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Top 10 tech hits at 25

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) asked its members to name which information technology products of the past 25 years have been the most influential.

You probably won't guess the answers. The members ranked Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser at the top of their list.

Here's CompTIA's complete list of most influential software and hardware:
  1. Microsoft Internet Explorer
  2. Microsoft Word
  3. Microsoft Windows 95
  4. Apple iPod (tie)
  5. Microsoft Excel (tie)
  6. Research in Motion BlackBerry
  7. Adobe Photoshop
  8. McAfee VirusScan
  9. Netscape Navigator
  10. Palm PalmPilot

For reference, 25 years takes us back to 1982, a year notable for these events:  AT&T agreed to divest itself, Walt Disney World's Epcot theme park opened, Great Britain and Argentina fought the Falklands War, the Weather Channel aired for the first time, and Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' album was released. Government Computer News, FCW's sister publication, published its first issue in 1982.

In the world of computing, the year ended with Time magazine proclaiming its person of the year was, well, not a person but a computer. Time wrote that 'computers were once regarded as distant, ominous abstractions, like Big Brother. In 1982, they truly became personalized, brought down to scale, so that people could hold, prod and play with them,' according to the chroniclers at the Computer History Museum. The primary writer on the project at Time completed his work on a typewriter, but the magazine's publisher noted that Time's newsroom would upgrade to word processors within a year.

Other events in that year, the new Commodore, with 64KB, sold for $595; Cray Research produced the Cray X-MP, which had a speed almost double that of competing machines; and Disney released the movie 'Tron,' one of the first movies to use computer-generated graphics.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.

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