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This Day in Computer History: October 6

written by: Pipedreamergrey•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 10/9/2008

Today marks the anniversary of the Michael Dell's famous line disparaging Apple, "I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." Read it and more in "This Day in Computer History", a chronology of events in the computer, ecommerce, and software industries on this day in history.

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    This Day in Computer History


    The Ohio Art company was founded by Henry Simon Winzeler. The company later manufactured the Etch-A-Sketch, one of the earliest popular "hand-held gaming devices" in history and the Etch A Sketch Animator 2000, which was among the earliest electronic gaming devices.


    Lotus Development, founded by Mitch Kapor and Jonathan Sachs in 1982, goes public after a year resulting in $54 million in sales that left the company the world's single largest independent software developer. The company's success was the result of it spreadsheet application, Lotus 1-2-3, which dominated the market by bypassing the IBM PC's operating system to gain a competitive edge in terms of speed. The company soon after went on trounce its main competitor, Visicalc, the PC's original "killer app."


    windows 2.0 Microsoft introduced Microsoft Windows 2.0 and Microsoft Windows/386 operating systems. Windows 2.0 introduces the notable advance of allowing individual system windows to overlap each other, unlike Windows 1.0, in which windows could only be tiled. The system is also the first to introduce the now-standard terms "Minimize" and "Maximize." Price: $195

    Microsoft introduced the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet application for Microsoft Windows 2.0, to compete with Lotus 1-2-3 and VisiCalc. While, substantively, Excel varies little from its two competitors in terms of performance and capabilities, Excel's glossy interface will quickly bring it to the forefront of the spreadsheet market. Despite Microsoft's thriving success, the application is consider to be the company's first major release, putting Microsoft on the map for business consumers.


    Intel released the 200Mhz version of the Pentium Processor.


    During an trade conference, Michael Dell, founder of the computer manufacturer Dell, is asked his opinion on the current situation at Apple Computer in which Steve Jobs had been asked to temporarily act as CEO following the ousting of Gil Amelio. Dell replied, “What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.” The reply will go down in history as one of the most notorious forecasts of a company's prospects in computer in history. By Friday, January 13, 2006, Apple's US $72.13 billion market cap will have stabilized and surpassed Dell’s US $71.97 billion market cap, and Apple will go on to emerge as one of the industry's most tradable brands, even as Dell's rapid expansion of the late nineties levels off.


    Apple Computer released two new iMac commercials starring Jeff Goldblum. The thirty-second television spots premiere during Home Improvement on the ABC network.

    Intel announced a 450 MHz version of its Pentium II Xeon processors, which were designed for use in dual-processor servers and workstations.

    Microsoft released version 6.0 of the Visual J++ Java development platform. Price: $109 (Standard) or $549 (Professional)


    It's announced that the U.S. Justice Department spent over US $12.6 million litigating its antitrust case against the Microsoft Corporation since 1989.


    Sony released its new line of Vaio PictureBook laptops in Japan. The computers are the first to feature Transmeta Crusoe processors.


    Charter Communications challenged the Recording Industry Association of America's use of the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act, also known as the DMCA takedown provisions, become the first cable internet service provider to take a stand against the wholesale revelation of user's identities.