The first CD for commercial purposes was produced in August 1982 after joint development between Philips and Sony started in 1979. After disagreements about the technology size and format of the new disc, a disc of 115 millimetres in diameter and 74 minutes of storage was agreed (74 minutes being the time needed to fit Beethoven's 9th Symphony on the disc!) Within a few months millions of CDs were entering daily usage and the 1990s also saw the developments of many new CD formats, the CD-I video CD (soon replaced by the superior DVD format), CD-RW and more recently even more powerful formats like the Blu-ray discs.
With the transfer to digital over the last 15 years CDs have now moved out of the entertainment and software mainstream as new technology has emerged. Around 275 billion CDs are estimated to have been produced over the last 30 years - that's a lot of old plastic jewel cases left around somewhere!