Today in Apple history: Apple frenemy Microsoft is born

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Bill Gates
Apple and Microsoft had a long and storied history together.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

April 4: Today in Apple history: Microsoft founded April 4, 1975: Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft Corporation, a software company destined to become a tech behemoth — and a major Apple frenemy.

A few years later, Microsoft will break through to the mainstream with Excel and Word, becoming a key developer of Macintosh software. Then comes the Windows operating system, looking suspiciously Apple-like. After that, Microsoft and Apple embark upon a long-running feud.

Today in Apple history: Apple is founded by Steve Jobs, Woz and Ron Wayne

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Apple logo
The original Apple logo, designed by Ron Wayne.
Photo: Apple

April 1: Today in Apple history: Apple founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne April 1, 1976: The Apple Computer Company gets its start as founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne set out to sell the $666 Apple-1 computer.

Apple will not officially become a corporation until January 3 the following year. By that time, Wayne is no longer a part of the business.

Today in Apple history: iPhone 4 owners get Antennagate payout

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Antennagate
Do you remember Antennagate?
Photo: Apple

March 29: Today in Apple history: iPhone 4 owners get Antennagate payout March 29, 2012: Apple settles its “Antennagate” controversy by giving affected iPhone 4 owners the chance to claim a whopping $15 payout.

The settlement covers customers who experienced problems with the phone dropping calls due to its cutting-edge design, but were not able to return their handsets (or didn’t want a free bumper from Apple to mitigate against the problem).

Pixar pioneers win this year’s $1 million Turing Award

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Toy Story
Toy Story would never have existed without this dynamic duo.
Photo: Pixar

Ed Catmull and Dr. Pat Hanrahan, who created the 3D computer graphic breakthroughs that led to Pixar, have been awarded this year’s Turing Award, it was announced Wednesday.

The award, which is often called the Nobel Prize of computing, carries a $1 million prize.

Today in Apple history: iTunes tops 50 million songs downloaded

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itunes
That's worth a quick dance!
Photo: Apple

March 15: Today in Apple history: iTunes tops 50 million songs downloaded March 15, 2004: The iTunes Music Store hits a musical milestone, having sold an astonishing 50 million songs in less than a year. The achievement cements Apple’s place at the center of the rapidly changing music business — at least for the moment.

Crossing 50 million songs is a major milestone for iTunes and the emerging digital music era,” Steve Jobs said in a statement. “With over 50 million songs already downloaded and an additional 2.5 million songs being downloaded every week, it’s increasingly difficult to imagine others ever catching up with iTunes.”

Meet Jerry Manock, the father of Apple’s Industrial Design Group

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Apple’s first proper industrial designer, Jerry Manock crafted the look of the Macintosh and other memorable computers.
Apple’s first proper industrial designer, Jerry Manock crafted the look of the Macintosh and other memorable computers.
Photo courtesy Jerry Manock

Jerry Manock is one of the great unsung heroes of Apple design. As the father of Apple’s Industrial Design Group, Manock made an indelible contribution to the company’s long line of hit products.

He may not be a household name like Jony Ive, but, starting with the Apple II, Manock played a massive role in making the company what it is today. In an exclusive interview with Cult of Mac, the 76-year-old industrial designer recounts many colorful stories about Cupertino’s past — including one that shows even Steve Jobs got nostalgic.

Today in Apple history: Apple reconsiders the Newton?

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The Newton MessagePad 2100 was the last hurrah for Apple's Newton line.
In retrospect, Apple's Newton MessagePad survey seems like stealth iPhone research.
Photo: Moparx

March 10: Today in Apple history: Apple reconsiders the Newton MessagePad? March 10, 2004: Apple sends out a survey to select Apple customers, claiming that it is considering relaunching the Newton MessagePad.

In hindsight, it seems pretty clear that this apparent “interest” in launching another personal data assistant was a way of doing some undercover market research for the still-in-development iPhone.

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The iPhone SDK paved the way for iPhone apps and the App Store.
The iPhone SDK plants the seeds for the App Store's stunning success.
Photo: Apple

Today in Apple history: Homebrew Computer Club meets for first time

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Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak make important connections at the Homebrew Computer Club.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak learned valuable lessons at Homebrew.
Photo: Apple

March 3: Today in Apple history: Homebrew Computer Club meets for first time March 3, 1975: The Homebrew Computer Club, a hobbyist group that helps spark the personal computing revolution, holds it first meeting in Menlo Park, California.

It becomes a welcome forum for computer geeks at a time when few others cared. And regular attendee Steve Wozniak and his friend Steve Jobs will eventually show off the first Apple-1 unit at the club.