This week in tech history

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

    May 15, 2001

    Apple Computer announces plans to operate a chain of retail stores, opening twenty-five retail stores in the United States by the end of the year. Steve Jobs holds a commemorative press event at Apple’s first store in the second level of Tysons Corner Center to make the announcement. The store, along with a second location in Washington, D.C. will open on Saturday, May 19. At the time, Apple’s plan was generally derided by technology “experts” as doomed to failure. On this, their anniversary date, Apple’s retail stores are now considered one of the catalysts to Apple’s tremendous growth.

    First Laser Created

    May 16, 1960

    Physicist Theodore Maiman creates the first laser light, using a synthetic-ruby crystal device. He was not the first to develop the theories behind lasers nor first to apply for patents, but he was the first to create an operating laser device. The light produced by this device was not a true beam as we think of most lasers today, but rather a pulse. Other researchers would create the first laser beam soon after.

    World Wide Web Launched

    May 17, 1991

    The first server “web server” in history is set up by Tim Berners-Lee on a NeXTcube at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland. The launch of this first server is considered the public release of the World Wide Web.

    Apple III Introduced

    May 19, 1980

    At the National Computer Conference in Anaheim, CaliforniaApple Computer introduces the Apple III. It is the company’s first attempt at a business computer, its first departure from the Apple II architecture, and it will also become Apple’s first real failure. Apple expects the Apple III to be released in July, but in one of the worst cases of delay in tech history, the system wouldn’t reach stores until January. Once released, the Apple III will be plagued by component failures that would ultimately lead to large recalls. The Apple III never recovered from it’s original negative reception and was discontinued by Apple in 1984

    Apple Cube Store Opens in NYC

    May 19, 2006

    Apple opens their second store in New York City, a 20,000 square-foot shop at the underground concourse of the General Motors building at 767 Fifth Avenue. Open 24-hours a day, the shop is visible at street level through a 32-foot glass cube. Designed by Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs at a cost of $9 million, people stood on line for hours prior to the store’s opening.

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