March 3, 2004
Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Computers, announces that he will step down from his his CEO role while retaining his position as Chairman of the Board. Dell president and COO, Kevin Rollins will assume his role. On January 31, 2007, (about 1 year after Dell fell behind Apple in market capitalization) Rollins will resign and Dell will resume his role as CEO due to the poor performance of the company.
March 2, 1997
During a hearing on Microsoft’s alleged antitrust activities, Bill Gates admits Microsoft’s contracts bar Internet content providers from promoting Netscape’s browser. Eventually, Internet Explorer dominates the web browser market as it is shipped for free with every copy of Windows.
March 2, 1969
The Concorde supersonic transport (SST) jet makes its maiden flight. The Concode is only the second supersonic passenger airliner to have been commercially operated. The Concorde fleet flew until November 26, 2003.
March 1, 2008
America Online discontinues the Netscape web browser. Netscape was the first commercial web browser, largely responsible for helping popularize the Internet in the mid-1990’s. Netscape eventually was overtaken by Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, as Microsoft included it for free with every copy of Windows. However, the computer code for Netscape lives on as the basis of the Mozilla Firefox browser project, which continues to gain popularity to this day.
March 1, 1976
Steve Wozniak completes the basic design for the circuit board of a (relatively) easy-to-use personal computer. The next day he shows it to the Homebrew Computer Club, which Steve Jobs attends. Jobs realizes the potential and convinces Wozniak not to give away the schematics but instead produce printed circuit boards to sell. The two Steves form a company, which they name Apple, and Wozniak’s design becomes the basis of the Apple I computer. The rest, as they say, is history.
February 28, 2002
Disney CEO Michael Eisner testifies at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., on the protection of digital content from piracy. Eisner lobbies for sterner enforcement of copyright laws, claiming that Apple Computer advertisements for the iPod encourage copyright violations. “Rip. Mix. Burn. … they can create a theft if they buy this computer.”
A little over 3 years later, Eisner was later replaced as CEO by Robert Iger, who quickly arranged the buyout of Pixar Animation Studios, of which Steve Jobs was CEO. This move made Steve Jobs Disney’s largest shareholder and a member of Disney’s board. I guess it’s a small world after all!