Although non-IBM personal computers were available as early as the mid-1970s, IBM’s own Personal Computer, the IBM 5150, was introduced at a press conference on August 12, 1981 in New York City. The IBM development team went outside the bounds of their traditional product development and was able to develop and announce their new PC in just 12 months.
The price tag for the base model of this new PC was $1,565, which included a system unit, a keyboard, and color/graphics capability. (Just 20 years earlier, IBM computers usually cost up to $9 million and required an air-conditioned space of a quarter-acre and staff of 60 people.) The 5150 was powered by an Intel 8088 microprocessor that operated at speeds in millionths of a second. IBM retailed this PC through ComputerLand, Sears Roebuck and Co., and IBM Product Centers. 100,000 orders for this new computer were taken by Christmas with Newsweek magazine noting “IBM’s roaring success.”
Library Resources: IBM history; learning to use computers, Microsoft Office, and Windows 7 for seniors