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The Boston Globe OnlineBoston.com Boston Globe Online / Business
Important events in the saga of Apple Computer Inc.

By The Associated Press, 08/06/97

1976 -- Apple Computer is formed on April Fool's Day, shortly after Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs create a new computer circuit board in a Silicon Valley garage. The Apple I computer goes on sale by the summer for $666.66.

1977 -- Apple is incorporated by founders and a group of venture capitalists. It unveils Apple II, the first personal computer to generate color graphics. Sales soar to the $1 million-a-year rate.

1980 -- Apple goes public with 4.6 million shares priced at $22 apiece _ one of the biggest stock offerings undertaken. Overseas expansion begins.

1984 -- The easy-to-use Macintosh computer is unveiled.

1985 -- Wozniak resigns, and Jobs leaves after a power struggle with CEO John Sculley and starts a new computer venture, Next Inc.

1991 -- Apple and IBM announce alliance to develop new personal computer microprocessors and software. Apple unveils PowerBook portable Macintoshes.

1993 -- Apple introduces the Newton, a hand-held, pen-based computer. The company reports quarterly loss of $188 million in July, and Sculley is replaced as chief executive officer by Apple president Michael Spindler. Apple restructures, and Sculley resigns as chairman.

1994 -- Apple introduces Power Macintosh computers, machines based on the PowerPC chip it developed with IBM and Motorola. Apple and IBM agree to build computers able to run each other's operating software. Apple decides to license its operating software, allowing other companies to ``clone'' the Mac.

1995 -- Power Computing ships the first Macintosh clones. Apple is plagued by executive departures, parts shortages and trouble predicting demand during the critical fall consumer shopping season. Meanwhile, Microsoft Corp. releases Windows 95, a significant upgrade to its operating software, narrowing the Macintosh's traditional ease-of-use advantage.

1996 -- Apple reports a $69 million loss for the last three months of 1995. Rumors swirl about a possible takeover by Sun Microsystems Inc. Directors oust CEO Spindler and hire Gilbert Amelio, CEO of National Semiconductor. Apple loses $740 million for the January-March quarter and cuts employment. Jobs returns in December as an adviser when Apple announces $420 million purchase of his Next Software Inc.

January 1997 -- Apple outlines a dual software strategy: upgrading current MacOS while developing future program using Next technology.

March -- Company reorganizes again as losses reach $708 million in the first three months of 1997.

May -- Company turns unprofitable Newton hand-held computer unit into an independent subsidiary.

July -- Company fires Amelio in another boardroom overhaul that expands Jobs' role. Speculation about who will be the next Apple boss intensifies as MacWorld show in Boston looms.

Aug. 6 -- Apple and Microsoft Corp. reveal a surprise alliance that reflects Apple's desperation for stability in the face of Microsoft's growing software dominance. Apple stock soars on the move but it stuns Apple loyalists, who had regarded the company as a critical buffer preventing Microsoft from monopolizing computer technology.


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