Evolution of Technology: 1997 vs 2017

by

August 31, 2017

Technology has evolved in leaps and bounds over the last 20 years, to the point where it has become unfathomable to imagine life without WiFi or Google or smartphones.

To celebrate the twenty years since we opened our doors as as a managed IT services provider, we’re taking a trip through time to remember what life was like back then.

Computers

Then

Now

In 1997, you were lucky if you had one computer at home, with only a third of US households owning one. Now the average American household has 5 devices, from smartphones and tablets to computers and other streaming media devices.

Microsoft Windows

Then

Now

Remember those flat gray boxes? While Microsoft has changed many things in their operating system through the years, Windows 95 introduced features that have stood the test of time, including the Start menu, taskbar, and Windows Explorer, now called File Explorer. Ten releases later, some more successful than others, Microsoft has now abandoned their traditional operating system release model, saying they will never release another version.

Screens

Then

Now

Screen technology has completely revolutionized the way we see everything from our everyday shopping list to world culture. The jpeg had only been around for 5 years and the founders of Youtube hadn’t even met yet. LCD monitors were just beginning to compete in pricing with CRT monitors. The average desktop user had a CRT monitor with a resolution of only 640 x 480. By comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus with only a 5.5″ screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080.

Connectivity

Then

Now

The boxes don’t look that different, but the difference in connectivity has completely transformed how we interact and relate within our homes, our cities, our country and our world. With the dial-up modem, files downloaded at 28.8 – 33.7 kilobytes per second, or 0.23 – 0.27 megabits per second, with a wired connection at your computer. If you were tech savvy, you carried a mobile phone and a PDA that could receive just texts, emails, and faxes.

The first version of WiFi as we know it was released in 1997, but wasn’t commercially adopted for another few years. Now that smart phone you hold in your hand can connect to the internet, receive emails and texts, stream videos and music anywhere, anytime at the speed of 25-125 megabits per second, depending on how you’re connected.

Storage

Then

Now

DVDs and rewritable CDs and CD-RW were hitting the market. MP3s were starting to proliferate illegally on the internet. These technologies brought the sharing of information, specifically music and images, to the masses. But CDs, even today, can only hold up to 700 MB (0.7 GB) of data and are easily damaged. The flash drive was still two years out from a patent. Now everyone has access to free data storage via the cloud, whether through Google, Dropbox, or Apple, just to name a few. Images are shared and stored freely through social media. Even using a flash drive to transfer information has become antiquated with the increased usage of mobile devices.

Search

Then

Now

Long before Google became a verb and any information in the world could be accessed by a few taps on a keyboard, Lycos, AltaVista and Yahoo were these top Internet crawlers simply ranked searches based upon the frequency of the search term within the webpage. Now Google is the most visited site in the world, determining everything from where we shop to where we eat. The concept of ranking that Google developed now dominates all of the information we receive.

Through all this – Integris has changed our name and the specifics of the services we offer, but we haven’t changed how we deliver our services. No matter how much technology changes, Integris will always provide excellent customer service. Interested in IT support from a provider that you can rely on as part of your team? Reach out today.

We're Integris. We're always working to empower people through technology.

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