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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 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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With AppleLink Personal Edition, Cupertino tried its hand at bringing the internet to the masses.
With AppleLink Personal Edition, Cupertino tried its hand at bringing the internet to the masses.
Photo: Apple Confidential

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

Years before Apple got serious about its internet efforts, AppleLink offered a glimpse of things to come. Unfortunately for Apple, it did not become quite the hit many hoped!

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.

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

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Mac 128k Beauty Shot
Steve Jobs was distraught at being removed as general manager of the Mac division.
Photo: iFixit

April 10: Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs loses control of the Mac April 10, 1985: During a fateful meeting, Apple CEO John Sculley threatens to resign unless the company’s board of directors 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 Jobs 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: John Sculley takes over as Apple CEO

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Former Apple CEO John Sculley talks at Web Summit 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.
John Sculley goes from pushing Pepsi to running Apple.
Photo: Web Summit/Flickr CC

April 8: Today in Apple history: John Sculley takes over as Apple CEO April 8, 1983: John Sculley, former president of PepsiCo, takes charge as Apple’s third CEO.

Despite a total lack of experience selling tech products, Sculley is lured to Apple by Steve Jobs himself. The Apple co-founder famously pitched the Pepsi exec with the line, “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: 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

April 6: Today in Apple history: Apple CEO John Sculley born 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 most people still remember him for his role in kicking Steve Jobs out of Cupertino.