Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs visits the Soviet Union

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Soviet Apple flag
This was Steve Jobs' one and only trip to the Soviet Union.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 4: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs visits the Soviet Union July 4, 1985: Steve Jobs visits Moscow for the first time, with the aim of selling Macs to the Russians.

During his two-day trip, Jobs lectures computer science students in the Soviet Union, attends a Fourth of July party at the American embassy and discusses opening a Mac factory in Russia. He also reportedly almost runs afoul of the KGB by praising assassinated Marxist revolutionary Leon Trotsky.

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates urges Apple to license Mac OS

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates took this strategy and made himself a multibillionaire.
Photo: Fulvio Obregon

June 25: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates urges Apple to license Mac OS June 25, 1985: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates sends a memo to Apple execs suggesting that Cupertino should license its Mac operating system and additional technology to other companies

Apple CEO John Sculley and Macintosh boss Jean Louis Gassée ignore the advice of the 30-year-old Gates, who at the time is best known as a Mac developer. Five months later, Microsoft releases Windows 1.0.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs says Apple is being run by ‘caretakers’

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1984
Steve Jobs thought ditching ad agency Chiat/Day proved that Apple had lost its creative mojo.
Photo: Apple and Chiat/Day

May 27: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs says Apple is being run by caretakers May 27, 1986: An exiled Steve Jobs takes a shot at Apple after the company ditches Chiat/Day, the ad agency that created the iconic “1984” Macintosh ad.

In a full-page ad published in The Wall Street Journal, Jobs says the move to competing ad agency BBDO shows that “caretakers” rather than “builders” now run Apple. From his perspective, it confirms that Apple has lost its revolutionary spirit.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs attempts a boardroom coup

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Jobs
Sadly for Steve, things didn't work in his favor.
Photo: Esther Dyson/Flickr CC

May 23: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs attempts a boardroom coup May 23, 1985: Bitter about being ousted from his position running the Macintosh division, Steve Jobs attempts to stage a coup to seize control of Apple from CEO John Sculley.

The 30-year-old Apple co-founder plans to overthrow Sculley while the CEO is away on a business trip in China. Unfortunately for Jobs, he makes a critical mistake when he tries to recruit the support of Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassée, who informs Sculley of the plot.

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

Today in Apple history: AppleLink Personal Edition is the precursor to AOL

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AppleLink
Do you remember AppleLink?
Photo: Apple Confidential

May 20 Today in Apple historyMay 20, 1988: Apple launches AppleLink Personal Edition, a user-facing online service which lets Apple customers connect using a Mac-style user interface.

Years before Apple got serious about its internet efforts, this was a glimpse of things to come. Unfortunately for Apple, it wasn’t quite the hit many had hoped it would be!

Today in Apple history: Apple introduces the doomed Apple III

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Apple III
The Apple III should have been a smash hit. It wasn't.
Photo: Alker33/YouTube

May 19: Today in Apple history: Apple introduces the doomed Apple III computer May 19, 1980: Apple introduces the Apple III at the National Computer Conference in Anaheim, California.

After two years of development, the Apple III arrives to follow the enormously successful Apple II. For a variety of reasons, it turns out to be the company’s first major misstep.

Today in Apple history: John Sculley brings ‘Pepsi Generation’ marketing to Apple

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

May 17: Today in Apple history: John Sculley starts as Apple CEO May 17, 1983: John Sculley takes the helm as Apple’s third president and CEO. The former Pepsi-Cola boss is short on tech experience but long on marketing, which will become increasingly important as the personal computer revolution ramps up.

Steve Jobs personally lured Sculley to Apple using one of the most famous lines in the history business. “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water,” Jobs asked Sculley, “or do you want a chance to change the world?”

Today in Apple history: Apple scrambles to fix doomed Apple III

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Apple III
The problems encountered by the Apple III sound strangely familiar.
Photo: Alker33/YouTube

April 15: Today in Apple history: Apple scrambles to fix doomed Apple III April 15, 1981: Apple CEO Mike Markkula defends the struggling Apple III with a surprisingly straightforward admission, even as the company pushes an unorthodox “fix” for the computer’s hardware problem.

“It would be dishonest for me to sit here and say that it’s perfect,” he tells The Wall Street Journal, after critics blast the Apple II’s doomed successor for its overheating motherboard. Apple’s official solution to the problem? Ask users to drop their Apple III from a height of 6 inches, thereby hopefully reseating the chips.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512Ke further enhances the Mac

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The Macintosh 512Ke muddies the Mac waters just a smidge.
The 512Ke muddies the Mac waters just a smidge.
Photo: Vectronicsappleworld

April 14: Today in Apple history: Macintosh 512Ke launches April 14, 1986: The “low-cost” Macintosh 512Ke brings hardware upgrades — and a bit of confusion — to the low end of the Mac lineup.

The Mac 512Ke is an “enhanced” (hence the “e”) model of the Mac 512K. The upgrade addresses complaints that the original Mac lacked enough memory. The 512Ke adds a double-density 800k floppy drive and a 128k ROM to the Mac 512K formula.