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When we think about how much technology has changed over just the most recent decades, it’s hard to imagine what things will be like 20, or even 10, years from now. Because of how fast things are moving, it’s worth taking a look back to see how far we’ve come. This timeline, while by no means comprehensive, gives you a look at some of the major tech events that took place over the past two decades.

1995-2004: The Rise of the Digital Age

1995

Windows 95 Boot Screen

Windows 95 was released with great fanfare, becoming the most popular desktop operating system shortly after. Microsoft’s $300 million advertising campaign for the product focused on new features like the taskbar and ‘Start’ button, which were introduced for the first time.

1995-2004: The Rise of the Digital Age

1996

JavaSoft Logo

Java was first introduced for Solaris, Windows, Mac OS and Linux platforms. It was called Java Development Kit 1.0 at the time and was marketed as simple, object-oriented programming that could be executed with high performance.

1995-2004: The Rise of the Digital Age

1998

Google Search Bar

The domain name for Google was registered on Sept. 15, 1997, and the company was incorporated on Sept. 4, 1998. At the time, the company was based out of a garage and had just one employee.

1995-2004: The Rise of the Digital Age

2002

.net Logo

The first version of the .NET framework was released this year. It was developed by Microsoft in order to create a standardized method of programming throughout all of their applications.

1995-2004: The Rise of the Digital Age

2004

thefacebook logo

Facebook was launched by creator Mark Zuckerberg, then a student at Harvard University. Then known as Thefacebook, membership to the site was restricted to college students.

2005-2015: To Mobility and Beyond

2006

Blu-ray Disc Logo

The first titles to appear in Blu-ray format were released this year: 50 First Dates, The Fifth Element, Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, Twister, Underworld Evolution, XXX and The Terminator. These earliest releases used MPEG-2 video compression, which is the same method used on standard DVDs.

2005-2015: To Mobility and Beyond

2007

First generation iPhone and Amazon Kindle

Apple’s Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone to the public in 2007, at the Macworld Convention. The two initial 4 gigabyte and 8 gigabyte models caused a major reaction in the tech world, with customers lining up outside stores nationwide. In the same year, Amazon released the first Kindle e-reader, which sold out in just 5.5 hours.

2005-2015: To Mobility and Beyond

2009

3-D Printer

The first commercially available 3-D printer, based on the RepRap concept, was introduced this year. These affordable, “entry-level” products were known as Bfb RapMan 3-D printers and ushered in the era of nonindustrial 3-D printer use.

2005-2015: To Mobility and Beyond

2013

Samsung Galary Gear Watch

Samsung Galaxy Gear was released onto the market as a wearable smartwatch in 2013. This product is Android-based and serves as a companion for the Samsung line of Galaxy smartphones. Mainstream interest in wearable technology continues to grow.

2005-2015: To Mobility and Beyond

2014-2015

Wifi Connected House

The “Internet of Things” concept grew in popularity this year, with several companies looking to capitalize on networks of smart devices. Samsung’s SmartThings technology was showcased at the International Consumer Electronics Show this year, with Apple’s HomeKit slated to launch during 2015.

The Bright Future of Tech

All of this rapid innovation means exciting things are in store for the future of the tech industry. In fact, employment in all computer-based occupations is expected to rise 20 percent through the year 2022, and employment in the information technology industry has increased by 37 percent since the year 2003. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tech salaries range from around $50,000 all the way up to $130,000 and beyond, making careers in this field both in-demand and high-paying.

As you can see, the tech world moves fast. Are you ready to be a part of it?

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