1Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time
People who never wanted a computer still wanted the perfect typewriter, and Electric Pencil for CP/M machines (cloned as EasyWriter for IBM PCs) made that a reality.
2Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1978: WordStar
For users who became imprinted on its unintuitive but memorable interface, anything that didnt run WordStar was not a usable PC.
3Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1979: VisiCalc
Often called the first killer app, this pioneering spreadsheet tool gave birth to the demand, I need this software and something that runs it.
4Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1981: dBase II
Minicomputers costing far more were replaced by PCs when dBase II put just enough almost-relational rigor–and an accessible programming language–on desktops.
5Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1982: AutoCAD
Proprietary drafting systems got a chill wind down their necks when Autodesk told people they could put a numeric coprocessor in that empty socket on a PC motherboard.
6Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1983: Lotus 1-2-3
Written in down-to-the-metal machine code for performance that left competitors gasping, Lotus 1-2-3 put graphics into the spreadsheet and gave rise to many user-interface clones.
7Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1983: Turbo Pascal
No other programming tool before or since has made such a huge triple jump in programmer convenience, performance and affordability.
8Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1984: MacWrite/MacPaint
Without this multifont, graphically enabled word processor and its companion illustration tool, the original Mac would have been nothing; with them, it almost needed nothing else.
9Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1984: MultiMate
For companies wedded to their Wang word processors, the appearance of a work-alike for PCs finally made those less costly and more flexible machines an option.
10Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1985: Excel for Macintosh
Making 1-2-3 suddenly seem comparatively crude, Microsoft Excel set a new standard for direct manipulation of the venerable spreadsheet interface as well as for elegant graphics.
11Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1985: Aldus PageMaker
Essentially creating the notion of mass-market desktop publishing, PageMaker gave the Mac a beachhead in the creative arts that it still retains.
12Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1986: Cross-network E-mail
No single communication software product opened digital communication to everyman, but cross-network e-mail presaged the day when everyone would have an @ address.
13Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1987: Excel for Windows
Having given the Mac a jump-start that no one else could have provided, Microsoft migrated its hard-earned GUI skills to the open hardware of the PC–and things changed.
14Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1987: dBase Mac
The only killer on this list that deserves the term in the homicidal sense, dBase Mac was so weird and so slow that it tarnished the credibility of both its own vendor and Apple.
15Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1988: Mathematica 1.0
One of the most distinctive applications for the short-lived NeXT Computer, Mathematica still sets the standard for symbolic math and visualization on Windows, Mac, Linux and Unix.
16Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1989: Word for Windows
Combining much of the power of desktop publishing with an interface comparable to anything on the Macintosh, Microsoft Word for Windows began the mainstreaming of the GUI.
17Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1990: Windows 3.0
One of only two operating systems on this list, Microsoft Windows 3.0 was far from being as capable as the Mac–but looked good enough to prevent major Mac gains while Windows matured.
18Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1990: Adobe Photoshop
With a name thats become a verb meaning to manipulate or fabricate an image, Adobe Photoshop is more than a program–its the visual artistic medium of our age.
19Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1991: Microsoft Visual Basic
Originally conceived as a dual-platform tool, Microsoft VB abandoned planned OS/2 capability just before the 1.0 release, opening a leadership gap for Windows development that IBM would never close.
20Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1994: Netscape Navigator 1.0
Arguably killed too soon by Microsofts Internet Explorer to be called a killer app itself, Netscape Navigator still deserves a place on this list as the application that redefined surf.
21Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1995: Internet Explorer 1.0
Originally an add-on, IE quickly became the linchpin of Microsofts strategy to integrate Internet connectivity and protocols such as HTML into the desktop environment.
22Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 1996: Palm HotSync
A breakthrough for convenient companion computing, the HotSync functionality of the Palm platform drove a huge expansion in the use of handheld devices.
23Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 2001: Mac OS X
The second operating system on this list, OS X catapulted the Macintosh to a new role as personal system of choice for many Unix and open-source devotees.
24Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 2001: Apple iTunes
A brilliant fusion of user interface up front and e-commerce interaction behind the scenes, iTunes and the iPod put a halo on the Apple brand.
25Peter Coffees 25 Killer Apps of All Time – 2004: Mozilla Firefox 1.0
Bringing open-source development out of its geek-centric niche into the mainstream, the Mozilla Foundations Firefox served notice that secure and simple applications were in demand.