The Golden Age of InfoWorld Covers, 1984-1985

Return with us now to the days when Radio Shack was a PC giant, Apple was on the ropes, and people thought laptops were a foolish fad.

Posted by  | Wednesday, February 3, 2010

“Microsoft’s Excel Takes on 1-2-3”

May 27th, 1985

29-year-old Bill Gates brandishes a floppy copy of his upstart spreadsheet, Excel–which at this point only ran on Macs. It wouldn’t reach PCs for another two and a half years, and it took around another six years after that until it became the world’s dominant spreadsheet.

In a sidebar, InfoWorld asks Gates if the much-delayed Windows will ship in June. He says “Yes.” It does ship. In November.

Another story reports on a bizarre incident I’d never heard of: troubled computer companies Victor and Osborne being ticked off after Radio Shack and Bloom County cartoonist Berke Breathed labeled their machines as “orphans.” The article also says that IBM ran ads claiming that the PCJr. hadn’t failed–Big Blue had just manufactured all the Jrs. that it needed. Oh, okay.

Slides: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

5 Comments For This Post

  1. Stilgar Says:

    Cool. As I recall, Apple was actually more profitable after Steve Jobs left. It didn’t last long though. 🙂

  2. Matthew Says:

    Love the sidebar on #9 – it says “Businesses can buy software electronically.” And that was news then!

  3. Michael Swaine Says:

    But the Google Books collection only seems to go back to late 1986. What about the 1981-1986 issues? Are they adding gradually? Or should I help them out with my back-issue collection?

  4. Cassie Maas Says:

    I remember your writing Michael!

  5. Wade Watson Says:

    These were from the later period of Infoworld for me. When I first subscribed it was more of a tabloid style with a newspaper-style cover. Anybody could get a subscription for free if you said you were a business. Every issue was worth reading if for nothing else John Dvorak’s column. Before he was a podcast cramugin he was the go-to guy for tech scoops. Albeit, he pretty much had that field to himself back then.

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  1. I Love the Eighties! Says:

    […] View The Golden Age of InfoWorld Covers slide show. […]

  2. And That’s What You Missed on Technologizer Says:

    […] I took a look back at tech of the early 1980s, in the form of old InfoWorld covers. […]