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This Week in Tech History: Microsoft is Born

A major player in the tech industry is formed, a portable computer debuts, and Apple releases a brand new type of device … It all happened This Week in Tech History.

This week in 1965 – Intelsat 1 was launched from Cape Canaveral, FL. This was the first commercial communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit . The satellite was nicknamed “Early Bird” after the adage “The early bird catches the worm.”

1975 – Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen decided to form a business using their skills in computer programming. And so Microsoft was born. Paul Allen suggested the name “Micro-Soft”, short for micro-computer software.

1981 – The Osborne 1, the first successful portable computer, is unveiled at the West Coast Computer Fair in San Francisco. It had no on-board battery and was powered by an AC plug. But it was still considered “portable” since it could be carried around when packed.

1994 – Mosaic Communications Corporation, later Netscape, was founded in Mountain View, California. Its Netscape web browser was once dominant but lost to Internet Explorer and other competitors after the so-called first browser war, its market share falling from more than 90 percent in the mid-1990s to less than 1 percent in 2006.

And this week in 2010 – Apple Inc. released the first generation iPad, which quickly became to most popular tablet computer. During the first 80 days, 3 million iPads were sold. By the launch of the iPad 2 a year later, Apple had sold more than 15 million iPads.

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Written by Chris Graveline

Chris has covered consumer technology for over 20 years. He is the host of This Week in Tech History as well as a regular co-host on "Into Tomorrow with Dave Graveline" and our Technical Director.

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