Computer history - 1980

Updated: 06/30/2019 by Computer Hope

Major computer events in 1980


IBM hires Paul Allen and Bill Gates to create an operating system for a new PC. The pair buys the rights to a simple operating system manufactured by Seattle Computer Products and uses it as a template. IBM allows the two to keep the marketing rights to the operating system, called DOS.

Other computer events in 1980

The MS-DOS Epoch time was set to start on January 1, 1980.

ARPANET experiences the first major network crash causing it to go down for four hours on October 27, 1980.

Microsoft licenses Unix and starts to develop a PC version, Xenix.

New computer products and services introduced in 1980

On January 3, Hewlett Packard introduces its HP-85 (codename Project Capricorn). A microcomputer with 16 KB of RAM, a 32 KB ROM, a 5-inch CRT display, a built-in printer, tape drive, and keyboard for $3,250.00.

IBM introduces RISC.

Colombia Data Products introduces the Commander 900 series PC.

The first Tandy Color computer is introduced.

The programming language FORTRAN 77 is created.


Namco releases Pac-Man for the first time.

VLSI (very-large-scale integration) chips begin being developed.

Computer companies founded in 1980

Microtek was founded on October 23, 1980.

AST was founded in 1980.

ELSA Technology was founded in 1980.

FASA Corporation was founded in 1980.

FIC was founded in 1980.

Dish Network was founded in 1980.

Integrated Device Technology was founded in 1980.

Iomega was established in 1980.

Quantum was founded in 1980.

Harman was founded in 1980.

Micro Solutions was founded in 1980.

Microcom was founded in 1980.

PSION was founded in 1980.

The Learning Company was founded in 1980.

TriGem was founded in 1980.

Computer company events in 1980

IBM hires Microsoft to develop versions of BASIC, FORTRAN, COBOL, and Pascal for the PC being developed by IBM.

Steve Ballmer joins Microsoft on June 11, 1980, and became Microsoft's 30th employee, the first business manager hired by Bill Gates.

Atari became the first company to register a Copyright for two computer games "Asteroids" and "Lunar Lander" on June 17, 1980.

Computer-related movies released in 1980

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was released on May 21, 1980.

Computer pioneers born in 1980

Andrew Baron

Andrew Baron was born on March 31, 1980.

Rob Kalin was born on April 11, 1980.

Shawn Fanning was born on November 22, 1980.

Computer pioneer deaths in 1980

Oliver Standingford

Oliver Standingford passed away in 1980 (Age: 67-68).

John Mauchly passed away on January 8, 1980 (Age: 73).

Klaus Samelson passed away on May 25, 1980 (Age: 62).

« 1979 - Computer History - 1981 »