On February 19th, 2015 Adobe celebrated 25 years of their iconic graphics editing software Photoshop by coming out with a 60-second animated video compilation. Thomas Knoll, the co-creator of Photoshop, recently hosted a reddit AMA where he talked about the origin of the software.
"Well, it sort of happened because of procrastination.
I was working on my PhD, and I got to the point of having to write my thesis, and I really hated doing that, so I wrote Photoshop instead.
It was my brother's idea to try and sell it. So he asked if he could try and shop it around to various companies. So he traveled around doing demos, and the first "bundle deal" that we did with Photoshop was with a scanner company called BarneyScan. And they bundled a beta version of Photoshop under the name "BarneyScan XP." And for a while, that was the only way to purchase Photoshop, so some people purchased the scanner just to get Photoshop. This was in 1988, the bundle happened. I started writing Photoshop in 1987, and it had gotten to be that state by 1988.
And we had always intended to find a publisher to publish it as a stand-alone piece of software, and my brother was doing demos all during this time, and the BarneyScan deal was noncompetitive, we still had the rights to sell it to a publisher, so we found Adobe and reached a handshake agreement in 1988. The final paperwork was signed in 1989.
And they actually shipped it in 1990.
And at that point, BarneyScan had to bundle the real Photoshop, rather than the beta version they had, under the name Photoshop.
We don't have perfect records going back to this time, because we didn't realize how important this was going to be, but our best estimate for the shipping date for Photoshop 1.0 was February 19, 1990.
So today is the exact 25th anniversary, from what we can tell."
Here's the video.