On This Day in 1981

The IBM Personal Computer, commonly known as the IBM PC, is the original version of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform. It is IBM model number 5150 and was introduced on August 12, 1981. It was created by a team of engineers and designers under the direction of Philip Don Estridge of the IBM Entry Systems Division in Boca Raton, Florida.

The generic term “personal computer” (“PC”) was in use years before 1981, applied as early as 1972 to the Xerox PARC’s Alto, but the the term “PC” came to mean more specifically a desktop microcomputer compatible with IBM’s Personal Computer branded products. The machine was based on open architecture, and third-party suppliers sprang up to provide peripheral devices, expansion cards, and software. IBM had a substantial influence on the personal computer market in standardizing a platform for personal computers, and “IBM compatible” became an important criterion for sales growth. Only the Apple Macintosh family kept a significant share of the microcomputer market after the 1980s without compatibility to the IBM personal computer.

Source: Wikipedia contributors, “IBM Personal Computer,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

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