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: Newton spins off as its own company

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The Newton MessagePad 2000 brought many upgrades to Apple's doomed PDA line.
Things were looking up for the Newton MessagePad. Until they weren't.
Photo: iFixit

May 22: Today in Apple history: Apple spins off Newton Inc. May 22, 1997: Apple spins off its Newton division. The new company’s first job? Selling the MessagePad 2000 PDA.

Newton Inc. also has a mandate to develop new technologies and market existing ones. “We have a solid business plan and a strong management team in place to optimize the value of Newton technology for corporate users and take Newton technology into a new era,” says Sandy Benett, former vice president Apple’s Newton Systems Group and chief operating officer of the new venture.

Instead, it turns out to be the beginning of the end.

Today in Apple history: Apple’s ‘Get a Mac’ campaign comes to an end

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Mac vs. PC
This was one of the best ad campaigns in Apple history.
Photo: Apple

May 21: Today in Apple history: Apple's Get a Mac ad campaign comes to an end May 21, 2010: Apple quietly ends its long-running, award-winning “Get a Mac” marketing campaign.

Debuting in 2006, the ads starred actor Justin Long as the cool, youthful Mac. Comedian John Hodgman portrayed the stuffy, awkward PC. Alongside the “Think Different” and the iPod “Silhouette” campaigns, “Get a Mac” will become one of the most fondly remembered extended ad campaigns in Apple history.

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: Apple shows off its amazing Fifth Avenue store

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apple-store-fifth-avenue-nyc-new-york
Apple's stunning Fifth Avenue store quickly becomes a New York landmark.
Photo: Simone Lovati/Flickr CC

May 18: Today in Apple history: Cupertino shows off its amazing Fifth Avenue Apple store May 18, 2006: The world — and, more specifically, the Apple-watching press — gets its first glimpse at Apple’s swanky new Fifth Avenue Apple store in New York City.

Hidden behind black plastic wrapping during development, that all changes a day before the store’s grand opening. Workers remove the covering, revealing a 32-foot glass cube adorned with a floating, white Apple logo. At 10 a.m., members of the press get an exclusive tour of the new venue.

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: PowerBook 540c is the best Mac laptop to date

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With impressive specs and a fancy screen, the PowerBook 540c took Apple laptops up a notch.
With impressive specs and a fancy screen, the PowerBook 540c took Apple laptops up a notch.
Image: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

May 16: Today in Apple history: PowerBook 540c launch May 16, 1994: Apple launches the PowerBook 540c, one of the best laptops in its history.

Part of the innovative 500 series of PowerBooks, the 540c is the laptop to own in 1994. Blisteringly fast, packed with innovative features, and offering the best notebook display on the market, it’s a triumph on every level. Although for $5,539 ($9,139 in today’s money), it had better be…

Today in Apple history: Apple reinvents the computer store

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Steve Jobs offers a sneak peek at the first Apple store prior to its opening.
Steve Jobs offers a sneak peek at the first Apple store prior to its opening.
Photo: Apple

May 15: Today in Apple history: Apple reinvents the computer store, with plans to open 25 Apple Stores in the U.S. May 15, 2001: Steve Jobs flips the script on the dreadful experience of computer shopping, unveiling an ambitious plan to open 25 innovative Apple stores across the United States.

The first two Apple stores, located at Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia, and the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California, are set to open later that week. But this new Apple initiative is about much more than just a couple of retail outlets. It’s a radical reinvention of tech retail that will change the way computers get sold.

Today in Apple history: Computer retail giant’s closure hits NeXT hard

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NeXT Cube
The NeXT Computer was great. It also didn't sell.
Photo: Rama & Musée Bolo/Wikipedia CC

May 14: Today in Apple history: Businessland closes, hitting NeXt hard May 14, 1992: Steve Jobs’ company NeXT runs into trouble as it loses a crucial deal with Businessland after the giant computer retailer closes its stores.

It comes at a time when NeXT’s luck is going from bad to worse. This is one of the lowest points in Jobs’ career — before everything starts to turn around again.