Today in Apple history: Microsoft gets sued for ripping off Mac OS

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Windows used a number of elements of the Mac UI
Windows 2.0 borrowed several elements from the Mac user interface.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

March 17: Today in Apple history: Apple sues Microsoft for ripping off Mac OS March 17, 1988: Apple sues Microsoft for allegedly stealing 189 different elements of its Macintosh operating system to create Windows 2.0.

The incident, which causes a deep rift between Apple and one of its top developers, paves the way for an epic battle between the two companies that will rage for years.

Today in Apple history: Here comes the Macintosh II

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The Mac II was an enormously impressive machine for its day.
The Mac II was an enormously impressive machine for its day.
Photo: Apple

March 2: Today in Apple history: Macintosh II launches March 2, 1987: Three years after releasing the original Macintosh 128K, Apple launches a proper sequel, the almighty Macintosh II.

Although four Mac models already have been released, the definitive, full-number name of the Macintosh II makes clear that this is a major upgrade for the product line. With a massive hardware boost, optional color display (!) and a new open architecture, it does not disappoint!

Today in Apple history: Massive layoffs clear out Apple’s ‘bozo explosion’

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This was one of the worst (and one of the most significant) days in Apple history.
Photo: Bonhams

February 25 Today in Apple history: Apple layoffs: Black Wednesday clears out the 'bozo explosion' February 25, 1981: Apple CEO Michael Scott oversees a mass firing of employees, then holds a massive party.

“I used to say that when being CEO at Apple wasn’t fun anymore, I’d quit,” he tells a crowd of Apple staffers. “But now I’ve changed my mind — when being CEO isn’t fun anymore, I’ll just fire people until it is fun again.” For many people at Apple, the day is the worst in company history — and an early sign that the fun startup culture of the early days are gone forever.

Today in Apple history: Mac creator complains about Steve Jobs

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Jobs
Young Steve Jobs wasn't exactly easy to work with!
Photo: Esther Dyson/Flickr CC

February 19 Today in Apple history: Mac creator Jef Raskin complains about Steve Jobs February 19, 1981: Jef Raskin, creator of the Macintosh project, sends a memo to Apple CEO Mike Scott, listing his many complaints about working with Steve Jobs.

He claims that Jobs, who joined the Mac team the previous month, is tardy, shows bad judgment, interrupts people, doesn’t listen and is a bad manager.

Today in Apple history: Young Steve Jobs appears on Time cover

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With Steve Jobs first Time magazine cover, he becomes the face of the 1980s tech boom.
Steve Jobs becomes the face of the 1980s tech boom.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

February 15: Today in Apple history: Young Steve Jobs appears on Time magazine cover February 15, 1982: Steve Jobs appears on the front cover of Time magazine for the first time, becoming the public face of successful tech entrepreneurship.

The first of many Time covers for Jobs, the article — titled “Striking It Rich: America’s Risk Takers” — casts him as the prototypical young upstart benefiting from the burgeoning personal computing revolution. It also identifies him as part of a surge of freshly minted millionaires running their own businesses.

Today in Apple history: Mac mania sweeps magazine racks

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The Macintosh? It'll never catch on!
The Macintosh? It'll never catch on!
Image: Cult of Mac/Ste Smith

February 13: Today in Apple history: Mac mania sweeps magazine racks February 13, 1984: The arrival of the first Macintosh is met with enormous amounts of excitement by the tech press, as epitomized by InfoWorld magazine.

The wave of coverage comes a few weeks after the January 24 release of the Macintosh. But when it finally arrives, it becomes clear the Mac looks like a hit.

Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak survives a plane crash

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The Woz tells it like it is.
A plane crash marked the beginning of a leave of absence for Woz.
Photo: Universal Pictures

February 7: Today in Apple history: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak survives a plane crash February 7, 1981: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is involved in a serious plane crash, resulting in his first lengthy leave of absence from the company.

At the time, Wozniak is flying a turbocharged single-engine, six-seat Beechcraft Bonanza A36TC. In the plane with Woz is his fiancé, Candi Clark, her brother and her brother’s girlfriend. Fortunately, nobody dies in the crash, although Woz suffers minor head injuries.

Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak leaves Apple

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Steve Wozniak wax sculpture fake eyes
Woz was upset at the lack of respect shown to the Apple II division.
Photo: Madame Tussauds

February 6: Today in Apple history: Steve Wozniak leaves Apple February 6, 1985: Frustrated by Apple’s shifting priorities, co-founder Steve Wozniak leaves the company to pursue outside interests.

His departure from Apple — which comes the same year that Steve Jobs leaves to form NeXT — represents a big change for the company. It is brought about by Woz’s dissatisfaction at how the Apple II division is treated, and his desire to start a new company.

Today in Apple history: Apple ships the first Mac

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Apple lays out the strengths of the revolutionary Macintosh 128K in an original Mac ad.
Apple lays out the strengths of the revolutionary Macintosh 128K.
Photo: Apple

January 24: Today in Apple history: Apple ships the first Mac January 24, 1984: Apple ships its first Mac, the mighty Macintosh 128K.

Bringing a mouse and graphical user interface to the masses, and heralded by an acclaimed Super Bowl commercial that’s still talked about today, the first-gen Mac will quickly become one of the most important personal computers ever released.

Today in Apple history: Macintosh Office gets down to business

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Macintosh Office delivered on the dream of Macs that could talk to one another.
Macintosh Office delivered on the dream of Macs that could talk to one another.
Photo: Apple

January 23: Today in Apple history: Macintosh Office gets down to business January 23, 1985: Apple introduces Macintosh Office, a combination of hardware and software that represents the company’s first real attempt at cracking the business world dominated by IBM.

Macintosh Office allows Macs to talk to one another. And Apple introduces amazing new devices like the LaserWriter printer that work with the business-oriented platform. Sadly, things won’t work out quite as Apple hopes.