1972-Hewlett-Packard introduces what is said to be the first scientific hand-held computer, making the slide rule obsolete.
1970s-The decade marks IBM's "aura of invincibility," the era of the mainframe and the Selectric typewriter. 1974-Texas Instruments integrates processor, memory and input/output on a single chip with the TMS 1000 microprocessor, giving rise to an era of intelligent consumer products.
1975-The vaunted Altair 8800, a $397 PC kit, is introduced. Bill Gates and Paul Allen start a company, eventually called Microsoft, to design software for the Altair.
1975-Xerox begins its "Brother Dominick" ad campaign from agency
Needham, Harper & Steers, which helps establish it as the imaging company, in the process creating what in effect became the generic term for all copiers.
1975-Epson unveils the first low-cost dot-matrix printer. 1976-Tandy Corp.'s Radio Shack introduces its mass-market desktop home computers.
1977-Digital Equipment Corp. introduces VAX minicomputers, cementing Digital's minis as a blue chip alternative to IBM's mainframes.
1977-Larry Ellison starts business software developer Oracle Corp.
1977-Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak launch Apple II, successor to their garage-built Apple I, introduced two years earlier. Apple II is arguably the most successful PC of the '70s, and over the years will be supported by impressive and creative advertising, first from Regis McKenna and Chiat/Day, later from BBDO. 1978-Intel quits digital watch business, exiting consumer products market.
1979-IDG, publisher of ComputerWorld since 1967, launches InfoWorld, a technology book for Information Services professionals.
1981-IBM popularizes the phrase "personal computer" with the introduction of its PC via the "Little Tramp" ad campaign from agency Lord, Geller, Federico, Einstein and featuring a Charlie Chaplin look-alike. Campaign
lasts until the 1987 introduction of IBM's PS/2.
1982-National Semiconductor announces the first 32-bit microprocessors.
1982-CMP (now CMP Media) launches Computer Resellers News, a technology newspaper for readers in the computer distribution channel.
1982-Ziff-Davis launches PC Magazine, a monthly publication for the still-small universe of personal computer owners. Ten years later, it passes the 1 million mark in circulation.
1983-Startup Compaq Computer Corp. introduces its suitcase-sized PC. "The new COMPAQ Portable: IBM compatibility to go," says an Ogilvy & Mather ad. Lotus Development Corp. launches 1-2-3 spreadsheet for IBM PCs, stealing the market from spreadsheet pioneer VisiCalc.
1983-Newly arrived CEO Ray Noorda converts Novell Inc. from a failing computer hardware marketer to a booming maker of networking software.
1983-Coming off Cabbage Patch doll fame, Coleco Industries creates a sensation with the $600 Adam home computer. It's a short sensation since the PC didn't quite work.
1983-Pepsi-Cola Co. President John Sculley jumps to president-CEO of
Apple, bringing packaged goods marketing to Silicon Valley. 1984-Apple introduces Macintosh with "1984," a Super Bowl commercial in January from Chiat/Day that has been called the most spectacular TV spot of all time.
1984-Michael Dell starts selling mail-order computers from his college
dorm room, later renaming the company Dell Computer Corp.
1984-Hewlett-Packard introduces DeskJet, the first popular inkjet printer.
1984-Ziff-Davis launches PC Week, a weekly newspaper for corporate users of personal computers.
1985-HP follows DeskJet with the LaserJet laser printer, ushering in a marketing strategy of aggressive pricing and product innovation.
1985-CMP launches Information Week, a weekly newsmagazine for IS professionals.
1986-Sperry Corp., the only tech marketer on Ad Age's 1971 roster of the 100 largest advertisers, merges with Burroughs Corp. to form Unisys Corp. Unisys in 1995 lost $625 million; the one-time power spent $5.4 million on U.S. mass media last year, less than half what Sperry spent in 1971.
1986-Packard Bell, borrowing a name from a faded consumer electronics marketer, introduces its PC and over time becomes the No. 1 home PC by aggressively courting mass retailers.
1990-Microsoft's Windows 3.0 debuts as the first heavily promoted operating system.
1990-Microsoft Office is introduced, helping Microsoft secure its domination of the productivity applications market by bundling products together.
1991-The "Intel inside" branding campaign breaks, from agency Dahlin Smith White. 1993-Apple becomes first computer marketer to advertise on MTV: Music Television, recognizing that computers are central to the culture of youth.
1993-Apple launches a mass-media campaign for Newton, a new "person digital assistant" that wasn't quite ready for prime time. Bruises the image of Apple and dampens interest in personal communicators.
1994-IBM Corp. summarily fires some 80 ad agencies and hands its $600 million global ad account to Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.
1994-Silicon Graphics founder Jim Clark starts Mosaic Communications Corp. and introduces a Web browser, Mosaic Navigator. To steer clear of trademark matters, changed names to Netscape Communications Corp. and Netscape Navigator.
1994-Microsoft launches first global TV campaign.
1994-CMP launches TechWeb on the Internet (http://techweb.cmp.com), putting all its newspapers and magazines on the Web, and Ziff-Davis does the same with its ZD Net (http://www.zdnet.com).
1995-Billed as a mega-event, Windows 95 is introduced by Microsoft in
August with an estimated $200 million global TV and print campaign from
Wieden & Kennedy.
1995-Bill Gates' "The Road Ahead" soars to No. 1 on The New York Times
bestseller list. Because of glitches, the book's CD-ROM supplement doesn't
always work. 1995-Sun Microsystems recasts Oak, a software technology for
interactive television, as Java, a trendy software tool to bring glitz to
1995-MCI takes to broadcast TV to push business Internet use via its
1995-Oracle CEO Larry Ellison proposes a $500 "network computer,"
setting off a race to create a low-cost Internet access device.
1996-Intel consolidates global account at Euro RSCG.
1996-Microsoft relaunches miscast Microsoft Network as a Web service and
vows to build a $1 billion-plus Internet content business by 2000. Microsoft
claims to be the biggest Web ad buyer and says it aspires to be the biggest
Web ad seller.
1996-Sony and Toshiba enter home PC market. Philips and Sony push cheap
Web access TV add-ons. Home PC leader Packard Bell, long reliant on retailer
co-op ads, begins its first major TV and print campaign.
1996-No. 1 PC marketer Compaq launches its first global campaign, intended
as a sustained effort to build the brand.