Behold the first Apple Store: Apple’s Software Dispatch! - Macenstein

Behold the first Apple Store: Apple’s Software Dispatch!

Yeah, we’re feeling mighty nostalgic these days. In response to our retrospective on, faithful Macenstein reader noahrobd turned us on to a little piece of Apple corporate goodness in the form of this video Apple made to promote their cutting edge (for 1993, anyway) software distribution system, Software Dispatch.

(iPhone users click here to watch the video)

We can’t tell if the guy in the video is Sam Raimi, Ethan from LOST, or their unholy offspring from Conan O’Brien’sIf They Mated” segment, but the guy is so smooth he could sell ice to Eskimos. In fact, we actually found the number for Software Dispatch and called it, hoping to place an order. Unfortunately the number (which brings you to a company called TeleTech Corporation), has only a message saying the number is no longer in service.

The Software Dispatch system was kind of a neat idea, in a sort of “What’s the interent?” kind of way. Designed to allow customers to try, compare and buy popular software applications “24-hours a day, seven days a week, in the comfort and convenience of their home or office” (sound familiar?), the program consisted of a free CD-ROM containing over 80 applications you could test drive, including apps from players such as Symantec, Claris, Computer Associates, Intuit, Lotus, Spinnaker and Vividus. You could search the disks by Name, Company, Category, or Price. Searching by price is a great idea, because sometimes I find myself wanting to buy an application costing between $400 and $450 (doesn’t matter what it does), and it’s not all that easy to do, even now. 🙂

Once you found a title you liked, you simply dialed the toll free number to get your unlock code, and you were off and running. The Mac version of the service made its debut in October of 1993. A year later Apple released the Windows version of the service, we’re sure to thunderous applause. Unfortunately we can’t find an exact date when Apple killed off the Software Dispatch program, but we’re pretty sure iTunes is on it’s way to replacing it. All it needs is a giant red phone.

One Response to “Behold the first Apple Store: Apple’s Software Dispatch!”
  1. Mr Clicky says:

    Yes but what’s with the bulge in his Chinos? Did software used to be so sexy then?

    If Apple makes the software you know I’ve got hardware to spare…

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