In 1994, the CD-ROM was not mainstream yet. Bill Gates, wanting to show how useful they could be, took this now. infamous photo of him sitting on a stack of papers high above a forest below with a CD-ROM in hand.
At the time this photo was taken, the CD-ROM was a relatively new technology that could store a significant amount of data compared to the floppy disks that were commonly used. A single CD-ROM could hold about 650 megabytes of data, which is equivalent to roughly 500,000 pages of text.
The stacks of paper in the photo were meant to represent the amount of printed material that could be stored on a single CD-ROM, visually demonstrating the vast storage capabilities of this new digital medium.
This photograph was part of a broader effort by Microsoft and other tech companies to educate the public and promote the adoption of new digital storage solutions. It was a time of rapid technological advancement and transition from analog to digital media, and the CD-ROM played a crucial role in that shift.
The image effectively communicated the benefits of CD-ROM technology, helping people to understand the potential of digital storage and paving the way for the widespread adoption of CDs and, later on, other digital storage formats.
Bill Gates stated that, “This CD-ROM can hold more information than all the paper that’s here below me”.
A year later, Windows 95 was released on the CD-ROM marking the start of a new era in computing.
Please share any memories you have about the first time you used a CD-ROM in the comments section below.