November 17, 1995: Apple releases the first beta version of its new Mac OS Copland operating system to around 50 developers. Not so much a Mac OS update as a totally new operating system, it offers next-gen features designed to help Apple take on the then-mighty Windows 95.
November 8, 1984: When initial Mac sales prove disappointing, Apple CEO John Sculley dreams up the “Test Drive a Macintosh” campaign to encourage people to give the revolutionary new computer a chance.
The promotional strategy advises people in possession of a credit card to drop into their local retailer and “borrow” a Macintosh for 24 hours. The idea is that, by the time potential customers need to return the Mac, they will have built up a bond with it and realized they can’t live without one.
While 200,000 would-be Apple customers take advantage of the offer, Apple dealers absolutely hate it.
October 20, 2009: Apple goes big with its iMac redesign, introducing the first 27-inch all-in-one Mac.
The sleek, sophisticated aluminum unibody design looks so good that the iMac will remain virtually unchanged for years. As with the first Macintosh with a built-in CD-ROM drive, the iMac’s 27-inch display represents a sea change for tech. The big, beautiful screen signals that larger displays need no longer remain the domain of pampered professionals.
October 19, 1992: Apple launches the Mac IIvx, the first Macintosh computer to ship with a metal case and, more importantly, an internal CD-ROM drive.
The last of the Macintosh II series, the Mac IIvx experiences one of the more notorious price adjustments in Apple history. Within five months of shipping, Apple slashes the computer’s launch price of $2,949 to $1,899. That’s one way to reward early adopters!
September 30, 2002: Apple introduces iSync, a tool that lets Mac users synchronize their address books and calendars with their cellphones, iPods and Palm OS-compatible handheld organizers via Bluetooth.
It represents a big leap forward in the ability of computers and mobile devices to talk with one another. And it hints at some of Apple’s later advances.