Technology Timeline

Last updated: Jul 25, 2018

This timeline lists significant advancements in technology such as computers, smartphones and microprocessors.

Binary Number System

1703 - The German polymath and philosopher, Gottfried Leibniz pioneers the modern day binary number system now used in virtually all computers.


1969 - A group of developers at Bell Labs produce UNIX, an operating system that addressed compatibility issues. Written in the C programming language, UNIX was portable across multiple platforms and became the operating system of choice among mainframes at large companies and government entities. Due to the slow nature of the system, it never quite gained traction among home PC users.

Apple Computers

April 1, 1976 - Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak start Apple Computers on April Fool's Day and roll out the Apple I, the first computer with a single-circuit board, according to Stanford University, on April 11, 1976.

IBM Personal Computer

August 12, 1981 - The first IBM personal computer, code-named "Acorn," is introduced. It uses Microsoft's MS-DOS operating system. It has an Intel chip, two floppy disks and an optional color monitor. Sears & Roebuck and Computerland sell the machines, marking the first time a computer is available through outside distributors. It also popularizes the term PC.

First Dot-Com Domain

March 15, 1985 - The first dot-com domain name is registered on March 15, years before the World Wide Web would mark the formal beginning of Internet history. The Symbolics Computer Company, a small Massachusetts computer manufacturer, registers More than two years later, only 100 dot-coms had been registered.

Microsoft Windows 1.0

November 20, 1985 - The first independent version of Microsoft Windows, version 1.0, was released. The project was briefly code named "Interface Manager" before the windowing system was developed - contrary to popular belief that it was the original name for Windows and Rowland Hanson, the head of marketing at Microsoft, convinced the company that the name Windows would be more appealing to customers.

Linux 0.01

September 1, 1991 - Finnish student Linus Benedict Torvalds released Linux 0.01, a free operating system.

Microsoft Windows 98

June 25, 1998 - Microsoft released Windows 98 (code named Memphis). It included new hardware drivers and the FAT32 file system which supports disk partitions that are larger than 2 GB (first introduced in Windows 95 OSR2). USB support in Windows 98 is marketed as a vast improvement over Windows 95.

Wireless Internet

September 1998 - The term Wi-Fi becomes part of the computing language and users begin connecting to the Internet without wires.

Mac OS X

March 24, 2001 - Apple released the Mac OS X operating system, which provides protected memory architecture and pre-emptive multi-tasking, among other benefits.

Microsoft Windows XP

October 25, 2001 - Microsoft released Windows XP (code named "Whistler"). The merging of the Windows NT/2000 and Windows 95/98/Me lines was finally achieved with Windows XP. Windows XP uses the Windows NT 5.1 kernel, marking the entrance of the Windows NT core to the consumer market, to replace the aging 16/32-bit branch.

Facebook Launches

February 4, 2004 - Facebook is launched by founder, Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommate and fellow Harvard University student Eduardo Saverin. The website's membership was initially limited to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and gradually to most universities in the United States and Canada, corporations and eventually anyone with a valid email address.

Apple iPhone

June 29, 2007 - The first smartphone model designed and marketed by Apple Inc, was released after years of rumors and speculation.

Microsoft Windows 10

July 29, 2015 - Windows 10, code named Threshold, is the current release of the Microsoft Windows operating system.