Personal Computer or PC is one of the greatest innovations of modern times. Last week, PC turned 30. IBM’s 5150 PC made its debut 30 years ago on 12th August, 1981. You will be surprised to know that it had only 16 KB RAM and no floppy disk units. The price was around 1600 $. Commercially, this machine was a big flop. But it set the beginning of a new revolution. Before the launch of this computer, all PCs were vertically integrated, means, the company which manufactured the machine, would also make the hardware and software.
Due to the issue of not meeting the deadlines, IBM engineers, under the pressure instead of limiting the PC to IBM’s propriety technologies, allowed the integration of external softwares and tools. So this was the decision which ultimately created a huge market for software companies. This decision increased competition in software market. Prices came down, new ideas and innovation helped the growth of new companies. And PCs became popular.
Bill did not have the OS for IBM’s PC. Meanwhile, in his hunt for new OS, he bought the full rights of an OS, QDOS, for 50000 $ from Seattle Computer Products. He customized QDOS and finally released DOS. In this way, Gates got the lucky break. Since then, IBM started buying OS of its PC from Microsoft. So, IBM unintentionally helped Bill to become the world’s richest man. 🙂
See the old newspaper Ad of IBM’s 5150 PC