9 Companies That Revolutionized Technology

By Stephanie Blanchard, Digital Editor & Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — July 08, 2013

Our founding fathers created a new country, and, in a way, technology has done the same over the years. There have been key companies in history that revolutionized the way work and live.  

In the “old days,” the revolution first began in business, with the desktop eventually coming to homes and schools. With mobile technology today, users, or so-called “prosumers” are driving hardware and workflow with their choices for devices and apps.

The next iteration of the mobile revolution is here with the Internet of Things, where there is potential for everyone and everything to be hyper-connected. Countless corporations, and innovators big and small have played (and continue to) a role in the revolution. Here’s nine of the biggies:

1. IBM revolutionized computers. Founded in 1911 and headquartered in Armonk, NY, “Big Blue” was responsible for the mainframe. When the IBM 5150 was introduced in August 1981— its first “PC”— it changed the way we work.

2. Motorola, Inc. revolutionized wireless. Founded in Chicago, IL in 1928, the telecommunications company created the first cell phone ever. The company was eventually divided into Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions but Motorola, Inc., will forever be recognized as a pioneer.

3.  Intel Corporation revolutionized the processor. Headquartered in Santa Clara, CA, Intel was founded in July 1968 by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore. A company that concentrated on semiconductors, its microprocessors became the hearts of PCs. Intel is now focusing on mobile.

4. Microsoft revolutionized operating systems. Founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in April 1975, the Redmond, WA company released MS-DOS in the mid-1980s. This was followed by Microsoft Windows, the most dominant PC OS ever, along with ubiquitous software that graces almost every computer in the world.

5.  Apple Inc. revolutionized mobile devices and created the idea of mobile apps. Headquartered in Cupertino, CA, and founded in April 1976, Apple initially had its niche with the Mac line of computers. Then came the iPhone in 2007, the app store in 2008 and the iPad in 2010.

6. Adobe Systems Inc. revolutionized desktop publishing. Headquartered in San Jose, CA, and founded by John Warnock and Charles Geschke in December 1982, Adobe brought multimedia and creativity to the masses, with its suite of graphics applications and PostScript fonts.

7. Amazon.com, Inc. revolutionized online shopping. Originally an online bookstore, the Seattle, WA, company was founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994. Web commerce has never been the same. Amazon has also become a major cloud player both at work and home.

8. Google revolutionized the Internet. Founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and incorporated in 1998, Google rules the world — the web world at least.  Headquartered in Mountain View, CA, the company created the most widely used search engine in our time.  In 2006, the word Google was added as a verb to the dictionary. Not enough domination there, Google was also the main player introducing Android.

9. Twitter revolutionized social media. Sure, there’s Facebook, and before that MySpace, but Twitter, founded in March 2006 is communication in an instant. It’s actually caused revolutions, enabling previously isolated or censored peoples to tell the world what’s going on in theirs. It’s turned to during crises and good days alike — with it being the first source for real-time news (or rumors). 

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