CRN: From Then To Now Timeline11:22 AM EST Thu. Jun. 22, 2000
Businessland Chairman Dave Norman hosts a ribbon-cutting ceremony at his first store; a nine-month-old company called Compaq unveils an IBM-compatible portable PC; Lotus 1-2-3 gets mixed reviews from Fall Comdex attendees.
Lotus files for IPO and at the same time terminates exclusive distribution deal with Softsel, adding Micro D and Softeam as distribution partners. Osborne Computer flounders as Kaypro, another leading portable PC vendor, readies an IPO.
Apples introduces the Macintosh with a "1984" Orwellian TV commercial during the Super Bowl.
Lotus founder Mitch Kapor levels first charges of software piracy, and Lotus introduces ill-fated Symphony.
IBM jumps into the portable PC market, seeking to unseat Compaq, Kaypro, Columbia, Eagle and Televideo, which were already selling portables through the dealer channel.
IBM gets hit with severe inventory shortage on PCjrs and ATs. Leading Edge to distribute AT&T's PC 6300.
Downturn hits the PC industry, with IBM predicting flat earnings and Apple shutting down plants. ComputerLand cuts 11 percent of its staff.
Channel reports that sales are shifting from storefront to outbound sales, reflecting the PC's move into the corporate market.
Lotus 1-2-3, dBase III and Multimate are the top-selling software programs, according to the channel. Microsoft introduces Windows 1 on Dec. 2, 1985.
Compaq introduces the Deskpro 386 at New York's Palladium nightclub. The machine helps Compaq surpass IBM as the leading PC vendor, as Big Blue sticks to its AT technology.
Computer Retail News changes its name to Computer Reseller News as the retail market gives way to business computing.
Bill Gates garners his first billion and waxes on about how Microsoft's forthcoming OS/2 for the new generation of IBM PCs will be the next standard.
The lack of software written for IBM's PS/2 gives new life to the older, industry-standard AT platform, signaling a growing disdain by the industry for proprietary systems.
Dell completes its IPO, raising $34.2 million. Dell is not yet a thorn in Compaq or IBM's side, but the cash infusion gives the vendor the boost it needs to challenge its larger rivals.
The channel and its hardware vendor partners wonder where all the margins have gone. Corporations, it seems, were becoming adept at pitting vendors and resellers against one another to get cutthroat PC pricing.
The hottest new products of the year turn out to be Microsoft Word for Windows and Compaq's new SystemPro server, a product it hopes will make inroads into the then-dominant minicomputer market.
Softsel and Microamerica, the two entities that would create Merisel, struggle to finalize their merger. At the same time, Compaq readies a summer launch of its next-generation SystemPro server.
Computer superstores such as CompUSA take center stage, with VARs fearing that cut-rate pricing will impact their hardware margins.
Apple slashes the ranks of its K-12 education channel and forces the remaining resellers to refrain from selling PCs from competing vendors into the K-12 market.
Compaq, IBM and Apple, the then-Big Three PC vendors, revamp their business plans to thwart market-share gains by PC clone vendors. Compaq authorizes distributors Merisel, Tech Data and Ingram Micro.
Microsoft delays the launch of its Windows NT operating system until 1993.
On the heels of a trademark ruling brought against Intel by clone manufacturers, the company decides to deep-six the 586 chip name for its new processor.
PC shortages dominate channel and industry news. Dell, focusing more on bill-to-order rather than build-to-forecast, makes market-share gains.
Ingram Micro close to signing distribution deal with Compaq. Industry braces for PC and peripheral price drop.
CRN reveals that "Buy American" advocate Chrysler buys all of its PCs from Goldstar Technology, one of Korea's largest PC manufacturers.
Compaq changes the channel landscape by declaring VARs can source their Compaq PCs from any authorized distributor instead of being tied to a single supplier.
IBM stuns the industry by offering $3.3 billion for Lotus. The crown jewel of the proposed deal is the ownership of Lotus Notes.
It finally happens. After many false starts, Microsoft launches Windows 95. In anticipation of the launch, the company forges deals with corporate integrators Vanstar and CompuCom to hire dedicated Microsoft engineers to facilitate the Windows 95 rollout.
CRN exposes Microsoft's practice of charging direct vendors Dell and Gateway 50 percent less for its Office suite than it charges Compaq, IBM and other vendors, putting the channel at a distinct pricing disadvantage.
CRN's exclusive monthly software poll shows Microsoft and Novell in a dead heat in the channel for network operating system sales.
It's the rise of Dell. As the vendor with far less inventory than its rivals, Dell manages to grab market share while Compaq, IBM, HP and the channel suffer.
Channel executives say late rebate payments from Compaq and IBM for selling PCs at discounts to match Dell is severely hampering their cash flow.
White-box PCs, those assembled and sold by VARs, continue to be the best-selling PCs sold by the channel, according to the CRN monthly hardware poll. Compaq comes in a distant second.
Venture capital firms pour $7.7 billion into dot-com start-ups.
Executives from large consulting firms gear up for what they say is an unlimited opportunity to provide Web infrastructure.
The Y2K bug dominates corporate spending plans as companies seek to head off disaster from old computer systems that can't accommodate the date change to 2000.
Wall Street's dot-com obsession is in full bloom, with Yahoo trading at $414 per share,giving the company a market cap of $110 billion on a price-to-earnings ratio of more than 1900.
Bill Gates steps down as Microsoft CEO and hands the reins to Steve Ballmer. Meanwhile, Linux companies collectively garner nearly $1 billion in worldwide revenue in 1999.
At Cisco's partner conference, the company says it will make a big push to partner with e-commerce consultants that do not actually sell its products but play a major role in pushing its technology.
Web services firms attending the CRN I-Builder conference say the e-commerce integration and services sector is so hot they can't keep up. They all say they have ambitious plans for global expansion.
What many thought was unthinkable happens as U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson orders the breakup of Microsoft into two companies,one for operating systems and the other for application software.