Computer history - 1997

Updated: 08/02/2020 by Computer Hope

Major computer events in 1997

IEEE introduced 802.11 the wireless (Wi-Fi) network standard in June 1997.

Steve Jobs rejoins Apple on September 16, 1997.

Other computer events in 1997

HTTP/1.1 was specified in RFC 2616 and officially released in January 1997.

Mosaic development and support officially discontinued on January 7, 1997.

The PNG standard was introduced on January 10, 1997.

The world learns of Dolly, the first successfully cloned mammal on February 22, 1997.

A cult known as the Heaven's Gate that earns its money from designing websites commits a mass suicide on March 27, 1997.

IBMs Deep Blue computer defeats world champion chess player Garry Kasparov on May 11, 1997, in their second six-game showdown, winning the tie-breaking game in only 62 minutes.

Sierra Semiconductor announced a name change for the corporation PMC-Sierra, Inc. on June 9, 1997. The trading symbol for the company that is publicly traded on NASDAQ National Market also changed from "SERA" to "PMCS."

The Mars Pathfinder successfully landed on Mars on July 4, 1997. The NASA Pathfinder website showing real-time images sent from the Pathfinder on Mars receives more than 100 million hits during its first four days. In response to the popularity, NASA sets up 25 mirror pages to handle the traffic. The site sets a new popularity record.

Microsoft released DirectX 5.0 ( on July 16, 1997.

Advanced Graphics Port or AGP designed for video cards was released by Intel in August 1997.

The domain name was registered after Sergey Brin and Larry Page decided to change the name of their BackRub search engine to Google on September 15, 1997.

The client-side scripting language ECMAScript was released.

The first paywall was introduced by the Wall Street Journal.

The CD burning software Nero was first released.

Unwired Planet develops HDML.

Sun Microsystems first released the Java Database Connectivity API in 1997.

Connectix introduced Virtual PC in 1997.

Quantum Teleportation was first successfully achieved, bringing quantum computing closer to reality.

ATA-3 was approved by ANSI in 1997.

The Slashdot website launched in 1997.

The first black hat conference was held in 1997.

Internet2 consortium was established in 1997.

Several computer manufacturers introduce sub 1,000 computers, computers that cost less than $1,000.00.

AOL faces several lawsuits from subscribers who are upset about the difficulties encountered when attempting to connect to its services.

The dancing baby becomes one of the Internet's first fads. The dancing baby is a short 3D animation of a small baby wearing diapers dancing. It was first created by Michael Girard and later tweaked by Ron Lussier at LucasArts, who released it on a CompuServe forum as chacha.avi.

Altavista introduced its free online translator Babel Fish in 1997.

Digital Video Discs aka DVDs (Digital Versatile Discs) first go on sale in 1997.

Bill Gates became the worlds richest businessman in 1997.

Fortran 95 was introduced in 1997.

Microsoft began working on its own search engine in 1997.

The term ICT is popularized.

The TRUSTe organization was founded in 1997.

The Li-ion battery is first used for commercial uses.

New computer products and services introduced in 1997

The first revision of the ATX standard (version 2.01) was released in February 1997.

Intel released the NLX motherboard in March 1997.

AMD releases their K6 processor line in April 1997, with speeds of 166 MHz to 300 MHz and a 66 MHz bus speed.

Winamp was released on April 21, 1997.

Intel Pentium II was introduced on May 7, 1997.

Perl 5.004 was released on May 15, 1997.

Microsoft released Internet Explorer 4.0 in September 1997.

Riven, the sequel to Myst was released in October 1997.

Rockstar Games released its first installment in the Grand Theft Auto series on October 21, 1997.

FruityLoops was released on December 18, 1997. The program would later become FL Studio.

Intel introduced the microATX form factor in December 1997.

Intel introduced AC'97 in 1997.

Microsoft released Excel 97 in 1997.

Sony released the first DualShock controller.

Apple introduced the first Power Macintosh G3 desktop in November 1997.

The video game Constructor was released.

Microsoft releases Microsoft Office 97.

Macromedia introduced Dreamweaver.

Microsoft announces Windows 98 and Active Desktop.

Apple releases macOS 8.

Caldera Linux was introduced in 1997.

CD-RW drives and media are introduced.

OpenLinux was released by Caldera Systems (now known as the SCO Group) in 1997.

HyperCam was released in 1997 by Hyperionics and Solveig.

Intel introduced the MMX chip.

Intel introduced the Slot 1 processor and slot.

The Symbian mobile operating system was released by Nokia.

Yahoo! introduced Yahoo Mail.

The Intel Pentium II, 233 MHz processor, was released.

Microsoft Windows CE 2.x was released.

Microsoft Word 97 was released in 1997.

Microsoft releases Visual Basic 5.0.

Carsten Haitzler releases Enlightenment.

The 98 update was applied to the Haskell programming language.

Internet domains that came online in 1997

The domain came online on March 28, 1997.

The domain came online on September 24, 1997.

The domain came online on November 10, 1997.

Computer companies founded in 1997

Kibble changes its name to Netflix and was established on August 29, 1997.

ABBYY was founded in 1997.

AmbiCom Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1997.

Belarc was founded in 1997.

Billionton Systems was founded in 1997.

Chassis Plans was founded in 1997.

Cyrix was established in 1997.

Dot Hill Systems was founded in 1997.

Dynapower USA was founded in 1997.

E ink was established in 1997.

GoDaddy was founded in 1997.

HTC was founded in 1997.

Kaspersky was founded in 1997.

Leoptics was founded in 1997.

Ligos was founded in 1997.

Netflix was established in 1997.

Nullsoft was founded by Justin Frankel in 1997.

PowerColor was founded in 1997.

Velocity Micro was founded in 1997.

Webroot Software was founded in 1997.

Yandex was founded in 1997.

Zebronics was founded in 1997 by Rajesh Doshi.

Computer company events in 1997

Phoenix acquired NJK (Nihon Joho Kenkyujo) on January 2, 1997.

Microsoft announces plans to buy WebTV Networks in April for $425 million. The deal is later approved and completed in August.

Compaq purchased Microcom in April 1997.

National Semiconductor acquired Cyrix in July 1997.

Microsoft invests $150 million in Apple Computers Inc. August 6, 1997, and agrees to continue creating software for Apple computers, in agreement Apple makes Microsoft Internet Explorer its browser of choice for Macintosh computers.

AOL acquired CompuServe on September 8, 1997.

The OPTi Audio business was sold to Creative Technology in November 1997 and now under the group called Ectiva.

Creative Technology Ltd. acquired Ensoniq on December 10, 1997.

Micropolis went out of business on December 10, 1997.

Microsoft acquired Hotmail, a free e-mail service, in December 1997.

In December 1997, DEXXA sold its scanner business to Storm Technologies.

3Com buys U.S. Robotics for $6.6 billion making the consolidation the largest in the history of computer companies.

Banksia and NetComm merged in late 1997.

CompUSA joins Dell and Gateway in selling build-to-order computers in 1997.

EIA is changed from Electronic Industries Association to Electronic Industries Alliance.

Gravis was acquired by Kensington in 1997.

Network Associates is formed after a merger between McAfee and Network General.

Post-Newsweek Cable was renamed to Cable One in 1997. Today, the company is known as Sparklight.

Systemax Inc. acquired Midwest Micro in 1997.

Zoran acquired ComCore Multimedia in 1997.

Computer pioneer deaths in 1997

Jean Hoerni

Jean Hoerni passed away on January 12, 1997 (Age: 73).

Mina Rees passed away on October 25, 1997 (Age: 92).

Cyril Cleverdon passed away on December 4, 1997 (Age: 83).

John Pinkerton passed away on December 22, 1997 (Age: 78).

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