Byte (magazine)

Defunct American microcomputer magazine / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Byte (stylized as BYTE) was a microcomputer magazine, influential in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s because of its wide-ranging editorial coverage.[1]

Quick facts: Categories, Frequency, Publisher, First issue...
Vol 1. No. 4, December 1975
CategoriesComputer magazines
PublisherUBM Technology Group
First issueSeptember 1975; 48 years ago (1975-09)
Final issueJuly 1998; 25 years ago (1998-07)
CountryUnited States
Based inPeterborough, New Hampshire

Byte started in 1975, shortly after the first personal computers appeared as kits advertised in the back of electronics magazines. Byte was published monthly, with an initial yearly subscription price of $10. Whereas many magazines were dedicated to specific systems or the home or business user's perspective, Byte covered developments in the entire field of "small computers and software", and sometimes other computing fields such as supercomputers and high-reliability computing. Coverage was in-depth with much technical detail, rather than user-oriented.

The company was purchased by McGraw-Hill in 1979, a watershed event that led to the rapid purchase of many of the early computer magazines by larger publishers. By this time the magazine had taken on a more serious journal-like atmosphere and began to refer to itself as "the small systems journal". It became an influential publication; Byte was selected as the medium used by Xerox PARC to publicize Smalltalk in 1981.

Like many generalist magazines, Byte suffered in the 1990s due to declining advertising sales. McGraw-Hill's publishing arm was sold to CMP Media in May 1998, and the new owners immediately laid off almost everyone in the magazine arm, ending publication with the already-complete July edition. The associated website continued to draw 600,000 page views a month, prompting the owners to re-open the magazine in a pure online format in 1999. It continued as an online publication until 2009, when it shut down, only to be revived in 2011 and then shut down for good in 2013.