This Month in Technology – May

This Month in Technology – May

May 3, 1978 — Earliest Known Case of Spam

While unsolicited bulk email, aka spam, accounts for about 90% of all email messages today. that wasn't always the case. The first know spam message was sent on this date in 1978 by a Digital Equipment Corporation marketer to promote the DECSYSTEM-20 computer. Reaction to the message was extremely negative, but a new relatively inexpensive form of marketing was born.

May 18, 1998 — US Justice Department Files Major Antitrust Lawsuit Against Microsoft

The US Department of Justice and Attorney Generals from twenty US states and the District of Columbia file an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft. The main issue was the integration of the Internet Explorer web browser into its Windows 98 operating system. The suit maintained by bundling the browser with the operating system, the market for competing web browsers was unfairly restricted. The trial lasted for 13 years with Microsoft being subjected to a consent decree that disallowed some anti-competitive business practices.

May 21, 1952 — IBM Announces the Model 701, Its First Electronic Computer

IBM officially entered the computer business with the announcement of the Model 701, its first electronic computer. Prior to this day. IBM was known as the world's largest supplier of punched card equipment and supplies, so manufacturing a computer was considered a radical change in business strategy. Chairman Thomas Watson Sr. felt computers would be key in the US defense industry. IBM eventually sold nineteen Model 701 computers to the government, military installations and aircraft manufacturers.

May 26, 1952 — Bill Gates Sends "The Internet Tidal Wave" Memo

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates admits to his employees that his company underestimated the impact and popularity of the Internet in a memo titled The Internet Tidal Wave. The memo outlined a major shift in strategy for his company. In the memo, he stated the Internet was the "most important development" since the IBM personal computer and moving forward, he was assigning  "the highest level of importance" to the global network.