What Happened on April 2nd

Microsoft Announces "SoftCard"

Microsoft Corporation announces the Z80 SoftCard--their first and (for many years) only hardware product--a microprocessor on a printed circuit board that plugged into the Apple II personal computer. It retailed for $349.00. The SoftCard allowed programs running under the CP/M operating system (included with the card, as was Microsoft BASIC) to run on the 6502-based Apple II with only minor modifications. In particular, the word processor WordStar was so popular that people bought the SoftCard and a companion "80-column card" just to run it. At one time, SoftCard brought in about half of Microsoft's total revenue. It was discontinued in 1986.