Computer History - 1997

Updated: 09/15/2017 by Computer Hope

Major computer events in 1997

IEEE introduced 802.11 the wireless (WiFi) network standard in June 1997.

Steve Jobs rejoins Apple September 16, 1997.

Other computer events in 1997

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

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

The PNG standard is introduced on January 10, 1997.

The world learns of Dolly, the first successfully cloned mammal 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 May 11, 1997 in their second six-game showdown, winning the tie-breaking game in only 62 minutes.

The Mars Pathfinder successfully lands on Mars 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 releases DirectX 5.0 ( on July 16, 1997.

Advanced Graphics Port or AGP designed for Video cards. Designed by Intel is released August of 1997.

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

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

The client-side scripting language ECMAScript is released.

The first paywall is introduced by the Wall Street Journal. The CD burning software Nero is first released.

Unwired Planet develops HDML.

Sun Microsystems first releases the Java Database Connectivity API.

Connectix introduces Virtual PC.

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

ATA-3 is approved by ANSI.

The Slashdot website launches.

The first black hat conference is held.

Internet2 consortium is established.

Several computer manufactures 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 Internets 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 introduces its free online translator Babel Fish.

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

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

Bill Gates is now the worlds richest businessman.

Microsoft begins working on its own search engine.

The TRUSTe organization is founded.

The Li-Ion battery begins being used for commercial uses.

New computer products and services introduced in 1997

Intel releases the NLX motherboard in March of 1997.

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

Winamp is released April 21, 1997.

Intel Pentium II is introduced on May 7, 1997.

Perl 5.004 is released May 15, 1997.

Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 4.0 in September of 1997.

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

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

The video game Constructor is released.

Microsoft releases Microsoft Office 97.

Macromedia introduces Dreamweaver.

Microsoft announces Windows 98.

Apple releases macOS 8.

CD-RW drives and media are introduced.

Intel introduces the MMX chip.

Intel introduces the Slot 1 processor and slot.

The Symbian mobile operating system is released by Nokia.

Yahoo! introduces Yahoo Mail.

The Intel Pentium II 233 MHz processor is released.

Microsoft Windows CE 2.x is released.

Microsoft releases Visual Basic 5.0.

Carsten Haitzler releases Enlightenment.

The 98 update is applied to the Haskell programming language.

Internet domains that came online in 1997

The domain comes online March 28, 1997.

The domain comes online September 24, 1997.

The domain comes online November 10, 1997.

Computer companies founded in 1997

ABBYY is founded.

AmbiCom Holdings, Inc. is founded.

Belarc is founded.

Cyrix is established.

E ink is established.

Go Daddy is founded.

HTC is founded.

Kaspersky is founded.

Leoptics is founded.

Ligos is founded.

Netflix is established.

Nullsoft is founded by Justin Frankel.

PowerColor is founded.

Velocity Micro is founded.

Webroot Software is founded.

Yandex is founded.

Computer company events in 1997

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

Compaq purchases Microcom in April 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.

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

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

Computer pioneer deaths in 1997

Jean HoerniJean Hoerni passes away January 12, 1997 (Age:73)

Mina Rees passes away October 25, 1997 (Age: 92)

Cyril Cleverdon passes away December 4, 1997 (Age: 83)

John Pinkerton passes away December 22, 1997 (Age: 78)

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