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Issue No.01 - January-March (1998 vol.20)
pp: 36-42
ABSTRACT
<p><it>The conventional wisdom in the computer industry in the 1960s was that one could not make any money selling software—it was either given away free by the computer manufacturers or written specifically and uniquely for each computer installation. But several years before the concept of charging for software products was given legitimacy by IBM's unbundling in June 1969, there were a number of entrepreneurs who were convinced that there was a market for software that could be sold off-the-shelf over and over again to hundreds of customers. The companies founded by these software pioneers grew to become enterprises worth hundreds of millions of dollars and were the prototypes for the thousands of software companies that came after them. This article tells the story of two of those early companies, Applied Data Research and Informatics, and the contributions they made to the creation of today's multibillion-dollar software industry.</it></p>
CITATION
Luanne (James) Johnson, "A View From the 1960s: How the Software Industry Began", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.20, no. 1, pp. 36-42, January-March 1998, doi:10.1109/85.646207
REFERENCES
1. Interview with Walter F. Bauer, founder, Informatics General Corporation, 26 Mar. 1986; 16 June 1995; and 9 June 1997.
2. Interview with Wilfred J. Dixon, founder, BDMP Statistical Software, 17 Mar. 1986.
3. Interview with Martin A. Goetz, founder, Applied Data Research, 10 Dec. 1985 and 28 Mar. 1996.
4. Interview with Tom Nies, founder, Cincom Systems, 8 May 1986.
5. Interview with Harry Markowitz, founder, California Analysis Centers, Inc., 14 Mar. 1986.
6. Interview with John Postley, developer of Mark IV (Informatics General Corporation), 26 Mar. 1986.
7. Interview with Lawrence A. Welke, founder, International Computer Programs, 7 Apr. 1986; 3 May 1995; and 10 Sept. 1996.
8. Interview with Bill Witzel, founder, Computer Concepts, Inc., 23 Oct. 1996.
9. M. Campbell-Kelly and W. Aspray, Computer: A History of the Information Machine, Basic Books, New York, 1996, p. 117.
10. C.J. Bashe, L.R. Johnson, J.H. Palmer, and E.W. Pugh, IBM's Early Computers.Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1986, p. 466-469.
11. R.L. Forman, Fulfilling the Computer's Promise: The History of Informatics, 1962-1968.Woodland Hills, Calif.: Informatics, 1985.
12. E.W. Pugh,Building IBM: Shaping an Industry and Its Technology, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1995, p. 62.
13. W.F. Bauer, "Informatics: An Early Software Company," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 70-76, 1996.
14. S. Gibson, "Software Industry Born With IBM's Unbundling," Computerworld, June19 1989.
15. M. Campbell-Kelly, "Development and Structure of the International Software Industry, 1950-1990," Business and Economic History, vol. 24, no. 2(Winter), pp. 84-85, 1995.
16. M.A. Goetz, "Software Products—1964-1970: A Personal Perspective," unpublished manuscript, no date.
17. B. Grad, "Evolution of U.S. Packaged Software Industry," unpublished paper, 1992.
18. E.C. Kubie, "Recollections of the First Software Company," Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 16, no. 2, Summer 1994, pp. 66-71.
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