Today in Apple history: Apple’s eWorld online service goes live

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It doesn't get more 1990s than this!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

June 20: Today in Apple historyJune 20, 1994: Apple launches eWorld, a subscription service for Mac owners that’s designed to compete with America Online and other nascent online properties.

Part messaging service and part news aggregator, eWorld is supposed to push Apple into competition with the likes of AOL, Delphi, CompuServe and Prodigy. Unfortunately, Apple’s online service is doomed from the start.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs attempts a boardroom coup

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Kate Winsley praised the Steve Jobs biopic and co-star Michael Fassbender.
Sadly for Steve, things didn't work in his favor.
Photo: Esther Dyson/Flickr CC

May23May 23, 1985: Bitter about being ousted from his position running the Macintosh division, 30-year-old Steve Jobs attempts to stage a coup to seize control of Apple from CEO John Sculley.

He plans to overthrow Sculley while he is away on a business trip in China. Unfortunately for Jobs, he makes the mistake of trying to recruit the support of Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée, who informs Sculley of the plot.

It’s the beginning of the end for Steve Jobs’ first tenure at Apple.

Today in Apple history: John Sculley starts work as Apple CEO

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John Sculley was Apple's third president and CEO.
Photo: Web Summit/Flickr CC

May17May 17, 1983: John Sculley starts work at Apple as its third president and CEO, following Mike Scott and Mike Markkula.

As the former boss of Pepsi-Cola, Sculley is lured to Apple by Steve Jobs, who uses one of the most famous lines in the history business: “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.