Luke Dormehl, author at Cult of Mac

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: Microsoft’s first hardware debuts … on the Apple II

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SoftCard
The original ad for the Z80 SoftCard.
Photo: Microsoft

April 2: Today in Apple history: Microsoft Z80 SoftCard, the company's first hardware, debuts on Apple II April 2, 1980: Microsoft releases its first hardware product, the Z80 SoftCard. A microprocessor card that plugs into the Apple II, it allows the computer to run programs designed for the CP/M operating system, a popular OS for business software.

Coming several years before the first version of Windows, the Z80 SoftCard quickly becomes a big hit for Microsoft.

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: First iPad reviews hail a true game-changer

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iPad
Did you own an original iPad?
Photo: Apple

March 31: Today in Apple history: First iPad reviews hail a true game-changer March 31, 2010: The world gets its first sense of how the iPad measures up, as the first reviews hit the internet.

The consensus? That there’s no Flash, no USB, no multitasking — but Apple’s tablet offers an exciting new computing experience all the same. As USA Today writes, “The first iPad is a winner.”

Today in Apple history: Apple goes to war with The Beatles again

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Beatles
The Beatles' clash with Apple ran for almost 30 years.
Photo: Apple Corps

March 30: Today in Apple history: Apple goes to war with The Beatles again March 30, 2006: A court case begins that once again pits Apple Computer against Apple Corps, aka The Beatles’ record label and holding company.

The lawsuit caps a long-running legal battle between the two wealthy companies. It’s the final fight in an epic legal battle over music, technology and money.

Today in Apple history: iPhone 4 owners get Antennagate payout

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Antennagate
Do you remember Antennagate?
Photo: Apple

March 29: Today in Apple history: iPhone 4 owners get Antennagate payout March 29, 2012: Apple settles its “Antennagate” controversy by giving affected iPhone 4 owners the chance to claim a whopping $15 payout.

The settlement covers customers who experienced problems with the phone dropping calls due to its cutting-edge design, but were not able to return their handsets (or didn’t want a free bumper from Apple to mitigate against the problem).

While it’s arguable whether a $15 payout was worth filing all the paperwork necessary to claim the cash, the Antennagate story and the subsequent class-action lawsuit generated big headlines at the time.

Today in Apple history: Apple racks up staggering $700 million loss

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Apple is worth more than the entire US energy sector combined
In 1996, Apple's worst quarter yet sees the company lose $700 million.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

March 28: Today in Apple history: Apple racks up staggering $700 million loss March 28, 1996: In a dire message to Wall Street, Apple warns that it will report a $700 million after-tax loss for its most recent quarter.

Apple’s biggest quarterly loss in history, the shocking news reveals a company in far more financial trouble than previously thought. More than half the loss comes from $1 billion of unsold products.

Today in Apple history: Radius kicks off clone Mac era in style

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Radius was the first company to launch an official Macintosh clone, the Radius System 100.
Radius was the first company to launch an official Macintosh clone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

March 27: Today in Apple history: Radius kicks off clone Mac era in style with System 100 computer March 27, 1995: The first official Macintosh clone launches, as Radius releases its high-end System 100 Mac.

Made by a company founded by several notable Macintosh alumni, this marvelous machine kicks off the era of clone Macs in grand fashion — before things take a turn for the worse.

Today in Apple history: Apple pays to use ‘iPad’ name

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The iPad delivered Apple's
Would an iPad by any other name smell as sweet?
Photo: Apple

March 26: Today in Apple history: Apple buys rights to use iPad name from Fujitsu March 26, 2010: Apple ends a trademark dispute with Japanese multinational Fujitsu over the name “iPad” in the United States.

It comes two months after Steve Jobs first showed off the iPad, and around a week before the tablet will land in stores. As it happens, it’s not the first time Apple battled over the name for one of its new products.

Today in Apple history: Apple exec bets his wine cellar on Newton

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The Newton MessagePad looks gigantic next to an iPhone.
A daring bet means a very public deadline for the Newton MessagePad.
Photo: Blake Patterson/Wikipedia CC

March 25: Today in Apple history: Apple executive Gaston Bastiaens bets his wine cellar on Newton March 25, 1993: Apple executive Gaston Bastiaens bets a journalist that the eagerly anticipated Newton MessagePad will ship before summer ends. The prize? Bastiaens’ well-stocked personal wine cellar, worth thousands of dollars.

The bet takes place at the CeBit trade show in Hanover, Germany. Bastiaens’ outburst comes in response to a reporter’s needling. The gamble not only gives the Newton a release timetable, but also a price target: less than $1,000.