- AP introduces PhotoStream, the digital image-delivery system it first announced in 1987. The system's platform is the proprietary Leaf Picture Desk (LPD), developed in tandem with Leaf Systems and offered free of charge to AP member newspapers. Ultimately, newspapers would mothball the LPDs in favor of Mac-based picture-handling system and Internet servers. But PhotoStream and Leaf Picture Desk pushed newspaper photography into the digital age.
- Canon EOS-RT features a fixed pellicle mirror that allows users to continue viewing the scene through the lens even at the moment of exposure.
- Mac Holbert and Graham Nash retool an Iris 3047 printer, originally used for proofs, to accept thicker paper and other media.
- Kodak introduces the XL-7700 thermal dye-sublimation printer. It was built like a battleship, nearly as noisy as a jet engine, and took about nine minutes to process a print. But it produced prints that looked liked conventional photo prints.
- The dust finally settles on Polaroid's patent infringement claim against Kodak. A court rules that Kodak illegally appropriated Polaroid's instant picture technology. Kodak was enjoined from infringing Polaroid's instant photography patents, and had to pay $909 million - one of the largest patent infringement awards ever.
- Adobe releases Photoshop 1.0, a color image manipulation program that supported new 24-bit display cards. It has remained the standard against which all other image manipulation programs are compared.
- Curtis v. General Dynamics. In 1987, Wyse Advertising copied a photo by Mel Curtis that appeared in Communications Arts, used it to make a comp, then hired a second photographer to shoot a national ad for General Dynamics following Curtis's photo as a model. Curtis sued. A U.S. District Court judge rules that the use of Curtis's photo was willful infringement and orders General Dynamics to pay Curtis $60,108 in damages and about $80,000 in legal fees.
- Photojournalists begin trials with Kodak's prototype professional digital camera - a Nikon F-3 modified with a 1.3-megabyte sensor (1280 x 1024 pixels). The camera, formally introduced in 1991 as the Kodak DCS, was as bulky as a boat anchor and no match for the quality of film, but a promising start nevertheless.
- At CERN: Tim Berners-Lee (with R. Cailliau) invents the World Wide Web on his NeXT machine, rooting the idea in Ted Nelson's pioneering hypertext concept. Not content with the profundity of his invention, Berners-Lee also develops a "Web browser" on his NeXT machine. With Berners-Lee's browser, users can not only view Web pages, you can also design and edit them. Fortunately for high-priced designers everywhere, the "designing" part of the browser does not make it out of Berners-Lee's lab.
- Kodak introduces its Photo CD, and positioned it as a "digital shoebox" for storing consumer images. But consumers never warmed up to viewing their snapshots on their TV sets. And Kodak kept Photo CD's innovative file format proprietary, so it was supplanted by other open formats such as JPEG.