If you’re following “Hardcore Software” on substack then we just finished the first chapter w/ Windows 3.0 ship May 1990 …rdcoresoftware.learningbyshipping.com/p/007-windows-… (pls subscribe it’s fun!)

Just before then Excel for Windows shipped in 1987—the first Windows version. Some fun Excel background 1/
2/ Excel for Mac shipped in 1985 and received very strong reviews and was quite successful. Between Mac Excel and Mac Word, Microsoft “Applications” had grown to be the leading Mac vendor and also about half of Microsoft!
3/ Windows Excel was built by creating a cross-platform layer (what it was called in code) enabling Windows and Mac to share the core engine for calculation/charting/etc. But it still needed Windows...but no one had Windows.
4/ So when Excel 2.0 shipped it shipped *with* Windows. When installed, Windows was also installed. At the “C:” prompt if you typed excel.exe it launched Windows.
5/ In fact the system requirements for Excel 2.0 didn’t even list Windows. I like that it says it is not copy protected. It only needed 640K even!

These screen shots and video from @jondevaan, member of the original Excel team and dev mgr by Excel 5.
6/ Windows is listed as optional, in case you already had it. Also optional was a math coprocessor chip (about 10x the size of an iPhone SoC these days and all it did was floating point math). Windows/386 was a special version of Windows that used 386 memory management.
7/ These screens are from a 25 minute video “Soul of the New Machines”. The video had to explain to traditional PC and MS-DOS offices what a graphical spreadsheet could do. Here is a clip that shows the incredible use of…artificial intelligence…to create a chart legend. // END

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More from @stevesi

30 Jan
I ordered 4 accent pillows from a well-known home furnishings store. They shipped them in 8 packages. Each pillow ships individually and separately from cover. I received one today—the box that would easily fit all 4 pillows.

Gonna take me 3 weeks to recycle all the cardboard.
Update on my shipment. Part 2 of 8 scheduled to arrive today. But wait, what will arrive?
The box is here and it is enormous.
Read 4 tweets
28 Jan
The number of iPads being sold is huge. It is worth putting it in context. (Horace does the best analysis and accounting of Apple's business) 1/
2/ Just finished a "blow out" year for PC sales, at 275 million. Sounds huge from a growth perspective, but that still doesn't approach estimates of 450 million or more from a decade ago. Gartner PC sales from https...
3/ The underlying shift that started in 2010--towards low power, high reliability, "sealed case", app store, connected to phones, WWAN, and more computers epitomized by the iPad -- remains in full swing.
Read 9 tweets
28 Jan
ANNOUNCEMENT: tl;dr Please sign up for my new @SubstackInc "Hardcore Software—Inside the Rise and Fall of the PC revolution”. Tune into @joinClubhouse "Good Time" show 6pm ET *tonight* for a chat about it. …rdcoresoftware.learningbyshipping.com/about?utm_sour…

1/ It’s more than a book about Microsoft…
2/ Hardcore Software is my first-person account of Microsoft events from pre-Windows 3 through the rise of Office, building a new Windows, and disruption. Along the way came the internet, pivot to enterprise, antitrust trial, product quality crises, reorgs, Apple, …much more.
3/ My substack is a serialization of a book, or two, I wrote. I realized in working with a traditional publisher that I could tell a much better story for many more people by using Substack. So that’s what I chose to do. Here’s why:
Read 9 tweets
9 Jan
Today is the 13th anniversary iPhone announcement—easily one of the greatest launch events and moments of technology change in history. What was the "world" like at the time? When something changes the world so much it seems obvious in hindsight. That was not at all the case. 1/
2/ First, Apple itself was on a bit of a rebound with the iPod and iMac. But that only made Apple part of culture and healthy, but still a fringe player in computing. In all 2006 Apple sold about 5M Macs, which was strong for them but not compared to 235M PCs (98%share). Revenue Exceeds $7 Billion; Record Profit of $1 Billion  CUP
3/ Apple in the midst of the "Get a Mac" advertising campaign. That’s the "I’m a Mac" and "I’m a PC". These ads were brilliantly executed and brutal relative to Microsoft. These really hit where it hurt the most. So much we had endless fights over if they were true. They were. Get a Mac tv commercial feature Mac guy and PC guy.
Read 27 tweets
2 Jan
Here's an interesting (to me) graph. The grey line are unit sales of all "personal computers" starting in 1981 (IBM PC, Apple, Tandy, Sinclair, and more). 1981=35,000 units WW.

What is the related sold blue line that is a much nicer exponential curve? Year	???	PC Sales Aug-81	 213 	 35,000  Aug-83	 562 	 1,300,
The solid blue are internet hosts. People have a lot of difficulty understanding exponential growth. Few understood the implications of "every desktop and every home".

And even many of those people didn't understand "...connected to the internet." Year	Internet Hosts	PC Sales Aug-81	 213 	 35,000  Aug-83	 5
3/ A few have asked about what I counted. Prior to NAT (home internet addresses like 192.168...) every computer connected to the "internet" over tcp/IP had an address that had to be allocated and maintained. That was easy to measure. Here is the source. tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1296
Read 4 tweets
30 Dec 20
A Chinese Covid-19 Vaccine Has Proved Effective, Its Maker Says nytimes.com/2020/12/30/bus… // This vaccine made w/a traditional time-proven technique and deployed in several places. Might sound less effective than headlines but subject selection likely different than US. 1/3
2/3 for example... Arab nations first to approve Chinese COVID vaccine — despite lack of public data nature.com/articles/d4158…
3/ Two Companies Say Their Vaccines Are 95% Effective. What Does That Mean? // This older story explains efficacy v effectiveness and what that 95% number means in practice. nytimes.com/2020/11/20/hea…
Read 4 tweets

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