A Brief History of Computing
- Major computing corporations and organisations

© Copyright 1996-2005, Stephen White

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1896 IBM founded (as the Tabulating Machine Company), see 1924. Founded by Herman Hollerith (1860-1929, see also 1890).
1911 Merger of companies, including Herman Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company, to Computing - Tabulating - Recording Company - which became IBM in 1924.
1924 - February International Business Machines (IBM corporation) formed after more mergers involving the Computing - Tabulating - Recording Company - see 1911. By 1990 IBM had an income of around $69 Billion (and 373,816 employees), although in 1992 recession caused a cut in stock dividends (for the first time in the company's history) and the sacking of 40,000 employees.
1939 - January 1 Hewlett-Packard formed by David Hewlett and William Packard in a garage in California. A coin toss decided the name.
1960 Tandy Corporation founded by Charles Tandy.
1968 Intel founded by Robert Noyce and a few friends.
1972 Atari founded (as Syzygy) by Nolan Bushnell, who designed pong (see also 1972).
1975 Formation of Microsoft by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. It is now one of the most powerful and successful computing companies, a distinct improvement on the pair's original company, Traf-O-Data, which made car counters for highway departments. In just 3 years it achieved revenues of $500,000 and employed 15 people. By 1992 this had increased to revenues of 2.8 billion (50% of which are from exports), and over 10,000 employees - a fantastic feat for a company less than 20 years old. Microsoft's big break was when they were asked to write the operating system for the I.B.M. PC, released in 1981. Although financially not as large as IBM, Microsoft has a huge amount of influence in the Computing Industry.
1976 Apple Computer, Inc. founded, to Market Apple I computer. Designed by Stephen Wozniak and Stephen Jobs.
1982 - December IBM buy 12% of Intel.
1983 Borland Formed.
1988 - October Common Access Method committee (CAM) formed. They published the ATA standard on the 1st of April 1989 (IDE/ATA disks had been around for a while but wasn't previously standardised), along with enhancements to allow for larger disks that before.
1990 Consortium of major SVGA card manufactures (called Video Electronic Standard Association, VESA) was formed and then introduced VESA SVGA Standard.
1991 Borland took over Ashton-Tate Corporation & the Dbase program used by many businesses and individuals.
1993 Novell purchased Digital Research, DR-DOS became Novell DOS.
1997 - August 6

After 18 months of losses Apple were in serious financial trouble. Microsoft invested in Apple, buying 100,000 non-voting shares worth $150 million - a decision not approved of by many Apple owners! One of the conditions was that Apple were to drop their long running court case - attempting to sue Microsoft for copying the look and feel of their operating system when designing Windows.

There is some contention as to whether Apple were justified in sueing Microsoft, given that they themselves used some of the ideas from the XEROX 'Star' system when desiging their G.U.I. - however the similarities between MacOS and Windows are much more pronouced than those between the XEROX system and the Mac.

© Copyright 1996-2004, Stephen White My homepage - email:swhite@ox.compsoc.net