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When Amazon was just a rain forest – techie timeline 1990 to 1999

When Amazon was just a rain forest – techie timeline 1990 to 1999

Take a trip down Techie Memory Lane with us, as we record the computer and on-line timeline as far back as 1990.

In some respects it’s scary how far we’ve come in such a short space of time, and amusing that so much of what we take for granted now was considered incredibly high tech just a couple of decades ago.

Take buying stuff on-line as an example. Guess when the domain Amazon.com was first registered or when eBay first appeared, and then read on to see how close you came to being right.


Tim Berners-Lee, working with Robert Cailliau at CERN, propose a ‘hypertext’ system, which is the start of the Internet as we know it today. 

Later, Tim Berners-Lee successfully sets up the first web server at info.cern.ch on December 25, 1990.

Microsoft becomes the first company to exceed $1 billion in sales.

Microsoft releases Windows 3.0 and sells more than 3 million copies in a year.

Adobe Photoshop 1.0 is released.

The first search engine – Archie – is released on September 10, 1990.

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is launched October 17, 1990.

Intel releases the 80386SL processor that uses low power and found in many portable computers.


The World Wide Web is launched on August 6, by Tim Berners-Lee.

MS-DOS 5.0 is released June, 1991.

The domain microsoft.com comes online May 2, 1991.


IBM introduces ThinkPad, the industry’s first notebook with a 10.4 inch color TFT display and TrackPoint.

Intel releases the 486DX2 chip March 2 with a clock doubling ability that generates higher operating speeds.


50 World Wide Web servers are known to exist as of January.

The first webcam connects to the Internet in November of 1993.


Hotwired sells the first banner ad to AT&T on October 27, 1994 and begins running the first Internet banner ad campaign.

The Quick Response Barcode is invented by Denso Wave.

U.S. Vice President Al Gore makes a speech where he coins the term ‘Information Superhighway.’

Amazon.com domain is registered November 1, 1994.


The dot-com boom starts.

USB standard is released.

One of the largest and well known e-commerce sites today opens its website for the first time. Amazon.com is officially opened July of 1995.

The first VoIP software (Vocaltec) is released allowing end users to make voice calls over the Internet.

Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 1.0 on August 16, 1995.

Microsoft releases Windows 95 on August 24, 1995 and sells more than 1 million copies within four days.

Yahoo.com domain is registered on January 18, 1995.

The domain ebay.com comes online August 4, 1995.

Hotmail is started by Jack Smith and Sabeer Bhatia.


Yahoo! is incorporated March 1, 1995.

Toy Story is released November 22, 1995 becoming the first movie that is completely computer generated.

IBM computer Deep Blue beats chess master Garry Kasparov in two chess matches for the first time on February 2, 1996.

In April of 1996 Jennifer Kaye Ringley installs her first webcam that later became part of the website known as JenniCam. The site later contained several webcams throughout her house and allowed anyone to log into her web page and view updated images every three minutes. The site was later closed in 2003.

Sony enters the PC market with the release of VAIO.

Google is first developed by Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Acer America Corporation introduces its designer home PCs.

The first Tomb Raider game is released November 14, 1996.

The domain imdb.com comes online January 5, 1996.

The domain myspace.com comes online February 22, 1996.

Apple Stock sinks to a 10-year low of less than $18.00 a share.

Apple announces it will purchase NeXT for $429 million and 1.5 million shares of Apple stock on December 20, 1996 and that it will acquire Steve Jobs, Apples cofounder, as a consultant.


Steve Jobs rejoins Apple September 16, 1997.

HTTP/1.1 is specified in RFC 2616 and officially released in January 1997.

The Mars Pathfinder successfully lands on Mars July 4, 1997. The NASA Pathfinder website showing real-time images sent from the Pathfinder on Mars receives more than 100 million hits during its first four days. In response to the popularity, NASA sets up 25 mirror pages to handle the traffic. The site sets a new popularity record.

The google.com domain name is registered after Sergey Brin and Larry Page decide to change the name of their BackRub search engine to Google September 15, 1997.

Microsoft acquires Hotmail a free e-mail service in December 1997.


The first paywall is introduced by the Wall Street Journal.

Bill Gates is now the world’s richest businessman.

On January 7th Microsoft releases the final version of Internet Explorer 3.0 for the Apple Macintosh.

Apple introduces the first Power Macintosh G3 desktop in November 1997.

Microsoft releases Microsoft Office 97.

Microsoft announces Windows 98.

Apple releases MAC OS 8.

CD-RW drives and media are introduced.

Yahoo! introduces Yahoo Mail.

The domain facebook.com comes online March 28, 1997.

The domain netflix.com comes online November 10, 1997.

Netflix is established.

Microsoft invests $150 million in Apple Computers Inc. August 6, 1997 and agrees to continue creating software for Apple computers, in agreement Apple makes Microsoft Internet Explorer its browser of choice for Macintosh computers.


Google files for incorporation in California September 4, 1998.

Microsoft Windows 98 is officially released on June 25, 1998.

Apple introduces the iMac in August of 1998.

Bill Gates is hit in the face with a cream pie in Belgium.

The first Google Doodle appeared on Google’s web page August 20, 1998 to celebrate burning man.

Internet weblogs begin to appear.

Sony releases the High capacity Floppy Disk.

Sony introduces the Sony Memory Stick.

PayPal is founded.


The Victoria’s Secret fashion show becomes the first major webcast on the Internet attracting over 1.5 million visitors on February 5, 1999. Unfortunately, not everyone was able to view the webcast because of its popularity.

The Melissa virus, created by David Smith, begins infecting computers March 26, 1999 and quickly spreads around the globe over e-mail in hours. The virus becomes one of the fastest spreading viruses in history and causes an estimated $80 million in damage.

Intel releases the Celeron 366 MHz and 400 MHz processors on January 4, 1999.

Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 5.0 in March 18, 1999.

Apple introduces the Apple Airport and iBook on July 21, 1999.

The Intel Pentium III 533B and 600B MHz is released on September 27, 1999.

IBM introduces the first Microdrive, the world’s physically smallest hard drive capable of storing 170MB.

The Matrix, a popular sci-fi movie, is released March 31, 1999.

Pirates of Silicon Valley is released June 20, 1999.