Technology 1996: What we
had and Hadn't? A list of 50 things
Ahmed, ICT Journalist and Blog writer
10 years can really make so much difference! In 1996, no
body knew about blogging and there was no social bookmarking
site too. Mobile phone was in its infancy and was limited to
a small number of countries, at the hands of a small number
of rich people. PCs were too slow compared to today with
primitive softwares that we don’t use anymore. The list can
go for a long time.
After doing some search, I have tried to compile list of the
things we had or hadn't in 1996.
1. PC users did not have even Pentium II in 1996 (Pentium II
came in 1997).
2. Celeron processors were a thing of the future.
3. PC market was very small and was mainly limited to some
rich countries. So, Intel-AMD dual did not attract that much
4. To many people, computer was merely a good typing
5. 16 MB RAM was a big deal.
6. 200 MHz P6 was released by Intel and it was a great thing
7. Apple was sinking and few people could predict that Apple
would make such a great comeback after few years.
8. CD-RW was announced. DVD was knocking on the door and
came in the next year.
9. Palm Pilot hit the market for the consumers- a big
milestone for the technology industry.
10. Digital camera was digital but not affordable.
11. Monochrome monitor (display) was the norm for PC. Did
you have a color monitor?
12. LCD monitor was like a science fiction.
13. Sub $1,000 computers were emerging as a cool thing.
14. Microsoft launched IntelliMouse in 1996.
1. Java programming language started to catch attention of
the technology world as a platform independent language.
2. Windows 95 was considered to be a cool thing. So cool,
that 1 million copies were purchased by users in four days.
3. Microsoft's Office 97 was published in December 2006. It
was published in a CD ROM but also 'on a set of 45 3˝-inch
4. In 1996, there was no MP3 format. Life was really dull
for most PC users.
5. According to Wikipedia, there was no major virus attack
in 1996. Strange, isn't it?
6. Macromedia Flash 1.0 was introduced. Would you like to
work with it now?
7. Microsoft released DirectX 2.0 in 1996 and it is a
milestone in computer gaming industry.
8. Microsoft also released Windows CE.
9. Bill Gates has just been listed by Forbes in 1995 as the
richest man in the world. In 1996, he was not a household
name like today.
1. Internet did not exists in many countries in the world.
2. Boradband! What is broadband? I don't know how many
people back in 1996 thought that after 10 years they will
watch live football matches.
3. Launched in 1995, Amazon.com started to catch attention.
4. Netgear came into existence.
5. Google was born in 1996 but hardly anyone knew about it
outside of Stanford.
6. Web page design was like a nightmare in the absence of
easy softwares and very few people could do it.
7. Hotmail was launched in 1996.
8. New York Times started its own website. It was a big deal
that time as very few newspapers bothered to bear the
expense of having a website and publishing their own
materials in it.
9. eBay was there in 1996 but did buy or sell anything? Did
you even know that it existed?
10. Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 3 on August 1996.
In 1996, Microsoft had only 20% of the browser market share.
11. MSNBC was launched jointly by Microsoft and NBC.
14. Imagine a life without blogs.
Computer and Video Games
1. Pokémon was officially released in February 1996. It is
one of the most successful games of all time.
2. Nintendo 64 was born and became popular.
3. Have you played FIFA 97 in 1996?
4. "Deep Blue" created media storm by playing with world
chess champion Garry Kasparov. Deep Blue lost in 1996 but
then won in 1997. I often feel that Deep Blue is neglected
in the history of IT.
5. Quake still sends shockwaves in the heart of many gamers.
6. The House of the Dead is still not dead.
Mobile Phone and Wireless Technology
1. Many countries in the world did not have mobile phone.
2. SMS was theoretically there but 99% users did not find it
to be useful. In fact, according to one statistics, in 1995
'on average only 0.4 messages per GSM customer per month'.
3. MMS was like a science fiction.
4. WIFI, WIMax- these things existed in the dream of
5. No Bluetooth technology.
6. Cell phones contained only melody. There was no ring tone
7. Cell phone sets were too heavy and too expensive.
It is a very amateurish attempt from a person who is not a
tech expert. However, while searching, I felt that need for
such a list. Internet needs to be organized more. For
example, I failed to find out much about the history of
If you like or dislike the list and want to add something,
feel free to do it in the comment section. If you feel that
I have not given link to something that I should please let
me know and I will happy to acknowledge it.
(I am writing in this blog with the hope that some of my
visitors will visit my professional blogs SouthAsiaBiz and
IndianRaj and be regular visitor there. So, if you like my
writing please pay a visit- if you have the time.)
iPod to Face a
Constant Threat of Mobile Music and Microsoft’s Zude
Biplob Kishor Dev
The reign of Apple’s
iPod, most familiar and popular portable digital music
player, is now facing some threats from other competitor of
the market and most important from the non-market
competitors too. In this competitive market of the world, it
has been needed for Apple to change their marketing plan and
strategies as a part of their market development for their
own survival in the existing market.
First let me come to the competitors from the outside of
iPod’s market and that is mobile phone. It has been broadly
reported that different mobile phone companies intend to
market mobile phone with an extensive opportunity of storing
and playing music as iPod does. Some of the mobile phone
companies have already introduced such mobile sets which are
in some cases giving more facilities to their users than
that of an iPod. I got amazing news in a news base website
that these days about eighty percent of the leading mobile
phone companies give music option to their customers. I am
quoting some lines from that website:
“Eihgt out of the world’s Top Ten best-selling mobile phones
in September featured music-playing technology, according to
a survey of sales on six continents and over 50 countries
carried out for Krusell.
Furthermore,the latest figures from IMS Research show that
mobile phone sales will top 960 million units in 2006 and
over 1 billion in 2007. The net result is that mobile phones
are definitely eating into the market share of dedicated
music players such as the eponymous iPOD from Apple.”
Nokia’s new model N91 is getting popularity which gives a
lucrative offer to its customer. In this set 3000 songs can
be stored in a row. Nokia expects to market their new model
with the opportunity of storing 6000 songs. Mobile phone
companies are also offering the option of downloading music
form the companies’ store which is very much similar to the
iTunes of Apple. Verizon sets are providing this service.
Moreover, there are some other companies like Vcast through
which can download a song without going through the
In addition to Mobile phone, other iPod like digital music
players are being introduced these days. For instance,
Microsoft is going to market a product named “Zune” which
you can find similarity to the Apple’s iPod. Moreover, to
create a competitor of iTunes of Apple, Zune will introduce
Zune Marketplace where its users will be able to buy music
with minimal cost and in this product two users can share
music through their devices. They do not need to go to
computer. To give a short idea of the advantages of this new
product, I am quoting some lines from a website:
“The player's strong point lies in what Microsoft describes
as "the Zune experience." Wireless player-to-player sharing
lets owners spontaneously share full-length tracks of songs,
play lists or pictures. This feature allows them to listen
to the full track of any song received up to three times
over a period of three days.
If people like the one or more of the songs they hear, they
can flag it on their player and easily buy it from the Zune
Marketplace, Microsoft's version of the iTunes store, either
from their PC or directly from the player. This feature
allows a person to become exposed to a wide array of music
that they may not have heard or discovered otherwise.
The Zune Marketplace allows a person to buy individual
songs, much the way iTunes does, but the consumer has the
option of buying a "Zune pass," which gives them access to
unlimited downloads for a flat monthly fee.”
Here, it is seen that the competition is not only from
Apples own marketplace rather from other business. It was
not expected that iPod will have to compete with mobile
phone as both the products are different. So, for
technological development Apple is now thinking to introduce
a Mobile Phone for their survival. This business change is
known as Marketing Myopia from the marketing perspective. It
is also possible for Apple to give some extra facilities in
terms of price, facilities and other promotional activities
to make iPod alive for a longer time.
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