The Software History
Center is dedicated to preserving the history of the software
industry, one of the largest and most influential industries in the
world today. The industry originated with the entrepreneurial computer
software and services companies of the 1950s and 1960s, grew
dramatically through the 1970s and 1980s to become a market force
rivaling that of the computer hardware companies, and by the 1990s had
become the supplier of technical know-how that transformed the way
people worked, played and communicated every day of their lives. The SHC is working to preserve for future generations information about
the companies, people, products, and events that shaped the evolution
of this vital industry.
The following is a brief overview of each of the first three decades
in the history of the software industry including links to lists of
companies founded in each of those decades.
The IEEE Annals of
the History of Computing is a quarterly publication which features
scholarly articles by leading computer scientists and historians, as
well as firsthand accounts by computer pioneers. Software History
Center founders Luanne Johnson and Burt Grad served as guest editors
for the Winter (Jan-Mar) 2002 special issue which focuses on the
emergence of software products companies in the 1960s.
The software pioneers whose stories are told in this issue include
Walter Brown, John Cullinane, Frank Dodge, Marty Goetz, Peter Harris,
Bob Head, Lee Keet, Ken Kolence, Dale Learn, Bill Newcomer, Tom Nies,
Joe Piscopo, and Larry Welke. Articles about IBM unbundling in 1969
were by Burt Grad, Watts Humphrey and Emerson Pugh.