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The beginnings of the PC revolution (photos)

IBM launched its landmark 5150 personal computer 30 years ago Friday, and with it a new industry of component makers and software developers.

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JayGreeneHS2012urban01Squarecrop.jpg

Jay Greene

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1 of 7 IBM

The original IBM 5150 with peripherals

The original IBM 5150, the personal computer that helped launch an industry, made its debut at a press conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on August 12, 1981.
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2 of 7 IBM

The IBM 5150 in the office

A marketing photo of the IBM 5150 illustrated how the company wanted to push the new personal computer into the workplace.
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3 of 7 IBM

The father of the PC

Don Estridge, later called "the father of the PC," led the team at IBM that developed the 5150, the personal computer that sparked the PC revolution.
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4 of 7 Computer History Museum

Marketing the dawn of the PC era

An advertisement for the IBM 5150 noted: "IBM believes that the age of the personal computer has arrived."
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5 of 7 Computer History Museum

Rapid development stoked by competitive fears

IBM sped up development of the 5150 personal computer, worried about the encroachment of the popular Apple II into homes and businesses.
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6 of 7 Microsoft

IBM partners with Microsoft

IBM turned to a young company, Microsoft, and its co-founders Paul Allen and Bill Gates, for the operating system for the 5150. This photo was shot shortly after Microsoft signed the contract with IBM. The image was featured in the Seattle Business Journal's October 19, 1981 article, "Building on success, Microsoft owners shoot for $100 million target."
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7 of 7 Microsoft

Microsoft sells its operating system to the masses

An advertisement for MS-DOS 1.0, the operating system that got its start on the IBM 5150 and was used on the so-called clone PCs.

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