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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Personal Computer Turns 25: Then and Now Technology Timeline

From 1981–2006: 25 years of PC evolution
The introduction of the IBM personal computer (PC) in 1981 marked a fundamental turning point in computing. Looking back now, on the PC's 25-year anniversary, it’s difficult to grasp the full impact that a quarter century of personal computing has had on our daily lives. Today it is hard for many of us to imagine life without PCs in our homes and workplaces.

1980's back to top

1981—IBM introduces its first PC, which features an Intel 8088 microprocessor as the "brains" inside the computer.

1981—Adam Osborne completes the first portable computer, the Osborne I, which weighs 24 pounds.

1983—Microsoft releases Windows* and introduces a "low-cost" mouse at $195.

1983—Time magazine names the computer "Machine of the Year."

1984—Apple debuts the Macintosh*, which popularizes the graphical user interface.

1984—Hewlett-Packard markets the laserjet printer, which prints eight pages per minute.

1985—Grolier's Electronic Encyclopedia* becomes available on CD-ROM.

1985—Intel introduces the Intel386™ microprocessor and Compaq is the first to ship a PC based on the chip.

1987—IBM's PS/2 machine, with the Intel386™ microprocessor, makes the 3.5-inch floppy disk drive standard on IBM computers.

1987—Aldus releases its PageMaker* program for use on IBM and IBM-compatible computers.

1989—Intel releases the Intel486™ microprocessor, which contains more than one million transistors.

1989—Creative Labs releases its first Sound Blaster* audio card for the PC.

1990's back to top

1990—In Geneva, Switzerland, Tim Berners-Lee develops a new technique for distributing information on the Internet, eventually called the World Wide Web.

1991—Creative Labs introduces a multimedia upgrade kit containing a CD-ROM drive, Sound Blaster Pro* board, speakers, and multimedia software.

1993—Intel introduces the Intel® Pentium® processor and the number of people in the United States connected to the Internet reaches three million.

1993—Silicon Graphics founder Jim Clark collaborates with Marc Andreessen to create an Internet browser called Netscape*.

1995—Microsoft launches Windows* 95 and its browser, Internet Explorer*.

1996—Palm introduces the Pilot 1000* and Pilot 5000* products.

1997—Time magazine names Intel's Andy Grove "Man of the Year."

1997—Intel introduces the Intel® Pentium® II processor and the number of people worldwide connected to the Internet surpasses 100 million.

1998—Microsoft introduces Windows* 98 with universal plug and play capabilities.

1998—Intel CEO Craig Barrett predicts there will be one billion connected PCs within the next decade.

1999—Intel introduces the Intel® Pentium® III processor and the number of people worldwide connected to the Internet grows beyond 201 million.

2000's back to top

2000—Approximately 35 million Americans listen to music online1, 45 million play games online2, and the number of people worldwide connected to the Internet passes 400 million.3

2000—Intel introduces the Pentium® 4 processor designed for Internet audio and streaming video, image processing, video content creation, speech, 3-D games, multimedia, and multitasking user environments.

2001—The PC turns 20 and the number of PCs sold worldwide between 1981 and 2000 reaches 835 million.4

2001—Apple launches the iPod* personal music player, which marks a major turning point in the digital music revolution.6

2003—Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe found MySpace.com, one of the world's most popular online social networking services.

2003—Intel introduces Intel® Centrino® processor technology for notebook PCs, enabling breakthrough mobile performance with built-in wireless connectivity to provide everything mobile lifestyles demand.

2004—Notebook PCs outsell TVs during the 2004 holiday season for the first time.

2005—Lenovo acquires IBM's PC division.

2006—Intel launches Intel® Viiv™ technology, the company's premier brand for PCs designed for entertainment in the home to enjoy, share, manage, and control digital content—from photos and music to games and movies.

2006—Intel announces Intel® vPro™ technology, its forthcoming PC platform brand optimized for businesses. Intel vPro technology is Intel's premier platform for superior manageability, enhanced security, and energy-efficient performance.

2006—Intel launches the Intel® Core™2 Duo processor for drastically improved performance and energy efficiency. The Intel Core 2 desktop processors provide up to a 40 percent increase in performance and are more than 40 percent more energy efficient versus Intel's previous best processor.7

2006—Intel estimates that there are close to one billion Internet-connected PCs worldwide.

1Pew Internet & American Life Projects Online Music Report, September 2000

2Jupiter Consumer Survey, December 1999

3Nua Internet Surveys, December 2000

4Gartner Dataquest

5Concept PC jointly developed by Intel and Hewlett-Packard


7Performance based on SPECint*_rate_base2000 (2 copies) and energy efficiency based on Thermal Design Power (TDP), comparing Intel® Core™2 Duo E6700 to Intel® Pentium® D Processor 960. Actual performance may vary. See www.intel.com/performance for more information.

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