by January 6, 2012 0 comments



Have you ever imagined what would it be like if there were no browser to let you surf on internet? Or if there weren no word-processor or spreadsheet available? You cannot? Well there were software applications that changed everything in the wake. We have listed five such applications.


Photoshop

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It never mattered whether you are a professional photographer or an amateur, taking breathtaking photographs was never an easy task. Photoshop came along and it changed the dynamics of the way people looked at photos or looked in photos.

Photoshop was actually the brainchild of Thomas Knoll, a PhD student at Michigan University. At initial stage, in 1987, it was called Display but was later changed to ImagePro in 1988 and was finally renamed Photoshop. After it was purchased by Adobe and was launched for Mac, there was no turning back. Photoshop drastically changed the world we see , the movies we watch. Photo manipulation, special effects, advertisement, games Photoshop was being used everywhere and showed us a complete different world that we were not aware of.


Mosaic
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Mosaic Web Browser, may not be the first browser, but is said to be the first browser that took the World Wide Web to the general public, and made it popular. Browsers before Mosaic displayed the images separately but it was Mosaic that introduced or rather put images in the same window and within the text. Introduction of Mosaic was considered to be the turning point in the World Wide Web, since it was the first browser based on graphical user interface. It also introduced support for sound, video, bookmarks and history.

Mosaic was released in January 1993 and was developed at National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). It was also considered to be the first cross-platform browser. It supported different protocols like FTP, HTTP, telnet and Gopher. But its popularity began to lessen after Netscape Navigator was introduced in 1994. Though Netscape had the same mind behind it- Marc Andreessen. initially the browser was named Mosaic Navigator but due to some legal issues it was renamed Netscape Navigator. It became successful and dominated the World Wide Web to a great extent. But then Microsoft was there to cash-on this new market and opportunity and came up with Internet Explorer and later bundled it with the Windows OS. Though it raised a legal issue against Microsoft, as installation of other browser was not allowed in Windows.

Finally after other began to dominate the market, Mosaic was discontinued in 1997.


Lotus 1-2-3
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Lotus 1-2-3 was launched on 26th January, 1983. It was 1-2-3 that established spreadsheet in the market. It was also the first spreadsheet application that introduced cell naming and cell ranges. It allowed users to plot, create charts and also to create a database.

Lotus Development Software was founded by Mitchell Kapor and Jonathan Sachs in 1982. Mitchell started working on Lotus 1-2-3 after he left VisiCorp (brain behind VisiCalc, first spreadsheet application). The suffix 1-2-3 refers to the three important elements in Lotus which are spreadsheet, graphic and database. Features like pop-up menus, data sorting, and macros led to the popularity of Lotus 1-2-3. Soon after its launch it became the leading spreadsheet application in the market. But Lotus lacked in bringing this application to Windows. Also the popularity of Lotus 1-2-3 forced Microsoft to come up with another spreadsheet program after Multiplan. So they come up Excel, Windows version, in 1987. Soon it outsells Lotus 1-2-3 and established Microsoft as a leading software development company. Later Lotus also launched Lotus SmartSuite but lately it did not perform well. Lotus was finally acquired by IBM in 1995.




WordStar

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Initially designed for CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers), WordStar was the most popular and feature rich word-processor, developed by MicroPro International. With the version 3.0 WordStar was released for DOS in 1982.

Systems for which WordStar was initially designed did not have any cursor keys, so users have to use Ctrl key with pre-defined keys to move the cursor. It also included spell checker as an add-on but was later integrated into the program itself. Another add-on was mail merge add-on which helped in bulk printing. Later, it was also integrated in the WordStar.

With the time it gained popularity but IBM’s Displaywriter System was a threat to WordStar. Displaywriter System was a dedicated word-processing machine which included features like mail merge. It because of Displaywriter System IBM was able to dominate the word-processor market. So MicroPro came up with the unsuccessful product WordStar 2000 and it shook its developers. Then MicroPro upgraded WordStar features and launched it again and from 5.0 it was released only for DOS.

Like Lotus, which delayed its launch for Windows, WordStar also delayed its launch which gave a chance to Microsoft to establish its application Microsoft Word.

Today WordStar may no longer be used but it laid the foundation of different word-processor applications and can be considered as the stepping stone in the word-processing development.


Apple iTunes:

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iTunes, as everyone is aware of, is a program used for playing, downloading and organizing music and videos in desktop and apple devices like iPod, iPhone and iPad. Using iTunes one can also buy music online and can also download application from Apple Store for Apple devices.

ITunes, known as SoundJam MP before it was bought by Apple, was launched in January 2001. Later iTunes Store was introduced in April 2003, which let the users to pay and download the music and according to the Wikipedia this service led the online music services with over 5 billion downloads by June 2008. The main reason behind iTunes success was the ease and convenience with which users were able to organize and buy the music online. This concept somehow forced music companies to reevaluate their business strategies, so as to sell music online rather than through CDs. Also iTunes was helpful in curbing piracy down, since DRM or Digital Rights Management would not allow users to share the content or the songs with another user. With features like playlist, podcast iTunes proved to be a threat to radio. Now users can play their music without any advertisement or delay in between and that too their favorite music. So in a way iTunes took the music industry with a storm since users did not have to go to stores (physical) to buy the music and also do not have to listen to music on radio with interruption in between.

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