Today in Apple history: Secret project ports Mac OS to PCs

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Should Apple have licensed Mac OS back in the early 1990s?
Photo: Thomas Hawk/Flickr CC

December 4: Today in Apple history: Secret Apple project nicknamed 'Star Trek' ports Mac OS to PCs under the code-name 'Macrosoft' December 4, 1992: Apple engineers demonstrate a “proof of concept” of the Mac operating system running on an Intel computer.

More than a decade before Macs will switch to Intel processors, the astonishing feat is part of an aborted plan to make Apple’s software available on other manufacturer’s hardware. Apple ultimately chickens out, fearing (probably correctly) that this will hurt Macintosh sales.

Today in Apple history: World’s first iPad-only newspaper folds

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The Daily iPad newspaper was a great, but ultimately failed, experiment.
News Corp's experiment with an iPad "newspaper" came to an ugly end.
Photo: The Daily

December 3: Today in Apple history: iPad-only newspaper The Daily closes December 3, 2012: News Corp pulls the plug on The Daily, the world’s first iPad-only newspaper, less than two years after launching the publication.

While the writing has been on the wall for some time, the closure is a blow for those who view the iPad as the savior of the traditional publishing industry.

Today in Apple history: QuickTime brings video to the masses

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QuickTime brought multimedia to Macs -- and the masses.
QuickTime brought multimedia to Macs -- and the masses.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

December 2: Today in Apple history: QuickTime brings video to the masses December 2, 1991: Apple ships its first public version of QuickTime, bringing video to Mac users running System 7.

Containing codecs for graphics, animation and video, QuickTime confirms Apple’s status as a leading multimedia tech company. The software also starts us all off on the path to playing video on our computers. This fundamental transformation of Macs into media machines eventually leads to iTunes Movies, YouTube and more.

Today in Apple history: Fans queue up as Apple opens Tokyo store, its first outside US

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Apple's store in Tokyo's swanky Ginza shopping district.
Apple's first non-U.S. Apple Store was located in Tokyo, Japan.
Photo: Héctor García/Kirai CC

November 30: Today in Apple history: Apple opens first store outside U.S. in Tokyo's trendy Ginza shopping district November 30, 2003: Apple expands its retail chain outside the United States, opening its 73rd Apple Store in Tokyo’s trendy Ginza shopping district.

On opening day, thousands of Apple fans — possibly the biggest queue in Apple history — line up around the block in the rain to gain early access to the store, which offers five full floors of Apple product goodness.

Steve Jobs does not show up for the opening. However, shoppers hear a welcoming speech from Eiko Harada, president of Apple Japan.

Today in Apple history: Pixar IPO makes Steve Jobs a billionaire

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The Pixar IPO is a key part of Steve Jobs' professional turnaround.
Photo: Ben Stanfield/Flickr CC

November 29: Today in Apple history: Pixar makes Steve Jobs a billionaire November 29, 1995: Capitalizing on the success of Toy Story, Pixar floats 6.9 million shares on the stock market. The IPO makes Steve Jobs, who owns upward of 80% of the company, a billionaire.

After the windfall, one of the first people Jobs calls is his friend, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, already a member of the billionaire’s club.

“Hello, Larry?” Jobs tells his friend on the phone. “I made it.”

Today in Apple history: QuickTime 5 takes the world by storm

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QuickTime 5 was being downloaded 1 million times every three days.
QuickTime 5 was being downloaded 1 million times every three days.
Photo: Apple

Nov. 28: Today in Apple history: QuickTime 5 downloads fuel web video revolution November 28, 2001: Apple says QuickTime 5 is being downloaded for Mac and PC a million times every three days, putting the multimedia software on track to exceed 100 million downloads in its first year of distribution. The announcement comes as websites adopt the MPEG-4 format, with online video beginning to take off in a big way.

In particular, Apple’s movie trailer website proves a massive success. Millions of people download previews of upcoming blockbusters like Spider-Man and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Online trailer releases for films like The Lord of the Rings become buzz-worthy events.

In a pre-YouTube world, Apple has everything to gain!

Today in Apple History: Bill Gates hails Mac as the future of computing

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Bill Gates
Bill Gates offered high praise for the Mac in 1984.
Image: Fulvio Obregon

November 26: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates praises Macintosh November 26, 1984: “The next generation of interesting software will be done on the Macintosh, not the IBM PC,” claims Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in a BusinessWeek cover story.

The claim would seem almost unthinkable coming out of Gates’ mouth just a few years later. But it comes at a time when Microsoft is best known as one of the biggest Mac developers.

Today in Apple history: A phone call sows the seeds of OS X

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Look familiar? NeXT's OpenStep operating system laid the groundwork for OS X.
Look familiar?
Photo: The Color Convergence

Nov 25: Today in Apple history: The seeds of OS X are sown with NeXT OpenStep November 25, 1996: A midlevel manager at NeXT contacts Apple about the possibility of Cupertino licensing NeXT’s OpenStep operating system.

Garrett L. Rice’s communication with Ellen Hancock, Apple’s chief technology officer, is the first formal step in a long process. It ultimately leads to Apple buying NeXT, the creation of OS X, and Steve Jobs returning home to the company he co-founded.

Today in Apple history: Toy Story 2 arrives in theaters

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Toy Story 2 coincided with the start of Steve Jobs' own career second act.
Toy Story 2 coincided with the start of Steve Jobs' own career second act.
Photo: Pixar

November 24: Today in Apple history: Toy Story 2 arrives in theaters November 24, 1999: Steve Jobs gets another feather in his cap when Toy Story 2, the sequel to the 1995 Pixar hit, debuts in theaters. It goes on to become the first animated sequel in history to gross more than the original.

While more a piece of Steve Jobs history than Apple history, the release of Toy Story 2 caps a spectacular year for Apple’s CEO.