Established in 1987: Looking Back 30 Years

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At the rate modern technology evolves, 30 years is a looooong time. Despite so many changes over these decades, the late 80s was a time when seeds of the digital age were rapidly appearing. MTV was huge, which foreshadowed the YouTube era. People watched millions of movies on VHS cassettes, which later evolved to DVDs and streaming. Even the internet, though unknown to the general public, was starting to become a force in the tech world with primitive (by today's standards) BBS systems used by tech-savvy types. Here we will review some of the most momentous tech-related developments of 1987.

  • Microsoft Releases Windows 2.0. This groundbreaking application helped to usher in the modern age of computing, introducing features such as VGA graphics, zooming, and keyboard shortcuts. Windows 2.0 made working on computers faster and more practical for office workers, students, business owners, and others. In 1987, Microsoft Works was also launched. This suite of office tools was eventually replaced by Microsoft Office. 
  • Windows Excel. While the original Excel was released in 1985 (following several other spreadsheet programs under different names), the 1987 Windows version is what really put the application on the map. With Excel 2.0, the application became part of Windows and compatible with the Mac version. Excel is still one of the most widely used spreadsheets applications for personal and business use.
  • IBM PS/2. This was a breakthrough personal computer for IBM, which included features such as a 3.5-inch disk drive. IBM, of course, was the inventor of the original floppy disk drive. The PS/2 was also notable for its bi-directional 8-bit port used to connect a mouse or keyboard. This model, though archaic compared to today's models, played an important role in popularizing personal computers for a variety of uses. 
  • VirusScan. Another important development, this one related to computer security, was the release of VirusScan by John McAfee, who went on to start one of the world's leading manufacturers of anti-virus software. VirusScan was one of the first of such programs, coming out just when computer viruses were starting to be a major problem. 
  • Presenter - Yet another of Microsoft's success stories is PowerPoint. The original version was called Presenter, created by ForeThought, Inc. It was renamed to PowerPoint and quickly became an indispensable tool for making presentations. Today, PowerPoint is still widely used for everything from business meetings to Ted Talks to videos on YouTube.
  • Adobe Photoshop. In 1987, Thomas and John Knoll developed a revolutionary graphics program called Display. A year later, it was bought by Adobe and renamed Photoshop. At first, it was used with a scanner. In 1990, the program was licensed for Macintosh, quickly becoming a favorite tool of graphic designers. Photoshop is still one of the leading graphics editing tools, giving people the ability to crop, edit, re-color, re-size and otherwise manipulate images. As with many other developments from this time, Photoshop was an early example of how visual content would eventually dominate the internet.
  • HyperCard. This was an important application tool was created by Apple and became a leading hypermedia system before the World Wide Web. It helped to inspire future generations of programmers and developers. Hypercard was an early example of an application used for multiple purposes, including games, presentations, communication, and programming.  
  • Act! for DOS 1.0. Act! is another application that launched in 1987, pioneering the customer relationship management software industry and has evolved over the years with its 19 versions. Originally a basic contact manager, this application is now a full-fledged CRM that helps all kinds of businesses manage a variety of tasks. What's remained consistent over these 30 years is the company's commitment to a consumer-centric culture. Its long history, which is twice as long as any of its competitors, is proof that putting the customer at the heart of your business is the secret to standing the test of time.