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The IBM PC Turns 20

(August 08, 2001)
Tonight, more than 300 people representing a broad cross-section of the technology industry will mark the 20th anniversary of the IBM PC at a dinner hosted by Microsoft Corp. Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates and Intel Corporation Chairman Andy Grove. The event, celebrating an indispensable asset in homes and businesses worldwide, will be held at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif.

Grove and Gates will also participate in a panel discussion led by Brent Schlender, editor at large of Fortune magazine. The discussion will cover the legacy of the IBM PC as well as the PC's ability to evolve and adapt, its role in people's lives, and its ongoing impact on culture, community and the worldwide economy.


Panelists will include Dave Bradley, one of the original 12 IBM engineers who worked on the first IBM PC and currently a senior technical engineer on IBM's eServer xSeries development team; Daniel S. Bricklin, inventor and co- creator of VisiCalc and founder and CEO of Trellix Corp.; David Bunnell, CEO of Upside Media and founder of PC Magazine, PC World, Macworld, Personal Computing and New Media; Rod Canion, co-founder of Compaq Computer Corp. and chairman of Questia Media; Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corp. and partner at Kapor Enterprises; and Ray Ozzie, creator of Lotus Notes and founder and CEO of Groove Networks.

IBM PC Helps Spawn a New Industry

On Aug. 12, 1981, IBM introduced a personal computer powered by the Intel 8088 microprocessor and Microsoft PC DOS 1.0. With the IBM PC, users could create documents, make basic spreadsheets and play simple games displayed in glowing green type on a monochrome monitor.

Despite a price tag that would translate to more than $5,000 today, the IBM PC was an instant sensation that appealed to more than just hobbyists and kit-makers. The result was a default standard that helped spawn an industry and a new era marked by rapid and dramatic change.

"Intel was very fortunate to have participated in the birth of this new industry. We are proud of our contribution and excited to celebrate the 20 years of continuous change that followed," Grove said.

"IBM's entrance into the market in 1981 really legitimized the PC, enabling us to realize our dream of high-volume, low-cost software that made the power of personal computing a reality for everyone," Gates said. "Although it's amazing to look back and see how far we've come in the past 20 years, I'm even more excited about what the industry can achieve in the next 20."

The PC Continues to Evolve to Serve New Consumer, Business Needs

Today, with PCs capable of carrying out more tasks, and with a worldwide installed base of PCs that exceeds 500 million, the PC has surpassed even the wildest expectations for productivity and creativity. For example, a recent Gallup survey commissioned by Microsoft shows that the PC and the television have the same influence: Equal numbers of respondents identified the PC and the television as the most important technology in their home. Study results also show that households with PCs use their PCs an average of 11 hours per week. Home PC users strongly agreed that the PC helps them stay in touch with friends and family, discover new information and get more fun out of life. Increasingly, the PC is the most important tool for creativity, communication and productivity.

The same Gallup survey showed that PC users consider the PC the most important technology tool at work: Three times as many respondents named the PC most important as those who chose the telephone. In addition, the average office PC user spends 22 hours per week using their PC and has been using a PC for eight years.


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