In 1981, IBM introduced the world’s first personal computer, the Personal Computer (PC). Designed to meet the growing demand for computers in homes and businesses, the PC was a computer that used a keyboard for input, a screen for output and a microprocessor for computation.

Although it is commonly believed that the IBM PC was introduced in 1981, the machine was actually announced to the public in 1981 and was available for general purchase in 1982. It was supposed to be a $2,565 machine with a promise of having the computing power of a mainframe computer, and while the machine was a huge success, its cost meant that business users could not buy them in large numbers (although IBM itself did purchase a few thousand for its own use).

The IBM PC was a revolutionary piece of technology. It was the first personal computer with the potential for more than a few users. Prior to the PC there was a long line of special purpose computers that were used for specific tasks. But the garage-size PC sitting in your living room was a completely new concept.

The IBM PC Introduced12th of August, 1981

The IBM PC Model 5150 is the company’s first personal computer. This type was supposed to be a stop-gap computer that would enable IBM to rapidly enter the burgeoning personal computer industry while they worked on a “real” PC. It was created in less than a year by a 12-person team with the aim of a quick market release. As a result, this team was free to operate outside of IBM’s standard development procedure, using any “off-the-shelf” components they needed to get the job done quickly. This overarching aim of producing something as fast as possible has far-reaching unforeseen repercussions for IBM and the computer industry as a whole, which are being felt today.

The architecture of the IBM PC caused software programmers to resort to inelegant techniques of software development, affecting the product’s dependability and interoperability. The PC’s reputation as an error-prone and irritating device was cemented as a result of this. Other businesses were able to rapidly clone the IBM PC because to the usage of common components and the adoption of Microsoft’s DOS as the operating system. They also enabled Microsoft to sell DOS licenses to other businesses, thus giving the company complete control of the operating system industry. IBM eventually loses control of the platform as a result of these decisions. IBM was never given the opportunity to develop a “real” computer. Because IBM was the 800-pound giant of the corporate world at the time, the computer that was intended to be a stopgap quickly became the dominant computing platform, destroying virtually every other developing platform.

“If… IBM wins, my personal opinion is that we are going to enter kind of a computer Dark Ages for approximately 20 years,” Steve Jobs said in a 1985 interview. While IBM did not win, the product that they lost control of went on to be the obvious market winner for the following 20 years. Many would claim that the home computer was in fact in its Dark Age, but no one could have anticipated that on this day in 1981.

This Day in Tech History’s original content is The IBM PC Introduced.

A few years ago, I purchased a “vintage” computer, an IBM XT-based personal computer running DOS 3.3. I remember when this computer was first released, and the impact it had on the world. I researched the IBM PC and the impact it had on the world and the modern computer world.. Read more about ibm pc at and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

When did IBM introduce its PC?

IBM introduced its PC in 1981.

What was the first IBM PC used for?

The first IBM PC was used primarily as a business machine, but it also had the capability to play games.

WHO launched IBMs first PC in 1981?

IBM launched its first PC in 1981.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • ibm computer history
  • ibm computers
  • ibm computer
  • ibm personal computer history
  • ibm pc 5150
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