15 tech moments from 15 years ago

Tech Photos 15 Years blog

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In 2001, the Technology Management MBA (TMMBA) program launched with a class of 43 students. One of our first students brought their own wireless router to class for all to enjoy! Now we are the MBA program for tech leaders and innovators, with a network of over 1000 students and alumni. Over the past 15 years, our curriculum and student experience have expanded to include an International Study Tour, a week-long Program Immersion and a higher percentage of entrepreneurially focused courses. In celebration of TMMBA’s 15 year anniversary, we’re looking back to where we started. What did the tech landscape look like for our very first class? What was considered high-tech and what were the groundbreaking new introductions that shaped the tech world?

15 Tech Moments of 2001

Cell phones

1. Three new cellphone advancements were made on three different phones: The first blue-tooth capable phone  – Ericsson T39, the first phone with a color screen – Ericsson T68, and the first phone with a fully functional calendar and FM Radio – Nokia 8310


2. Apple introduced iTunes in January 2001, pitched as a digital jukebox of sorts.

3. In October of 2001, Apple introduced the iPod. It was described as being able to have a “thousand songs in your pocket.”


Image source: http://www.guidebookgallery.org/

4. Apple also released a new operating system for its Macintosh line of computers, OS X.

5. “The future of gaming starts today, and it starts with Xbox. Xbox is a key part of our strategy to drive the digital entertainment revolution and deliver the future of interactive entertainment to the home. It’s a great example of how Microsoft is innovating. But most important, it’s incredibly cool,” Bill Gates said when unveiling the Xbox. Microsoft released the original Xbox game console on November 15, 2001.


Image source: http://www.guidebookgallery.org/

6. The Windows XP operating system was released.

7. Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 6.0 in August 27, 2001.

8. Development versions of OpenOffice.org were released for Linux and Windows with a Mac OS X version that worked with X-11.


9. Google Image Search launched, offering access to 250 million images in July of 2001.

10. BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer file sharing service, was launched by BitTorrent, Inc. It was developed by Bram Cohen and was initially an open source program, but became closed source in 2005. BitTorrent enabled users to upload and download files, typically music and movies. It came under scrutiny of copyright holders – such as the music and motion picture industries — which claimed BitTorrent facilitated theft of their intellectual property.

11. Wikipedia first launched in January of 2001.

Seattle 2001

Downtown Seattle in 2001. Image source: https://www.earthcam.com

Seattle Tech Business

12. Phil Condit announced in March of 2001 that Boeing headquarters would leave Seattle.

13. When 2001 began, Microsoft was under fire from the U.S. Department of Justice’s landmark antitrust suit and faced the prospect of being split into two companies. By the end of the year, most of the threat of the suit against the company was gone. Bill Gates stayed on Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s wealthiest people, with an estimated fortune of $58 billion, down from a peak of $100 billion.

14. Expedia.com was one of the only online companies to perform well in 2001. Stock grew from $10 in January 2001 to $37 in December 2001.



15. Instant news – CNN.com. On September 11, 2001, the World Trade Center was attacked and in that moment, the importance of instantly updated news became essential for most of the nation.

Technology has changed fast, and the TMMBA program keeps pace. How will Tech advance in the next 15 years? What do you remember about 2001? Share your comments below.

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