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Today in Apple history: Apple frenemy Microsoft is born

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Bill Gates
Apple and Microsoft had a long and storied history together.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

April 4: Today in Apple history: Microsoft founded April 4, 1975: Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft Corporation, a software company destined to become a tech behemoth — and a major Apple frenemy.

A few years later, Microsoft will break through to the mainstream with Excel and Word, becoming a key developer of Macintosh software. Then comes the Windows operating system, looking suspiciously Apple-like. After that, Microsoft and Apple will embark upon a long-running feud.

Today in Apple history: Apple is founded by Steve Jobs, Woz and Ron Wayne

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Apple logo
The original Apple logo, designed by Ron Wayne.
Photo: Apple

April 1: Today in Apple history: Apple founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne April 1, 1976: The Apple Computer Company gets its start as founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne set out to sell the $666 Apple-1 computer.

Apple will not officially become a corporation until January 3 the following year. By that time, Wayne is no longer a part of the business.

Today in Apple history: Apple moves into Bandley 1, its first custom HQ

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Bandley 1 was Apple's first purpose-built HQ.
Bandley 1 was Apple's first purpose-built HQ.
Photo: Dvorak

Jan 28: Today in Apple history: Apple moves into Bandley 1, its first custom HQ January 28, 1978: Apple Computer occupies its first custom-built office, giving the company a bespoke business center to house its growing operations.

A full 15 years before One Infinite Loop, and almost 40 before Apple Park’s stunning “spaceship” landed, 10260 Bandley Drive — aka “Bandley 1” — becomes the first purpose-built, permanent headquarters for the newly founded company.

Today in Apple history: Apple becomes a corporation

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
Today marks another key milestone in early Apple history.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac/401Calculator

January 3: Today in Apple history: Apple becomes a corporation January 3, 1977: Apple Computer Co. is officially incorporated, with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak listed as co-founders.

Third founder Ron Wayne — who initially invested in the company — is not part of the deal, after selling back his stake in Apple for $800. The funding and expertise needed to turn Apple into a corporation is provided by a man a man named Mike Markkula, who becomes an important figure in the company’s history.

Today in Apple history: Apple II gets its first ‘killer app’

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An Apple II with a copy of
An Apple II with a copy of "killer app" VisiCalc, on display at the Museum of Science in Boston.
Photo: Jean-Edouard Babin/Flickr CC

January 2: Today in Apple history: With VisiCalc, the Apple II gets its first killer app January 2, 1979: Entrepreneurs Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston incorporate their company Software Arts to publish a little program called VisiCalc.

The first spreadsheet for the Apple II, the $100 VisiCalc ultimately becomes personal computing’s first “killer app.” It helps transform personal computers from “cool to have” toys into “must have” business accessories.

Today in Apple history: Woz spends Christmas building Apple II disk drive

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Disk II pic
The Disk II was a massive success for Apple.
Photo: Wikipedia CC

December 25 Today in Apple history December 25, 1977: Steve Wozniak spends the holidays building a prototype of the Disk II, the Apple II’s revolutionary floppy disk drive.

“I worked all day, all night, through Christmas and New Year’s trying to get it done,” Wozniak recalls in his autobiography, iWoz. “[Early Apple employee] Randy Wiggington, who was actually attending Homestead High, the school Steve and I had graduated from, helped me a lot on that project.”

Wiggington takes December 25 off. Woz does not.

Today in Apple history: The Byte Shop, Apple’s first retailer, opens

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Paul Terrell founded The Byte Shop on his birthday.
Paul Terrell founded The Byte Shop on his birthday.
Photo: NextShark/Paul Terrell

December 8: Today in Apple history: Early computer store The Byte Shop, Apple's first retailer, opens December 8, 1975: San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneur Paul Terrell opens The Byte Shop, one of the world’s first computer stores — and the first to sell an Apple computer.

Years before Apple would open its own retail outlets, the Byte Shop stocks the first 50 Apple-1 computers built by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs and Jef Raskin clash over the Mac

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Apple Mac
The war over the Macintosh's soul started on this day in 1979.
Photo: Apple

September 27: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs and Jef Raskin clash over the Mac September 27, 1979: Years before the Macintosh will ship, Steve Jobs and Jef Raskin clash for the first time over the direction of the R&D project to produce the revolutionary computer.

Raskin, the founder of the Macintosh project, wants to produce a machine that’s affordable to everyone. Jobs wants a computer that’s going to be the best, regardless of price.

Guess who won?

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs’ daughter Lisa is born

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Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Jobs had a rocky relationship with his daughter.
Photo: Lisa Brennan-Jobs/Wikipedia CC

June 17 Today in Apple history June 17, 1978: Steve Jobs’ first child, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, is born.

The child of 23-year-old Jobs and his high school girlfriend Chris-Ann Brennan, Lisa’s parents are no longer a couple when she is born. What follows are several shameful years in which Jobs denies paternity of his daughter, before they eventually reconcile.

Today in Apple history: The revolutionary Apple II goes on sale

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Apple II
Did you own an original Apple II?
Photo: Computer History Museum

June 5 Today in Apple history June 5, 1977: The first Apple II, the personal computer that will put Cupertino on the map, goes on sale.

Previously shown off to a few thousand rabid fans at the West Coast Computer Faire, the Apple II’s arrival means the masses can finally get their hands on the breakthrough machine.  A base unit costs $1,298 — the equivalent of $5,810 in 2021 money.