Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs loses control of the Mac

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Steve Jobs was distraught at being removed as general manager of the Mac division.
Photo: iFixit

Ap10 April 10, 1985: During a fateful meeting, Apple CEO John Sculley threatens to resign unless the Apple board removes Steve Jobs as executive VP and general manager of the Macintosh division.

This triggers a series of events that will ultimately result in Jobs’ exit. The marathon board meeting — which continued for several hours the next day — results in the Apple co-founder losing his operating role within the company, but being allowed to stay on as chairman. Things don’t exactly play out like that.

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Today in Apple history: Future Apple CEO John Sculley is born

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Fremont, California, 1990.
John Sculley in Fremont, California, 1990.
Photo: Doug Menuez/Fearless Genius

April6 April 6, 1939: John Sculley is born in New York City. He will grow up to be hailed as a business and marketing genius, eventually overseeing Apple’s transformation into the most profitable personal computer company in the world.

After a remarkable stint as president of Pepsi-Cola, Sculley will take over as Apple’s third CEO in 1983. He runs Apple for a 10-year period, guiding the creation of the revolutionary Newton MessagePad. During Sculley’s decade at the helm, Apple sells more personal computers than any other company. But he’s still remembered for his role in kicking Steve Jobs out of Apple.

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Bill Gates says he didn’t copy Steve Jobs

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Gates answered fans' questions on Reddit.
Photo: Bill Gates

Among questions on his favorite sandwiches (“Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger”) and whether he can still jump over a chair (probably not), Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates got asked whether his company had copied Steve Jobs during a Reddit Q&A on Monday.

Gates denied copying Cupertino — but reminded everybody that Microsoft and Apple both borrowed liberally from another Silicon Valley pioneer.

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Today in Apple history: Apple bids farewell to the Newton

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The MessagePad was a product ahead of its time.
Photo: Moparx

Feb27February 27, 1998: Apple discontinues work on the Newton MessagePad product line, the series of personal digital assistants it launched five years earlier.

“This decision is consistent with our strategy to focus all our software development resources on extending the Macintosh operating system,” Steve Jobs says at the time. “To realize our ambitious plans we must focus all of our efforts in one direction.”

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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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…

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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.

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John Sculley isn’t a believer in the Apple Watch just yet

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The Apple Watch is the only Apple product Sculley doesn't currently own.
Photo: Web Summit/Flickr CC

Even a year on from its launch, former Apple CEO John Sculley isn’t convinced the Apple Watch is a must-have Apple device just yet.

“I think the Apple Watch is beautiful, but it doesn’t have enough utility to be something that I feel I have to have at this point in time,” he says in a new interview with The Street, noting that it’s the only major Apple product he doesn’t use.

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