What Happened Today, November 20th

Ray Ozzie. Bill Gates once dubbed Ozzie one of the top five programmers in the universe
Ray Ozzie. Bill Gates once dubbed Ozzie one of the top five programmers in the universe
 
Lotus Notes Inventor Ozzie Born
Ray Ozzie, who designed the Lotus Notes office management software for Lotus Development Corporation, is born in Chicago, IL. Ozzie graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1979. During this time Ray worked at the Computer-based Education Research Lab (CERL) on the PLATO operating system. He was impressed with PLATO’s real-time communications and has often publicly credited his CERL experience as the inspiration for Lotus Notes. In 1984 Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation, supported the idea to develop a PLATO-like product for PC by funding Iris Associates, Inc. In August 1986 Lotus Notes was complete, and was an early example of commercially successful groupware.

What Happened This Week

 
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Is Released
Sega releases the second game for its top franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog, for the Sega Genesis platform. Genesis was running second to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System with its franchise creations such as Mario and Starfox. Sonic would be the leading character for Sega platforms throughout the 1990s, and would eventually be licensed to other companies once Sega stopped producing it’s own platforms with its Dreamcast system.
Ray Ozzie. Bill Gates once dubbed Ozzie one of the top five programmers in the universe
Ray Ozzie. Bill Gates once dubbed Ozzie one of the top five programmers in the universe
 
Lotus Notes Inventor Ozzie Born
Ray Ozzie, who designed the Lotus Notes office management software for Lotus Development Corporation, is born in Chicago, IL. Ozzie graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1979. During this time Ray worked at the Computer-based Education Research Lab (CERL) on the PLATO operating system. He was impressed with PLATO’s real-time communications and has often publicly credited his CERL experience as the inspiration for Lotus Notes. In 1984 Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation, supported the idea to develop a PLATO-like product for PC by funding Iris Associates, Inc. In August 1986 Lotus Notes was complete, and was an early example of commercially successful groupware.
Xbox 360 console and controller
Xbox 360 console and controller
 
Xbox 360 Is Released to the North American Market
Microsoft’s Xbox 360, the second in the Xbox line, is released in the US and Canada after a viral marketing campaign and intense hype. Initially, eighteen titles were available at launch, and of those, Call of Duty 2 was the best seller for the new console. An updated version of Xbox Live, which allowed online multi-player gaming and media streaming, was a major selling point for the 360, one of the top-selling consoles of all time. The 360’s main competitors were Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s PlayStation 3, all of which were 7th generation video game consoles. Its successor, the Xbox One, was released 8 years later.
 
Business Week Predicts Computer Industry "On the Skids"
With IBM projected to lose $5 billion in 1992, Business Week describes the computer business as "an industry on the skids." The magazine cited layoffs at most established computer companies, such as IBM, as well as newer firms like Sun Microsystems, Inc., as evidence that the industry was saturated. A solution, the article concluded, would be for each business to find its proper niche.
 
AOL Buys Netscape
America Online announced the acquisition of Netscape Communications in a stock-for-stock transaction worth $4.2 billion. The deal between Netscape and AOL was also a pooling-of-interests transaction and gave Netscape shareholders 0.45 shares of AOL common stock for each share they held. The transaction closed in the spring of 1999, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.
 
Pixar's A Bug's Life and Geri's Game Is Released
Pixar Animation Studio released their second feature-length animated film, A Bug's Life, on this day in 1997, preceding it with a computer animated short, Geri's Game. A Bug's Life, following on the success of Pixar’s Toy Story, was the story of a rag-tag group of bugs who band together to defeat a group of invading grasshoppers. The film would make more than $160 million in its initial US release. Geri's Game would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.