SPSS was initially developed and implemented a long time ago in the dark ages of computing, before we had discovered the ability to point and click. In those days, the only way to communicate with SPSS was to type in commands and parameters using the SPSS Syntax language. Since then, SPSS has come a long way:

1960s: The Dark Age
Norman H. Nie, Dale H. Bent, and Hadlai “Tex” Hull develop a software program and begin selling it from the University of Chicago.Nie, then a 22-year-old Ph.D. candidate decided to develop his own solution after becoming “frustrated trying to use a computer to analyze data describing the political culture of five nations”. The application Nie was trying to use was created for biologists, not social scientists. With that in mind, Nie took detailed notes about what he needed in a software application and enlisted the help of Dale H. Bent, a fellow doctoral candidate whose background was in operations research, to design a file structure. Hadlai “Tex” Hull, who had recently received his MBA from Stanford, was tapped to write the code, and by 1968 the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was born.
1969 Neil Armstrong becomes
first man to walk on the moon
1970s: Mainframes
1970 McGraw-Hill publishes the first SPSS user’s manual. Once the manual was available in college bookstores, demand for the program took off. Nie, Bent, and Hull received a royalty from sales of the manual but nothing from distribution of the program.
1971 The IRS determines that SPSS is not just a program but a software company.
This jeopardizied the University of Chicago’s status as a tax-exempt organization.
Mainly for that reason, Nie and Hull incorporated their operation.

“Pong” revolutionized the arcade industry and launched the modern video game era.
1975 Nie and Hull incorporate SPSS in Illinois. SPSS Inc. is founded.SPSS officially became an independent company. Dale Bent, who had played a role in the design of SPSS at Stanford, decided to accept an academic position at the University of Alberta instead of becoming involved with the new enterprise.
Apple Computers is founded
by Steve Jobs and Stephen Wozniak
1980s: The PC Age

1981 The Sinclair ZX-81 was the first home computer which was sold more than 1 Million times.

The first commercial mobile phone,
the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X is released
1984 Introduction of SPSS/PC+
SPSS becomes the first in its class to make applications available on individual PCs, as opposed to only large mainframes; sales reach approximately $18 million.
The first produced Mac, the
Apple Macintosh 128k is released
1986 Pansophic Systems Inc. signs a letter of intent to acquire SPSS for $32 million.
SPSS released new versions of its SPSS-X mainframe software.
1990s: The Windows Age

1990 Tim Berners-Lee developed a system known as the World Wide Web
1993 SPSS is reincorporated in Delaware and is taken public on the NASDAQ exchange.
The company made an acquisition (of SYSTAT Inc.), and released software compatible with Microsoft Windows 95.
Intel’s Pentium
microprocessor is released
1994 SPSS embarks upon an expansion strategy and acquires eight companies in the coming five years.
1997 SPSS adds to its offerings new products for the business intelligence software market.
The first iMac is launched 1998
2001 Wikipedia is founded 2001
2008 PASW Statistics
The name was briefly changed to Predictive Analytics Software (PASW) before the buyout by IBM.
2009 IBM acquires SPSS. SPSS in now fully integrated into the IBM Corporation Business Analytics Software portfolio and the name is changed back to the more familiar SPSS.
2010 IBM SPSS Statistics After SPSS Inc has been acquired by IBM, the new official name is now IBM SPSS Statistics and is part of IBM’s analytics portfolio.