Options included a display, a printer, two diskette drives, extra memory, communications, game adapter and application packages — including one for text processing.
The development team referred to their creation as a mini-compact, at a mini-price, with IBM engineering under the hood.
It was followed by similar small computers such as the IBM 51.
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On August 12, 1981, at a press conference at the Waldorf Astoria ballroom in New York City, Estridge announced the IBM Personal Computer with a price tag of $1,565.
Two decades earlier, an IBM computer often cost as much as $9 million and required an air-conditioned quarter-acre of space and a staff of 60 people to keep it fully loaded with instructions.
The system unit was powered by an Intel 8088 microprocessor operating at speeds measured in millionths of a second.
It was the size of a portable typewriter and contained 40K of read-only memory and 16K of user memory, as well as a built-in speaker for generating music.
So they shopped for completely functioning and pretested subassemblies, put them together and tested the final product. They went to outside vendors for most of the parts, went to outside software developers for the operating system and application software, and acted as an independent business unit.
Those tactics enabled them to develop and announce the IBM PC in 12 months -- at that time faster than any other hardware product in IBM's history.Mel Hallerman, who was working on the IBM Series/1, stepped forward with his software knowledge and was brought in as chief programmer. As word spread about what was going on, talent and expertise were drawn in.Estridge decided early that to be successful and to meet deadlines, the group had to stick to the plan: using tested vendor technology; a standardized, one-model product; open architecture; and outside sales channels for quick consumer market saturation.He set up a task force that developed the proposal for the first IBM PC.Early studies had concluded that there were not enough applications to justify acceptance on a broad basis and the task force was fighting the idea that things couldn't be done quickly in IBM.One analyst was quoted as saying that "IBM bringing out a personal computer would be like teaching an elephant to tap dance." During a meeting with top executives in New York, Lowe claimed his group could develop a small, new computer within a year. Come back in two weeks with a proposal." Lowe picked a group of 12 strategists who worked around the clock to hammer out a plan for hardware, software, manufacturing setup and sales strategy.