Sources: Microsoft and CNET News.com staff research
Two-plus decades have brought major changes to the PC industry. Here's a glimpse at some of the significant events:
* IBM announces the 5150 PC, ranging from $1,565 to $4,500.
* Commodore announces the Commodore 64 microcomputer.
* Columbia Data Products releases the first IBM PC clone.
* Intel introduces the 6MHz 286 processor.
* Sun Microsystems and Compaq Computer are founded.
* Apple Computer introduces the Lisa computer for $10,000.
* Compaq ships a 28-pound portable computer.
* Microsoft announces the Windows operating system.
* Sony unveils the 3.5-inch floppy disk, which holds up to 1MB of data.
* Apple introduces the Macintosh computer.
* IBM announces the PC-AT.
* Philips unveils CD-ROM players for PCs.
* The number of hosts on the Internet reaches 1,000.
* Hewlett-Packard enters the printer business.
* Dell Computer is founded.
* Microsoft ships Microsoft Windows 1.0.
* Gateway is founded as Gateway 2000.
* Microsoft goes public.
* Intel introduces the 20MHz 386 processor.
* Intel releases the 25MHz 486 processor.
* HP marks its 50th anniversary.
* The World Wide Web is born.
* Microsoft launches Windows NT 3.1.
* The number of Americans on the Net reaches 3 million.
* Intel introduces the 66MHz Pentium processor.
* Microsoft releases Windows 95 and Office 95.
* Intel releases the 450MHz Pentium II.
* Apple ships the iMac.
* The number of people worldwide on the Net passes 201 million.
* Intel releases the 1.5GHz Pentium 4.
* The number of PCs sold worldwide since 1981 hits 835 million.
* Apple's iPod turns on the music.
* Apple unveils flat-panel iMac.
* HP closes book on Compaq merger.
* AMD announces 64-bit Opteron and Athlon 64 processors.
* Dell starts its printer business.
* Intel launches Pentium M and Centrino wireless notebook brand.
* PC shipments rise again, hitting nearly 155 million units for the year, according to IDC.
* Gateway completes eMachines buy.
* Intel kills plans for 4GHz Pentium.