Thursby history

Short version

To see Thursby's present-day history click here.Thursby has been innovating in Apple and Android enterprise integration, management and security for over a quarter century, introducing commercial grade capabilities years before Apple, Android or later “me too” vendors.  We don't do what Apple or Google do well, rather what they don't do at all, or where implementations cover only simple use cases for end consumers rather than enterprise or secure enterprise needs.  We don't try to do "everything, for everyone, everywhere" but focus on our specialization.  Evolution and change are not options for our business, they are our business -- the embrace of what economists call "creative destruction."

Our first decade was expanding networking with DECnet, Ethernet and X-terminals.

Our second was growing enterprise network storage integration with NFS, Microsoft SMB/CIFS and Microsoft DFS, along with the important addition of enterprise Microsoft Active Directory (AD) policy management (GPO) and Single Sign-On (SSO) login security.

Our third decade has seen the introduction of enterprise Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), Microsoft SharePoint, Exchange Outlook Web Access (OWA), Exchange Active Sync (EAS) and smart card security for Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android tablets and smartphones, supporting the trends of increasing consumerization of IT, strong security, mobility and the cloud.

  • Over 80,000 clients in over 140 countries and over 30,000 net new clients since 2010
  • Over 1,000,000 licenses sold to-date (not trials, evaluations or so-called "freemium" offerings)
  • Diversified national and international client mix from B2C consumers to B2B enterprise, embracing Government, Healthcare, Education, Finance and Energy verticals
  • Largest deals have been OEM and enterprise clients managing thousands of Apple devices
  • Products on the Mac under every Apple CEO
  • Supporting Apple from Macintosh System Software 2 to today
  • Supporting Microsoft from Windows 3.1 and Windows NT to today
  • One third of revenues are international with sales and support across all seven continents (including researchers on the Southern Ice Cap)
  • A particular appeal of our software to enterprises is its leverage of standards, not seeking to lock-in to proprietary new server software

Long version

Steve Jobs commented on the value of learning from tech history in a favorite Schopenhauer short story - “He who lives to see two or three generations is like a man who sits some time in the conjurer’s booth at a fair, and witnesses the performance twice or thrice in succession. The tricks were meant to be seen only once, and when they are no longer a novelty and cease to deceive, their effect is gone.”

1981 Ronald Reagan is President

1981 First Space Shuttle Mission

1981 First modern cell phones in Nordic Countries

1982 First CD player

1984 Apple's Steve Jobs introduces Mac with "1984" Super Bowl Commercial

1986 John Sculley is Apple CEO


1986 Founding of Thursby Software Systems, Inc. (TSS)

Since our founding we’ve delivered a mix of software and maintenance products to different end-user audiences:

  • High-volume shrink-wrapped business-to-consumer, small or home office (SOHO) (B2C) products in quantities of 1, 5, 10 or 25 seats
  • Significant original equipment manufacturer (OEM) solutions to well known IT companies (whose terms preclude publicity)
  • Business-to-business (B2B) site licenses, each covering from 50 seats to hundreds or thousands of local, national or international Mac workstations and laptops

Delivery vehicles have ranged from jewel cases in stores such as Apple’s own and big box retailers like Fry’s and Best Buy, to national and international resellers and distribution middlemen to direct electronic downloads from the ‘net

1987 Support for Mac System Software 2 to 5


1987 Thursby TSSnet for Mac

Thursby’s first product was TSSnet for the Macintosh, an implementation of Digital Equipment Corporation’s DECnet technology. The first release of TSSnet was before the Macintosh had either a multi-finder or even Ethernet technology

1988 Support for Mac System Software 6

1988 Thursby TSSnet for UNIX

We were instrumental in the early implementation of Ethernet technologies on the Mac. Starting in 1988, Thursby expanded our TSSnet technology to every major UNIX platform including Sun, IBM, HP, DEC, Solbourne, SCO, ICL and Sequent.

1989 President George H. Bush

1989 Thursby TSSnet for X-Terminals

The late 1980’s gave rise to the rapid, although short lived, appearance of X-Terminals, also known as “thin clients”. TSSnet was quickly incorporated as an OEM technology by all of the leading X-Terminal manufacturers including NCD, Tektronix, NCR, Samsung, Tandberg Data, and Wyse Technology. Other OEM relationships were also entered with Apple, Digital Equipment Corporation, EMC, Emulex Corporation, Mercury Computers, NetManage, Sequent Computers, Webster Computer Corporation, and White Pine Software.

1991 Support for Mac System 7 to OS 7

barclaysspacer tssterm

1992 Thursby - Barclay’s relationship

In 1992 we entered into a special relationship with Barclays Bank in the UK to network all 2,500 branches with our TSSnet and TSSterm products on multiple UNIX platforms. Additionally we provided them with custom DECnet for DOS legacy networking support for their new branch counter project.

1993 President Clinton

1993 Michael Spindler is Apple CEO

1993 Microsoft Windows NT 3.1

1993 Microsoft Windows 3.1

1994 Netscape launches first commercial browser and develops SSL security,  the beginning of the commercial Internet

1994 Launch of Thursby.com web site (the image is from 2004)


1995 Thursby MacNFS

We expanded our network offerings in 1995 when we introduced MacNFS, a high performance Network File System (NFS) client implementation for the Apple Mac.


1996 Gil Amelio is Apple CEO

1996 Thursby DAVE

DAVE was the first Microsoft SMB/CIFS implementation on the Mac and it underpins the end-to-end capabilities of our product line to the present day.

1997 Steve Jobs returns as Apple CEO

1997 Microsoft introduces Office for Mac

1997 Support for Mac OS 8


1998 Apple buys Macromedia Final Cut and renames as Apple Final Cut

1999 Thursby TSStalk

We acquired the COPStalk product technology from Cooperative Printing Solutions, which became TSStalk. TSStalk is an implementation of Apple’s networking protocols that runs on PCs.

1999 Support for Mac OS 9

2001 President George W. Bush

2001 9/11 Attacks on World Trade Center / War On Terror

2001 Support for Mac OS X 10.0 Cheetah at launch

Our applications were some of the first available, part of Apple’s press for OS X, along with software from Avid, IBM, Macromedia and Microsoft.

2001 Thursby maintained a very large presence at Macworld Shows for many years, when it was the gold standard for Apple events

2001 Thursby Software in the first Apple Retail Stores

2001 Support for Microsoft Windows XP


2001 Thursby MacSOHO

Recognizing a need for a more easily configured home networking solution for Macs and PCs, we first offered MacSOHO in 2001. Although based on the DAVE technology, MacSOHO implemented the older NetBUI transport, making it ideal for small computer networks.

2001 Support for Mac OS X 10.1 Puma

2002 Thursby Co-wrote the Mac SMB/CIFS standards with Microsoft

2002 Support for Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar

2002 DAVE v4.0 was the first Microsoft DFS implementation on the Mac

2003 Adobe introduce Creative Suite (CS1)

2003 Support for Microsoft Windows Server 2003


2003 Thursby ADmitMac

As the complexity of Microsoft networks grew and the acceptance of Microsoft’s Active Directory became a de facto corporate standard, we introduced ADmitMac, the first Mac Active Directory Solution.

A new product based on the proven core technology of DAVE, ADmitMac implemented a rich and secure implementation of Active Directory support combined with commercial grade file and printer sharing for the Macintosh

2003 Support for Mac OS X 10.3 Panther

2004 Support for Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger

2006 Support for Intel-based Macs

2006 Support for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard


2006 Thursby ADmitMac for CAC

As security concerns increased in networks, especially after 9/11, the US Government required an increased awareness in protecting access to critical information. Standardizing on the CAC (Common Access Card), the Department of Defense (DoD) mandated a move away from the traditional username and password verification methods of old, and mandated the use of the CAC smart card implementation in combination with a PIN in properly verifying users against Active Directory.


2007 Thursby ADmitMac for CAC passes DoD security certifications

Our high security software passes all testing for JITC and Netcom security certifications

2007 Support Windows Vista

2007 Apple releases iPhone 3G

2008 Support Windows Server 2008

2009 President Barack Obama

2009 Support Windows 7

2009 Support Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard


2009 Thursby ADmitMac for PIV

ADmitMac for PIV (Personal Identity Verification) replaces ADmitMac for CAC inline with the evolving needs of the US Federal Government Military and Civilian agencies

2010 Launch of Thursby social media properties - YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

2010 Apple releases iPad first generation, triggering widespread interest in secure iPads as replacements for aging Windows and BlackBerry devices


2010 Thursby DAVE v8

DAVE for Mac-Windows integration and collaboration for files and printers, with commercial grade Microsoft SMB/CIFS and commercial grade Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS), now in its eighth generation


2010 Thursby ADmitMac v5

ADmitMac for Mac-Windows management and security, with Active Directory and HIPAA compliance, including DAVE technology and now in its fifth generation


2010 Thursby ADmitMac PKI v3

ADmitMac PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) for Mac-Windows high security smart card management, security and HSPD-12 compliance in the workplace, including ADmitMac technology and now in its third generation, makes Mac deployment and maintenance largely “plug and play” based on the years of experience with the earlier ADmitMac for CAC and ADmitMac for PIV versions.


2010 Thursby new, custom built corporate headquarters

The custom built facility on South Collins Street in Arlington, Texas, houses US engineering, support, sales and marketing personnel. North Collins Street is the location of the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers stadiums.


2011 Thursby PKard for Mac v1
Easy and straightforward Mac remote access to secure smart card enabled web sites fills the needs of many US government users who have personal Macs on the road, or at home.

2011 Final Space Shuttle Mission

2011 Support for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

2011 First secure browser app for Apple iOS 4 & 5 on the iPhone & iPad, showcased at Land War Net and SCA Government conferences

2011 Tim Cook is latest Apple CEO

2012 First consumer CAC, PIV, PIV-I and CIV iPad and iPhone smart card reader, a fast, user-friendly and affordable software, hardware and direct support package takes the market by storm

2012 Support for Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and iOS 6

2012 FIPS 140-2 validation


2012 - 1st. iPad / iPhone multi-card, multi-reader, multi app secure app development environment - PKard Toolkit

2013 GSA Schedule

This awarded schedule also included FIPS 201 hardware approvals


2013 - 1st. iPad / iPhone secure email app with Microsof Exchange ActiveSync (EAS)

2013 PKard Reader secure browsing app, v1.2.3, released

This version supported the new Identive iAuthenticate™ smart card reader hardware for Apple iPad and iPhone users

2013 PKard for Good Technology released

The special version of its PKard Reader secure browser app leveraged the Good Dynamics’s mobile application platform for iPad and iPhone users

2013 With free update, PKard for Mac becomes first software of its kind to include support for CAC dual persona Apple Mac users

2013 - 1st. iPad / iPhone secure email app with Microsof Exchange ActiveSync (EAS)


2013 Second generation of reader hardware and software for iOS 6 & 7, Lightning & 30-pin connectors

2013 Launch reader trade-in program for 30-pin plug-in Thursby reader

2013  PKard challenge coins struck

2013 Support for Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks

2013 The PKard secure app ecosystem expands to include everything needed to replace legacy BlackBerry or Windows Mobile devices

Silanis’ standalone e-signature app in conjunction with Thursby’s PKard Reader allows users to sign documents on mobile devices with CAC or PIV smart cards

Acronis and Thursby Software introduced first mobile file management solution with CAC/PIV authentication

Juniper Networks and Thursby partner for secure iPad and iPhone VPN, web and email for DoD and Federal users

2013 elegant & discrete cased iPad readers (also known as sleds)



2014 Pkard Pro for iOS begins supporting derived credentials

PKard Pro and derived credentials increased the ease of using CAC, PIV or PIV-I smart card credentials on mobile devices while decreasing operation costs


2014 PKard for Android released

PKard for Android app becomes first secure, two-factor browser for Android supporting CAC, PIV, and derived credentials

This also included the release of our Android tablet, smartphone & reader agnostic strong security bundles


2014 iOS 8 supported

2014 Android 5.0 Lollipop supported


2014 PKard app selected as DoD DISA’s two-factor CAC authenticator for Apple iOS mobile devices

2015 Sundar Pichai is Google CEO

2015 iOS 9 supported

2015 OS X 10.11 El Capitan supported

2015 Android 6.0 Marshmallow supported


2016 PKard evolves into Sub Rosa, uses CAC / PIV to Enable S/MIME on Apple and Android Devices

Sub Rosa is an authentication agent and browser that allows users to browse two-factor websites with a CAC, PIV or PIV-I. Sub Rosa is FIPS 140-2 certified and approved for DISA’s DoD Mobile App Store. Users also have the capability for email signing encryption and decryption with zero data-at-rest. 

2016 Sub Rosa Pro for Android is now available on Thursby.com and the Google Play store 

2016 PKard for Good for Android released 

2016 Thursby celebrates 30 years of business

2016 iOS 10 supported

2016 OS X 10.12 Sierra supported


R2S became available to all 58,000 members of the Navy Reserves. This custom built version of Thursby’s Sub Rosa application enables Navy Reservists to search for vacant billets and opportunities to mobilize, review readiness status, access training content, service and drill records, pay data, and check Navy email.

2016 Releases PKard Reader case TSS-AN03 for Samsung Galaxy S7 which comes bundled with Sub Rosa software

2017 President Donald Trump




2017 Announces end-of-life for ADmitMac PKI for Macintosh



2017 Announces end-of-life for DAVE and ADmitMac

2017 Sub Rosa for Android and Apple are updated to allow users to access and edit to Outlook Web Access (OWA) Calendar

2017 iOS 11 supported

2017 OS X 10.13 High Sierra supported

2018 Releases PKard Reader case TSS-PK16 for iPhone 7/8s which comes bundled with Sub Rosa software

2018 Thursby forms partnership with Route1® to provide access to documents on local desktop from mobile device



2018 Releases Android Micro-USB and USB-C readers TSS-AN05 and TSS-AN06 which come bundled with Sub Rosa software

2018 iOS 12 supported

2018 OS X 10.14 Mojave supported

The USAF purchased 30,000 Apple and Android PKard readers bundled with Sub Rosa for their bring your own device (BYOD) use. Their AF Connect app uses Sub Rosa’s authentication capabilities and DISA approved web browser to allow Airmen the ability to use their CAC to access two-factor sites from their personal mobile devices. Included in Sub Rosa is an enhanced email client that allows users to sign, encrypt, and decrypt email (S/MIME) from OWA.