerBook G3 Series.
- July: Apple announced
their third consecutive profit, $101 million, higher than
anyone had expected. "Apple is back" stories surface all
over Internet, print, and TV. Macworld Expo highlights
the many features of the iMac, and reveals Apple's
software and hardware strategies for the rest of the
- July 30: Motorola
releases 333, 366, and 400 MHz PowerPC processors.
Planned to be used in the upcoming PowerMac G3 Pro
models, as well as a revamped PowerBook G3, these chips
are by far less energy consuming than even the older,
slower G3s. The new G3 processors reportedly gain
supercomputer status by government agencies.
- August 7: Apple
announces 150,000 preorders for the iMac. Apple goes over
$40/share, highest stock market price in three
- August 15: iMac is
released in the largest hardware product rollout that the
industry has seen.