IBM Introduces Its Personal Computer (Great Events from History II: Business and Commerce Series)
Article abstract: After other companies had pioneered in the production and sale of personal computers, International Business Machines (IBM) entered the product area in 1981 and for a while seemed likely to dominate the field.
Summary of Event
The computer revolution, which began shortly after the end of World War II, seemed to have reached a state of maturity by the late 1960’s. At that time, International Business Machines (IBM) dominated the field, producing large machines called mainframes used primarily by government agencies and major corporations. IBM’s chief rivals in the mainframe business were Burroughs, Univac, National Cash Register, Control Data, Honeywell, Radio Corporation of America, and General Electric. On the horizon were such significant Japanese companies as NEC, Fujitsu, and Hitachi. The industry’s attention was concentrated on IBM, its rivals, and mainframes.
A small number of hobbyists became interested in much smaller machines. These could be assembled from parts and were inexpensive enough to be used by individuals rather than corporations and government agencies. The movement toward smaller machines began in 1971 with Marcian Edward “Ted” Hoff, Jr., who worked at Intel, an electronics manufacturer. Hoff designed and then created the first microprocessor, or computer on a chip. The 4004 was little more than a curiosity, but even then Hoff knew that it could become the...
(The entire section is 2518 words.)
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