LabVIEW in Stealth Mode

In 1987 NI had about $13 million in revenue, and LabVIEW, on the Mac, a computer not taken seriously by industry. But there, in “stealth” mode, LabVIEW could mature quietly with a small, loyal following. When LabVIEW 2.0 burst on the scene on the Windows platform in the early 1990s, its sales exploded, and it became the number one instrumentation software in the world.

7 replies on “LabVIEW in Stealth Mode”

Initially, LabVIEW was provided on blue floppy disks… LOTS of blue floppy disks. I remember receiving it, installing it (a multi-hour process), getting it working, being thrilled, spinning heads around… and then another set of disks came in the mail and I had to do it all over again. I’m pretty sure that was version 1.2 (and have no recollection what the previous version was).

LabVIEW 2.0 (Mac only) was “announced” in 1990, but did not ship until 1992. It was a rough period, as there was some heavy lifting underneath the hood, but that did set us up for porting LabVIEW to other platforms. When initial research was happening on which PC platform, the initial candidates were OS/2 and SCO Unix. Windows wasn’t initially a viable platform. (Ron Wolfe can add the story about the interaction with Bill Gates that eventually opened the path for LV on Windows).

Just talked with your old colleague Ron Wolfe and he tells that it was LabVIEW 2.5 on Windows that really got things going.

LabVIEW 1.0 was released in 1986 (I think) and LabVIEW 2.0 was released before 1992 (I think).

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