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Before the advent of the Web

The PC had come a long way but it had always been the days Apple and Microsoft were founded that had marked the watershed era of the industry.

Until today, both companies represent the best in PC hardware and software. Here are a few tidbits:

Apple Computer (now, Apple, Inc.)
Apple Computer was founded in April 1, 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Rod Holt. It was incorporated in Jan. 3, 1977 with the entry of venture capitalist, Mike Markkula, into the group.
Microsoft Corp.
Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, was actually an off-shoot of Bill and Paul's former partnership called Traf-O-Data!
The original 1984 Macintosh
The Macintosh® computer introduced in 1984 by Apple had a 9" monochrome monitor (made by Sony), 400K 3.25 floppy drive, 128K of DIPP RAM and 64K ROM (loads the "bootstrap" program) and a graphical user interface. It was powered by a Motorola MC68000 (32-bit) chip at 7.8 MHz! Of course, it had the now ubiquitous mouse!
Electronic Data Systems (EDS)
Electronic Data Systems (EDS) almost bought-out Microsoft in August of 1979 had Ross Perot agreed to Bill Gates asking price!
Steve Jobs and Next, Inc.
After being ousted at Apple in 1985, Steve Jobs formed NeXT, Inc. In early Oct. 1988 he came out with the NeXT workstation, aka "the Cube". A sleek, matte-black, Unix-based, Motorola 68030-powered box. It was offered primarily in the higher education market. When he returned to Apple in 1997, he ‘resurrected’ this machine when Apple released the Mac G4 Cube in 2002.
Microsoft Windows 3.0
When Microsoft came out with Windows 3.0 (w/c ran in 3 modes) in 1990, they came out with an OS that really cured most of the ills of the hardware limitations of the DOS-based machines. 286 and 386/Windows were really fast hacks to make them GUI-based like the Apple Macintosh.
Michael Moritz and TIME Magazine
Michael Moritz, author of the "The Little Kingdom" - one of the early books about Apple Computer in published in 1984 - is now a billionaire venture capitalist (VC) in Silicon Valley. He lives in San Francisco and owns an entire village in Tuscany (Italy). Not bad... after being a "mere" TIME reporter for a while.
The computer mouse
The ‘mouse’ was the creation of Doug Engelbart at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963. Mr. Engelbart, before he passed away in 2012, spent most of his time in Fremont, California - - the place where Apple first churned out the original Macs.
MS-DOS (Microsoft-Disk Operating System)
The product that propelled Microsoft to dominate the personal computer software market in the 80s was not even their founders’ own creation. MS-DOS was a modified version of QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) that was written by Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products, which Microsoft bought the rights in late 1980.
The software application that catapulted the Apple II as a business tool rather than just a hobbyist’ toy. It was made by Daniel Bricklin and Bob Frankston who co-founded Software Arts in 1979. Another firm, VisiCorp - co-founded by Dan Fylstra and Peter R.Jennings - was allowed to publish and market it in the same year.
Mitchell Kapor and Lotus Development Corp.
Ex-disc jockey and MIT graduate who created the venerable Lotus 1-2-3 integrated spreadsheet and graphing software application in 1982. The product allowed the IBM-PC and clones to become the personal computer of choice for the business and government sectors in the 80s and well into the early 90s.

IBM eventually bought Lotus Development Corp in July 1995 for US$ 3.5 billion.
Before MS Excel, there was Multiplan. Codenamed, ‘Electronic Paper’ by Microsoft and released in 1982, it was intended to compete with VisiCalc - the dominant spreadsheet application during that era. Written in C language, it was a ‘portable’ app that allowed it to be used in multiple hardware platforms.