Computer history - 1997

Updated: 08/02/2019 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.

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. Designed by Intel was released in August 1997.

AOL acquired CompuServe on September 8, 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.

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

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

Bill Gates became the worlds richest businessman in 1997.

Microsoft began working on its own search engine in 1997.

The TRUSTe organization was founded in 1997.

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

New computer products and services introduced in 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.

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 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 was released by Nokia.

Yahoo! introduces Yahoo Mail.

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

Microsoft Windows CE 2.x was released.

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

ABBYY was founded in 1997.

AmbiCom Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1997.

Belarc was founded in 1997.

Cyrix was established 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.

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 purchased 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 a merger between McAfee and Network General.

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

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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