01 JUL 2018

History of technology: on this day in technology in July

New month, new memories! Last month we inaugurated this monthly column about the history of technology, looking back at the birth of the PHP scripting language, the marketing of Apple II and Windows 98, the switch of Facebook, Yahoo and Google to IPv6 and the launch of the first iPhone. If you want to read more about the topic, do not miss the “On this day in technology: the history of technology in June”.

What happened in this month? Pentium 4 and Celeron appear on the market, The App Store and Twitter are launched, the software that will give birth to blogs is developed and finally Windows 10 is released.

Now, let’s retrace this technology evolution!

2 July 2001: Pentium 4 at 1.6, at 1.8 Ghz and Celeron at 900 MHz appear on the market

Pentium 4 and Celeron are x86 microprocessors produced by Intel. Pentium 4 is an Intel upmarket product, while Celeron costs less.

Pentium 4 was a processor for the desktop market and implemented NetBurst architecture. Unfortunately, it did not improve the design of its predecessor P6, nor was it scalable, as was hoped for.

10 July 2008: App Store opens

The App Store is an application and an Apple tool allowing people to download and purchase applications available in the iTunes Store. It is accessible from iPhone, iPad touch, iPad and as of 2011, from Mac computers (it is also possible to download new operating systems from the App Store). The App Store had great success: 10 million applications were downloaded in the first week.

On the App Store today there are over 2 million applications, with 130 billion downloads. Apps can be developed by third parties (with the approval of Apple) and they can be both free and paid for. An app downloaded from the App Store can be uninstalled, unlike those present by default on devices.

To reward the achievement of certain application download thresholds (the first threshold was one billion), Apple rewards the user who has achieved the new record with an iTunes Gift Card and various Apple products.

L'App Store della Apple apre su iPhone, iPad, iPoud touch e Mac

15 July 2006: Twitter is born

Twitter is a social network created in March 2006 and launched on 15 July of the same year. It is free, and it is different than Facebook because the status updates – the “tweets” – must not have more than 140 characters.

Initially, Twitter had to be a platform for the creation and management of podcasts, but Apple had the same idea with its first iPhone (which was to be launched the following year) and for this reason the creators of Twitter needed another idea. They thought about a platform that allowed people to communicate through text messages (an SMS, can accommodate 160 characters, Twitter, 140).

Twitter saw its popularity increase during “South by Southwest” of 2007, the Texas film and music festival. Many of the comments about the festival came from Twitter thanks to the fact that at the event there were two 60-inch screens where the tweets about the event were shown.

Twitter was used by astronauts to send updates, to share photos of space and the Earth seen from space. Twitter was used to communicate important news before traditional press as in the case of the death of the Italian emeritus president Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, and of the earthquake of April 2009 in Abruzzo (Italy). Twitter is used by companies, politicians, celebrities, newspapers and television broadcasters thanks to its simplicity of use and hashtags. These are labels identified by a pound sign (#) that create a link to all tweets with the same hashtag. Internationally, Twitter counts 330 million active users every month, and it is one of the platforms with the largest number of active monthly users.

Twitter nasce il 15 luglio del 2006

18 July 1997: blogs take shape

On 18 July 1997 the software that will give birth to blogs is developed by the American Dave Winer, but we will have to wait a few more months for the first blog: in December of the same year, the first blog appeared on the web and it was dedicated to hunting.

Blogs are a kind of website where, periodically, content is published – called posts – in the form of text or multimedia elements. Post display is anti-chronological (from the most to the least recent).

Blogs were very popular in the early 2000s when platforms such as Altervista, Blogspot, WordPress and the like were developed and allowed people to create and manage their own blogs easily and for free. Blogs have again become popular in recent years because they make it easy to keep a website up to date, thanks to the publication of new content, increasing the site’s authority.

There are blogs of all kinds: technology, fashion, wellness, the latest news and generally, the user can comment on articles and share them, in this way, visibility of the blog increases.

The term blog is the contraction of web-log which means “online journal”.

The “blogger” is the person who writes on a blog, and the “blogosphere” refers to all existing blogs.

29 July 2015: Microsoft releases Windows 10

Windows 10 blows out 3 candles. Windows 10 merges Windows 7 and Windows 8 and naturally goes even beyond the previous operating systems. The start menu is similar to that of Windows 8, using only a portion of the screen, as in Windows 7; in addition, there is once again, the classic Start menu as in Windows 7 (the absence of the Start menu in Windows 8 generated criticisms). Another peculiarity of Windows 10 is that Microsoft said that it would not work on new operating systems, releasing new ones after just a few years, but it would only focus on Windows 10 with periodic updates to improve speed, stability, security and to add new features. And so, Windows becomes a service, and now updates are automatic, and it is no longer possible to block their installation as in other operating systems.

Windows 10 also exists in a mobile version used on Lumia smartphones, but also on some HP, Acer and Alcatel smartphones.

The new features of Windows 10 are the presence of Cortana as an integral part of the operating system; the notification center, which is in a side window where all system and app notifications are displayed in a single element; the new Microsoft Edge browser. These do not replace Internet Explorer but seek coax users back to a Microsoft browser that has received criticisms for non-optimal performance. In Microsoft Edge, it is possible to use Cortana. In addition, Windows 10 allows users to create virtual desktops, that is, multiple desktop screens where the user can create multiple work environments, with the windows of specific programs needed.

Of course, there were many other new features in Windows 10 and Microsoft will continue to add new ones periodically, but for the purposes of our article, we can stop here.

Schermata di Windows 10, l'ultimo sistema operativo Microsoft

So this month as well, we have looked back at technology evolution and history of technology. See you next month with our column about “on this day in technology”! Continue to follow us on social networks to retrace these events day by day!

Elaborated by Lucia D’Adamo, supervised by Marco Pirrone

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