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Home » Steve Jobs presents the “1984” ad at the Macintosh pre-launch event (1983) (Transcript)

Steve Jobs presents the “1984” ad at the Macintosh pre-launch event (1983) (Transcript)


Hi, I’m Steve Jobs.

It is 1958. IBM passes up the chance to buy a young fledgling company that has invented a new technology called xerography. Two years later Xerox is born and IBM has been kicking themselves ever since.

It is 10 years later the late sixties Digital Equipment DEC and others invent the minicomputer. IBM dismisses the minicomputer as too small to do serious computing and therefore unimportant to their business. DEC grows to become a multi hundred million dollar corporation before IBM finally enters the mini computer market.

It is now 10 years later the late seventies in 1977, Apple a young fledgling company on the west coast invents the Apple II, the first personal computer as we know it today. IBM dismisses the personal computer as too small to do serious computing and unimportant to their business. The early eighties ’81 Apple II has become the world’s most popular computer and Apple has grown to a $300 million dollar company becoming the fastest growing corporation in American business history with over 50 competitors vying for a share.

IBM enters the personal computer market in November ’81 with the IBM PC. 1983 Apple and IBM emerged as the industry’s strongest competitors each selling approximately one billion dollars worth of personal computers in 1983, each will invest greater than fifty million dollars for R&D and another fifty million dollars for television advertising in 1984 totaling almost one quarter of a billion dollars combined, the shakeout is in full swing. The first major firm goes bankrupt with others teetering on the brink, total industry losses for 83 out shadow even the combined profits of Apple and IBM for personal computers.

It is now 1984; it appears IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money, dealers initially welcoming IBM with open arms now fear an IBM dominated and controlled future. They are increasingly and desperately turning back to Apple as the only force that can ensure their future freedom.

IBM wants it all and is aiming its guns on its last obstacle to industry control. Apple will big blue dominate the entire computer industry? The entire information age? Was George Orwell right about 1984? Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created for the first time in all history a garden of pure ideology where each worker may bloom secure from the pests of a contradictory truth.

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