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Apple Inc. Apple went public in , to instant financial success. The company developed computers featuring innovative graphical user interfaces , including the original Macintosh , announced in a critically acclaimed advertisement, ” “, directed by Ridley Scott. By , the high cost of its products and power struggles between executives caused problems.
Wozniak stepped back from Apple amicably and pursued other ventures, while Jobs resigned bitterly and founded NeXT , taking some Apple employees with him. As the market for personal computers expanded and evolved throughout the s, Apple lost considerable market share to the lower-priced duopoly of the Microsoft Windows operating system on Intel -powered PC clones also known as ” Wintel “.
In , weeks away from bankruptcy, the company bought NeXT to resolve Apple’s unsuccessful operating system strategy and entice Jobs back to the company. Over the next decade, Jobs guided Apple back to profitability through a number of tactics including introducing the iMac , iPod , iPhone and iPad to critical acclaim, launching ” Think different ” and other memorable advertising campaigns, opening the Apple Store retail chain, and acquiring numerous companies to broaden the company’s product portfolio.
Apple became the first publicly traded U. The company receives criticism regarding the labor practices of its contractors, its environmental practices, and its business ethics, including anti-competitive practices and materials sourcing. Nevertheless, the company has a large following and enjoys a high level of brand loyalty.
It is ranked as one of the world’s most valuable brands. Apple Computer, Inc. The Apple II was chosen to be the desktop platform for the first ” killer application ” of the business world: VisiCalc , a spreadsheet program released in A critical moment in the company’s history came in December when Jobs and several Apple employees, including human—computer interface expert Jef Raskin , visited Xerox PARC in to see a demonstration of the Xerox Alto , a computer using a graphical user interface.
Xerox granted Apple engineers three days of access to the PARC facilities in return for the option to buy ,  shares 5. The Lisa division would be plagued by infighting, and in Jobs was pushed off the project. The Lisa launched in and became the first personal computer sold to the public with a GUI, but was a commercial failure due to its high price and limited software titles.
Jobs, angered by being pushed off the Lisa team, took over the company’s Macintosh division. Wozniak and Raskin had envisioned the Macintosh as low-cost-computer with a text-based interface like the Apple II, but a plane crash in forced Wozniak to step back from the project. Jobs quickly redefined the Macintosh as a graphical system that would be cheaper than the Lisa, undercutting his former division.
In , Apple launched the Macintosh, the first personal computer to be sold without a programming language. The advertisement created great interest in the original Macintosh , and sales were initially good, but began to taper off dramatically after the first three months as reviews started to come in. The board of directors instructed Sculley to contain Jobs and his ability to launch expensive forays into untested products.
Rather than submit to Sculley’s direction, Jobs attempted to oust him from his leadership role at Apple. PageMaker , an early desktop publishing application taking advantage of the PostScript language, was also released by Aldus Corporation in July This dominant position in the desktop publishing market  allowed the company to focus on higher price points, the so-called “high-right policy” named for the position on a chart of price vs.
Newer models selling at higher price points offered higher profit margin , and appeared to have no effect on total sales as power users snapped up every increase in speed. This policy began to backfire in the last years of the decade as desktop publishing programs appeared on PC clones that offered some or much of the same functionality of the Macintosh, but at far lower price points.
The company lost its dominant position in the desktop publishing market and estranged many of its original consumer customer base who could no longer afford their high-priced products. The company pivoted strategy and in October introduced three lower-cost models, the Macintosh Classic , the Macintosh LC , and the Macintosh IIsi , all of which saw significant sales due to pent-up demand. The same year, Apple introduced System 7 , a major upgrade to the Macintosh operating system, adding color to the interface and introducing new networking capabilities.
The success of the lower-cost Macs and PowerBook brought increasing revenue. The magazine MacAddict named the period between and as the “first golden age” of the Macintosh. The success of Apple’s lower-cost consumer models, especially the LC, also led to the cannibalization of their higher-priced machines.
To address this, management introduced several new brands, selling largely identical machines at different price points, aimed at different markets: the high-end Quadra models, the mid-range Centris line, and the consumer-marketed Performa series.
This led to significant market confusion, as customers did not understand the difference between models. The early s also saw the discontinuation of the Apple II series , which was expensive to produce, and the company felt was still taking sales away from lower-cost Macintosh models. After the launch of the LC, Apple began encouraging developers to create applications for Macintosh rather than Apple II, and authorized salespersons to direct consumers towards Macintosh and away from Apple II.
Throughout this period, Microsoft continued to gain market share with its Windows graphical user interface that it sold to manufacturers of generally less expensive PC clones. While the Macintosh was more expensive, it offered a more tightly integrated user experience, but the company struggled to make the case to consumers.
Apple also experimented with a number of other unsuccessful consumer targeted products during the s, including digital cameras , portable CD audio players , speakers , video game consoles , the eWorld online service, and TV appliances. Most notably, enormous resources were invested in the problem-plagued Newton tablet division, based on John Sculley’s unrealistic market forecasts.
Throughout this period, Microsoft continued to gain market share with Windows by focusing on delivering software to inexpensive personal computers, while Apple was delivering a richly engineered but expensive experience. Microsoft Corp. The major product flops and the rapid loss of market share to Windows sullied Apple’s reputation, and in Sculley was replaced as CEO by Michael Spindler.
In the wake of the alliance, Apple opened up to the idea of allowing Motorola and other companies to build Macintosh clones. Over the next two years, 75 distinct Macintosh clone models were introduced. However, by Apple executives were worried that the clones were cannibalizing sales of their own high-end computers, where profit margins were highest. Hired for his reputation as a corporate rehabilitator, Amelio made deep changes, including extensive layoffs and cost-cutting.
This period was also marked by numerous failed attempts to modernize the Macintosh operating system MacOS. The original Macintosh operating system System 1 was not built for multitasking running several applications at once. The company attempted to correct this with by introducing cooperative multitasking in System 5, but the company still felt it needed a more modern approach.
On July 9, , Jobs staged a boardroom coup that resulted in Amelio’s resignation after overseeing a three-year record-low stock price and crippling financial losses. The board named Jobs as interim CEO and he immediately began a review of the company’s products. On May 6, , Apple introduced a new all-in-one computer reminiscent of the original Macintosh: the iMac. The device also had a striking eardrop shape and translucent materials, designed by Jonathan Ive , who although hired by Amelio, would go on to work collaboratively with Jobs for the next decade to chart a new course the design of Apple’s products.
A little more than a year later on July 21, , Apple introduced the iBook , a laptop for consumers. It was the culmination of a strategy established by Jobs to produce only four products: refined versions of the Power Macintosh G3 desktop and PowerBook G3 laptop for professionals, along with the iMac desktop and iBook laptop for consumers.
Jobs felt the small product line allowed for a greater focus on quality and innovation. At around the same time, Apple also completed numerous acquisitions to create a portfolio of digital media production software for both professionals and consumers. Apple acquired of Macromedia ‘s Key Grip digital video editing software project which was renamed Final Cut Pro when it was launched on the retail market in April Apple renamed the program iTunes , while simplifying the user interface and adding the ability to burn CDs.
The first announcement came on March 24, , that Apple was nearly ready to release a new modern operating system, Mac OS X. The announcement came after numerous failed attempts in the early s, and several years of development. In May , the company opened its first two Apple Store retail locations in Virginia and California,   offering an improved presentation of the company’s products. On October 23, , Apple debuted the iPod portable digital audio player.
The product, which was first sold on November 10, , was phenomenally successful with over million units sold within six years. In , Apple’s iTunes Store was introduced. The iTunes Store quickly became the market leader in online music services, with over five billion downloads by June 19, In , Apple purchased Nothing Real for their advanced digital compositing application Shake ,  as well as Emagic for the music productivity application Logic.
The purchase of Emagic made Apple the first computer manufacturer to own a music software company. The acquisition was followed by the development of Apple’s consumer-level GarageBand application. By August 7, , Apple made the transition to Intel chips for the entire Mac product line—over one year sooner than announced.
Apple’s success during this period was evident in its stock price. In an article posted on Apple’s website on February 6, , Jobs wrote that Apple would be willing to sell music on the iTunes Store without digital rights management DRM , thereby allowing tracks to be played on third-party players, if record labels would agree to drop the technology.
On January 14, , Jobs announced in an internal memo that he would be taking a six-month medical leave of absence from Apple until the end of June and would spend the time focusing on his health. In the email, Jobs stated that “the curiosity over my personal health continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else at Apple as well”, and explained that the break would allow the company “to focus on delivering extraordinary products”.
After years of speculation and multiple rumored “leaks”, Apple unveiled a large screen, tablet-like media device known as the iPad on January 27, The iPad ran the same touch-based operating system as the iPhone, and all iPhone apps were compatible with the iPad. This gave the iPad a large app catalog on launch, though having very little development time before the release.
Later that year on April 3, , the iPad was launched in the US. It sold more than , units on its first day, and , by the end of the first week. In June , Apple released the iPhone 4 ,   which introduced video calling using FaceTime , multitasking , and a new uninsulated stainless steel design that acted as the phone’s antenna.
Later that year, Apple again refreshed its iPod line of MP3 players by introducing a multi-touch iPod Nano , an iPod Touch with FaceTime , and an iPod Shuffle that brought back the clickwheel buttons of earlier generations. On January 17, , Jobs announced in an internal Apple memo that he would take another medical leave of absence for an indefinite period to allow him to focus on his health. Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook assumed Jobs’s day-to-day operations at Apple, although Jobs would still remain “involved in major strategic decisions”.
Apple did not have a chairman at the time  and instead had two co-lead directors, Andrea Jung and Arthur D. Levinson ,  who continued with those titles until Levinson replaced Jobs as chairman of the board in November after Jobs’ death.
On October 5, , Steve Jobs died, marking the end of an era for Apple. From to , Apple released the iPhone 4S   and iPhone 5 ,   which featured improved cameras, an intelligent software assistant named Siri , and cloud-synced data with iCloud; the third and fourth generation iPads, which featured Retina displays ;    and the iPad Mini , which featured a 7.
This beat the non-inflation-adjusted record for market capitalization previously set by Microsoft in In May , the company confirmed its intent to acquire Dr. Iovine believed that Beats had always “belonged” with Apple, as the company modeled itself after Apple’s “unmatched ability to marry culture and technology.
During a press event on September 9, , Apple introduced a smartwatch, the Apple Watch. In January , it was announced that one billion Apple devices were in active use worldwide. On June 6, , Fortune released Fortune , their list of companies ranked on revenue generation.
In the trailing fiscal year , Apple appeared on the list as the top tech company. In November , Apple announced it was branching out into original scripted programming: a drama series starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon , and a reboot of the anthology series Amazing Stories with Steven Spielberg.