On this day - 12th August

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The IBM PC is launched

The IBM Personal Computer, commonly known as the IBM PC, is the original version and progenitor 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 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 because of the success of the IBM Personal Computer, the term "PC" came to also mean more specifically a desktop microcomputer compatible with IBM's Personal Computer branded products. Since the machine was based on open architecture, within a short time of its introduction, third-party suppliers of peripheral devices, expansion cards, and software proliferated; the influence of the IBM PC on the personal computer market was substantial in standardizing a platform for personal computers. "IBM compatible" became an important criterion for sales growth; after the 1980s, only the Apple Macintosh family kept a significant share of the microcomputer market without compatibility with the IBM personal computer.

This "open" aspect of the IBM PC was a significant departure from IBM's normal practice, which closely guarded any technical details of their products which might allow competitors to build clones. That and the ability to produce a finished product in twelve months, allied with IBM's phenomenal network of dealers, made the IBM PC an instant de facto hit.

And then came Microsoft.....

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