ZDNet: A timeline, from 1991 to now

ZDNet's 20th anniversary: A comprehensive timeline of ZDNet-related milestones, from 1991 to now.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor on

A comprehensive timeline of ZDNet-related milestones.


1985. Proprietary bulletin board system launches for PC Magazine readers.


4/1/1991. ZiffNet launches on CompuServe.

8/1/1992. ZiffNet launches on the Prodigy service.

4/27/1993. ZiffNet launches ZiffNet Selections for AppleLink.

7/1/1994. Launch of "Computer Gaming World Forum" on ZiffNet.

9/28/1994. "Entertainment Utilities" available online through ZiffNet.

12/8/1994. ZiffNet named "Best Forum About Computers" by Information Industry Association and Online Access Magazine.

3/29/1995. Ziff-Davis offers advertisers space for the first time on the World Wide Web.

8/22/1995. Ziff-Davis posts technology-related job openings on the World Wide Web.


9/19/1995. Ziff-Davis unifies online services under a new name: "ZD Net."

5/2/1996. Dan Farber becomes vice president and editor-in-chief of ZD Net.

4/1/1996. ZD Net celebrates its fifth anniversary.

7/10/1996. ZD Net UK launches.

11/19/1996. ZD Net launches ZD Net News division for original, reported content.

1/15/1997. ZD Net launches 10 international editions.

3/12/1997. "ZD Net" changed to "ZDNet," redesigns with content "channels."

4/28/1997. ZDNet News website staffs up with veteran journalists.

6/19/1997. Dan Rosenweig is appointed president of ZDNet.

7/27/1998. ZDNet Australia is established.

2/2/1998. ZDNet introduces Inter@ctive Investor, "the web's most comprehensive source of financial news and information on tech companies."

5/11/1998. ZDTV, a 24-hour TV channel about computing and the Internet, is launched.

11/30/1998. ZDNet reaches 13.4 percent of all users on the Web.

3/31/1999. ZDNet is spun off from Ziff-Davis as a separate company; ZDZ, a tracking stock, is created.

6/7/1999. ZDNet acquires Updates.com, a software upgrade service.

6/22/1999. ZDNet named the Best Overall Site at the 14th Annual Computer Press awards.

10/25/1999. ZDNet launches TechLife, a network of six consumer-focused tech sites.

1999. ZDNet launches its first Holiday Gift Guide.

12/30/1999. ZDNet launches a $25 million branding campaign in response to a $100 million campaign by rival CNET.

Early 2000. ZDZ is revived as common stock.

4/7/2000. ZDNet becomes the first technology content website to see 10 million unique monthly visitors.

5/10/2000. ZDNet has a presence in 23 countries, 14 languages and six continents.


7/19/2000. CNET signs agreeement to acquire ZDNet for $1.6 billion.

9/12/2000. ZDNet India launches first Hindi-language technology site.

1/2001. ZDNet integrates services from Newmediary into its "Business & Technology" channel.

1/23/2001. CNET Networks reaches an agreement with Ziff Davis to release Ziff's magazine brands from an existing five-year online content licensing contract.

3/18/2002. CNET Networks launches Builder.com, a site intended for software developers.

7/7/2002. On July 7, 2002, CNET Networks acquires Newmediary for its database of more than 30,000 enterprise IT white papers.

2/18/2003. CNET redesigns and relaunches ZDNet as an enterprise-focused publication.

8/9/2005. ZDNet Government is launched, targeting IT professionals in the public sector.

12/5/2006. ZDNet redesigns, reducing its editorial focus on traditional news articles and product reviews and increasing its focus on a growing network of expert bloggers, now totaling more than 30.

10/3/2007. ZDNet UK wins Best Business Website award from the Association of Online Publishers.

2/19/2008. Larry Dignan is appointed editor-in-chief of ZDNet and editorial director of TechRepublic. Dan Farbe becomes editor-in-chief of CNET News.


5/17/2008. CBS Corp. announces that it will acquire CNET Networks for $1.8 billion.

5/5/2010. ZDNet redesigns to place emphasis on the topics its blog network covers -- now "Companies," "Hardware," "Software," "Mobile," "Security" and "Research" -- and de-emphasize the downloads and reviews it imports from CNET.

4/1/2011. ZDNet celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Prepared by Gayathri Kalyanaraman.

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