IBM introduced its PC in 1981 with a folksy advertising campaign aimed at the general public. Yet, the IBM PC had its most profound impact in the corporate world. Companies bought PCs in bulk, revolutionizing the role of computers in the office and introducing the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS DOS) to a vast user community. When it debuted in 1977, the Apple II was promoted as an extraordinary computer for ordinary people. The user-friendly design and graphical display made Apple a leader in the first decade of personal computing. Unlike the earlier Apple I, for which users had to supply essential parts such as a case and power supply, the Apple II was a fully realized consumer product. Design and marketing emphasized simplicity, an everyday tool for home, work or school.
Read more about the ""Computer History: The First 2,000 Years" exhibit.
Photo courtesy of The Computer History Museum