Computer Weekly at 50: Celebrating 50 years of British technology innovation

To celebrate the forthcoming 50th anniversary of the first issue of Computer Weekly, we launch a major editorial programme on British IT history

Computer Weekly is this week launching a major editorial programme to celebrate 50 years of British technology innovation. Why now? Well, quite simply because this year we celebrate our 50th birthday – the 50th anniversary of the first issue of Computer Weekly, published on 22 September 1966.

We want to use this unique milestone in technology journalism to reflect on how much the British tech scene has contributed over that time – and of course, to celebrate our role in keeping IT professionals in touch with those developments week in, week out, for half a century.

We aim to put British innovation into context as the UK embarks on a period of decades to come when technology promises to change British culture and society, and the way we all live and work, more than any time in history. We believe the world is still in the early days of the digital revolution – we’re at a time akin to people walking in front of cars waving a red flag to warn passers-by. And we believe that British technology innovation has the potential to be at the forefront of that revolution – if we make the right decisions, and learn the lessons from our history.

Over the next six months, we will publish an extended series of articles reviewing Britain’s role in many of the most important technology sectors – from mobile phones to datacentres, and from silicon chips to the internet. We will look at how our biggest industries, such as retail, banking and manufacturing, have changed as a result of technology innovation. And we will be inviting some of the biggest names in global IT to give us their perspectives on the role that British innovation has played in their success.

Remembering 50 years of UK IT

If you have any great stories or reminiscences from the last 50 years of British technology innovation – or of your memories of being a Computer Weekly reader – please let us know by posting a comment below or emailing our editor on [email protected] . We look forward to hearing from you.

We will also look back at some of the stories that made headlines in Computer Weekly in its early days – in partnership with The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, which houses the only remaining copy of the entire Computer Weekly print archive from 1966 to when we became a fully digital publication in 2011.

We will highlight the men and women who have made the biggest contributions to British technology innovation in that time. And we will look ahead to what the next 50 years might have in store.

Read about IT in 1966 - the year Computer Weekly launched

1966 - Computer Weekly goes to bat for the British computer industry as the world's first weekly technology newspaper launches

The heyday of British computing - how the Brits ruled IT in the years leading up to 1966

Computer Weekly has outlasted many of the technology companies we once wrote about, and tracked the rise of firms that went from startups to global domination. While writing about how IT has reshaped British business and public life, we have ourselves been buffeted by the winds of technological change as the internet swept away the comfortable legacy of print. But we have survived the dot-com boom and bust, we’ve evolved our business model as old sources of income such as magazine job ads and print advertising declined, and we’ve lasted longer than many shorter-lived print and digital publishing rivals in our time.

So we hope our readers will allow us this period of reflection, and join us in celebrating 50 years of great British technology innovation, as seen through the eyes of the only specialist publication to continuously chart the rise of IT in the UK throughout this transformative period of history.

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