IBM introduced its PC, igniting a fast growth of the personal computer market. The first PC ran on a 4.77 MHz Intel 8088 microprocessor and used Microsoft´s MS-DOS operating system.
Adam Osborne completed the first portable computer, the Osborne I, which weighed 24 pounds and cost $1,795. The price made the machine especially attractive, as it included software worth about $1,500. The machine featured a 5-inch display, 64 kilobytes of memory, a modem, and two 5 1/4-inch floppy disk drives.
In April 1981, Byte Magazine Editor in Chief Chris Morgan mentioned the Osborne I in an article on "Future Trends in Personal Computing." He wrote: "I recently had an opportunity to see the Osborne I in action. I was impressed with it´s compactness: it will fit under an airplane seat. (Adam Osborne is currently seeking approval from the FAA to operate the unit on board a plane.) One quibble: the screen may be too small for some people´s taste."
Apollo Computer unveiled the first work station, its DN100, offering more power than some minicomputers at a fraction of the price. Apollo Computer and Sun Microsystems, another early entrant in the work station market, optimized their machines to run the computer-intensive graphics programs common in engineering.
Software & Languages
The MS-DOS, or Microsoft Disk Operating System, the basic software for the newly released IBM PC, established a long partnership between IBM and Microsoft, which Bill Gates and Paul Allen had founded only six years earlier.
Sony 3 1/2
Sony introduced and shipped the first 3 1/2" floppy drives and diskettes in 1981. The first signficant company to adopt the 3 1/2" floppy for general use was Hewlett-Packard in 1982, an event which was critical in establishing momentum for the format and which helped it prevail over the other contenders for the microfloppy standard, including 3", 3 1/4", and 3.9" formats.