IBM PC 16/32-bit Computers
Released in August 1981, the IBM Personal Computer was IBM’s first microcomputer and the hardware platform that created the standard for PC compatibles. The IBM PC used an open architecture and the PC-DOS from Microsoft. Later, in 1984, IBM released the considerably improved IBM AT based on 80286 and a 16-bit AT bus.
The IBM PC aimed to compete against companies like Apple, Commodore, and Tandy for a market share in the newly-created and promising personal computer market. That market was worth 15 billion dollars at the time, with an estimated growth rate of 30-40% for the following years.
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM)
Notable IBM inventions include magnetic tape drives, random access memory (RAM), floppy and hard disk drives, the SQL language, and the ATM machine.
Acorn Archimedes 32-bit Computers
Released in June 1987, Acorn Archimedes is a family of educational computers manufactured by Acorn until the mid-1990s. Archimedes computers feature 32-bit ARM processors based on the revolutionary Acorn’s own ARM architecture and the RISC OS (multitasking and a GUI).
The first Archimedes models were the 300 and 400 series (A305, A310, and A440). These models had little variations between each other (expansion slots and memory). The first Archimedes (A305) with the ARM2 was as powerful as a 386-PC running at 16 MHz.
Released in 1988, the NeXT computer is a legendary workstation developed and manufactured by NeXT Inc. until 1993. The company was founded by Steve Jobs, after resigning from Apple. However, Apple purchased NeXT in 1996 for over $400 million, and a great number of their innovations, such as the OS, were incorporated in later Apple products.
The Development of the WorldWideWeb
Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau used a NeXT at CERN to develop the world's first web server (CERN HTTPd) and the world's first web browser (WorldWideWeb).
Xerox Alto -The Birth of Modern Computing
Designed in 1972 and released in March 1973, Xerox Alto is a revolutionary machine built by Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center). The innovations brought by Alto included the first-ever Graphical User Interface, optical mouse, LAN, and high-res bitmapped display. The Alto was also the first computer to use a laser printer, an invention also by Xerox. The Xerox Alto wasn’t a commercial computer, it was a research prototype used by universities and the Xerox PARC itself.
In 1981, the Xerox Star was released, a workstation that commercialized most Xerox PARC computing innovations. A Xerox Star with a laser printer cost $100,000 ($325,000 in today’s money).