This week in tech

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  • A look back on the biggest things that happened this week throughout the history of tech.

    6 November, 1980 - IBM and Microsoft sign a deal

    On 6 November 1980 IBM and Microsoft officially sign a contract meaning Microsoft will create an operating system for the in-development IBM PC. Before the signing of this contract, IBM was initially interested in licensing the CP/M operating system, but due to the difficulty of coming to an agreement with Digital Research, IBM decided to ask Microsoft to develop a similar operating system to that of CP/M. There was already a small company at the time who had developed an operating systems similar to CP/M called QDOS, in which Microsoft suggested that QDOS could work as IBM PC’s operating system. The formal contract followed this on 6 November, 1980 which meant Microsoft would licence and further develop the operating system for IBM.

    7 November, 2000 - Pets.com becomes no longer

    After only 2 short years in business, a dot-com enterprise known as Pets.com officially shut down after beginning operations in August 1998. The business, which sold pet supplies to retail customers was cited as one of the biggest failures of the dot-com bubble. Although Pets.com was able to gain significant brand recognition through its extensive marketing campaign and sock puppet mascot, it lost money due to an unsustainable business plan.

    Wednesday 8 November, 1895- The discovery of X-Rays

    Whilst experimenting with electrical discharge tubes, German Physics Professor Wilhelm Röntgen stumbled upon what would later be described as “X-rays”. Curious as to what was causing a faint green glow on a nearby fluorescent screen, Röntgen began systematically studying the unknown rays and published the first paper on the phenomenon less than two months later. He referred to the rays as “X”, indicating that they were an unknown form of radiation at the time. The name has stuck, and in some languages, X-rays are referred to as Röntgen rays, as a tribute to his discovery. Röntgen was later awarded the very first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 thanks to his work on X-rays.

    9 November, 2004 – Mozilla Firefox 1.0 web browser becomes available

    9 November, 2004 saw The Mozilla Foundation release version 1.0 of the Firefox web browser. At the time Mozilla described the development of Firefox as being ‘driven by a desire for a more robust, user-friendly and trustworthy experience’. Firefox is significant in Internet history because it represented the first serious alternative to the dominance of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer in several years

    10 November 10, 1983 - Microsoft Introduces Windows

    Microsoft formally announces Windows, a graphical user interface for Microsoft DOS-based systems, with it due to ship by April 1984, however, Windows 1.0 doesn’t actually ship until November 1985. While Windows 1 and Windows 2 saw limited usage, it wasn’t until Windows version 3 that Windows began to see widespread acceptance.

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