Talk about longevity. Thirty years ago to this month, PCWorld published its very first print issue, a 310-page magazine loaded with essential news, reviews, and features about IBM PCs and compatible «clones.»
The content inside the March 1983 issue of PC World was exceedingly quaint—even borderline comical, as the images in our accompanying slideshow prove. But once you take stock of PCWorld’s entire 30-year history, you begin to develop a profound appreciation for just how dramatically the PC platform has evolved—and how it has influenced the greater world of consumer electronics, from music players to smartphones to any device that’s connected to the Internet and geared toward social sharing.
We commemorate PCWorld’s 30-year history with a trip down memory lane, calling out the most pivotal PC-related events and product releases that occurred in each calendar year from 1983 to 2012. Keep in mind that these aren’t necessarily the 30 most important PC landmarks of the last 30 years, but rather the biggest highlights in each individual year.
Think we missed something critically important? Let us know in the comments section below!
Compaq Portable debuts: Founded during the prior year, Compaq makes its mark on the industry by releasing its first PC—the first luggable IBM-compatible, and a harbinger of the age of mobile computing. Compaq, of course, would become a huge player in the PC industry, only to be acquired by HP two decades later.
PCs Limited starts up: A college student named Michael Dell launches a small business in his dorm room, building custom PCs. His little endeavor is destined to become one of the biggest companies in the industry, getting into printers, servers, and networking gear too.
Windows 1.0 ships: After initially discussing Windows in 1983, PCWorld scarcely gives the software a mention in 1985 or 1986. No one predicts big things for this somewhat clunky visual file-management utility, the precursor to full-fledged OS greatness.
Intel delivers the 386…