Today in Apple history: Apple signs damaging deal with Microsoft

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One of the most damaging deals in Apple history.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Nov21November 21, 1985: Following Steve Jobs’ departure, Apple comes close to signing its own death warrant by signing away the rights to the Macintosh’s look and feel.

The deal, between Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Apple CEO John Sculley, comes hot on the hells of the Windows operating system’s initial release. The pact gives Microsoft a “non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, nontransferable license to use [parts of the Mac technology] in present and future software programs, and to license them to and through third parties for use in their software programs.”

Oh, boy!

Today in Apple history: World gets a chance to test-drive a Mac

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Do you remember this ad campaign?
Photo: Apple

Nov8November 8, 1984: With initial Mac sales proving disappointing, Apple CEO John Sculley dreams up the “Test Drive a Macintosh” campaign to encourage people to give Apple’s revolutionary new computer a chance.

200,000 would-be Apple customers take advantage of the offer, but Apple dealers absolutely hate it.

Today in Apple history: PowerBook 100 series is a smash hit

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Oct21
The mid-level PowerBook 100 series laptop.
Photo: Dana Sibera/Wikipedia CC

 21October 21, 1991: Apple launches its PowerBook 100 series, the most important laptops in Apple history — and one of the most important tech gadgets of all time.

Making notebooks into a mainstream technology, Apple’s subsequent success in this category — whether it’s the current MacBooks or even the rise of mobile devices like the iPhone — owes a debt of gratitude to the PowerBook 100 series.

Today in Apple history: The forgotten first Mac with an internal CD-ROM

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Oct19
Do you remember the Macintosh IIvx?
Photo: Apple

 19October 19, 1992: Apple launches the Mac IIvx, the first Macintosh computer to ship with a metal case and, more importantly, an internal CD-ROM drive.

The last of the Macintosh II series, the Mac IIvx would experience one of the more notorious price adjustments in Apple history. Within five months of shipping, its launch price of $2,949 would be slashed to $1,899.

Well, that’s one way to reward early adopters…

Today in Apple history: Newton MessagePad inspires mobile revolution

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Remember the MessagePad?
Photo: Blake Patterson/Wikipedia CC

July 2August 2, 1993: Apple debuts the MessagePad, the first product in its Newton line of handheld personal digital assistants, at its Macworld Expo.

The most unfairly maligned product in Apple history, the Newton is a revolutionary devices which pre-dates Apple’s push toward app-based mobile devices 14 years later. Often wrongly dismissed as a failed product, the Newton easily ranks near the top of the list when it comes to Apple’s most influential creations.