The following is the text of an IBM Information Systems Division press release headlined "Personal Computer Announced By IBM" and distributed on August 12, 1981.
IBM Corporation today announced its smallest, lowest-priced computer system -- the IBM Personal Computer.
Designed for business, school and home, the easy-to-use system sells for as little as $1,565. It offers many advanced features and, with optional software, may use hundreds of popular application programs.
The IBM Personal Computer will be sold through participating ComputerLand dealers and Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s new business machine stores beginning this fall. It will also be sold through IBM Product Centers and a special sales unit in the company's Data Processing Division.
"This is the computer for just about everyone who has ever wanted a personal system at the office, on the university campus or at home," said C. B. Rogers, Jr., IBM vice president and group executive, General Business Group. "We believe its performance, reliability and ease of use make it the most advanced, affordable personal computer in the marketplace."
IBM has designed its Personal Computer for the first-time or advanced user, whether a businessperson in need of accounting help or a student preparing a term paper.
An enhanced version of the popular Microsoft BASIC programming language and easily understood operation manuals are included with every system. They make it possible to begin using the computer within hours and to develop personalized programs quite easily.
Among the new system's highlights are:
The system's keyboard comes with a six-foot, coiled cable for flexibility. It can be used in the lap or positioned across a desk top without moving the computer itself. The 83 keys make it easy to write and edit text, enter data ranging from stock analysis to cooking recipes, figure business accounts, or play video games.
The optional IBM display and printer are attachable units. The display has an anti-glare screen, green phosphor characters for reading comfort and controls for brightness and contrast. Automatic flashing and underlining can be used to call attention to especially important information on the screen.
The printer provides 12 type styles. Both printer and system unit can run self-diagnostic checks so users can verify that components are functioning properly.
Software for Business and Home
"We intend the IBM Personal Computer to be the most useful system of its kind," Mr. Rogers said. "Besides making it easy to set up and operate, we are offering a program library that we expect will grow with the creativity of the Personal Computer users."
Mr. Rogers said IBM has established a new Personal Computer Software Publishing Department for the system. It will publish programs written by IBM employees working on their own time and those accepted from independent software companies and outside authors.
Program packages available for the IBM Personal Computer cover popular business and home applications. For example, EasyWriter* will store letters, manuscripts and other text for editing or rapid reproduction on the printer. Businesses can use General Ledger, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable by Peachtree Software, Inc. to generate balance sheets, track accounts and automatically print checks.
VisiCalc* is available for applications ranging from financial analysis to budget planning. Microsoft Adventure brings players into a fantasy world of caves and treasures.
Advanced Operating Systems
IBM, in conjunction with Microsoft, Inc., has adapted an advanced disk operating system to support IBM Personal Computer programs and software development. It has also contracted with Digital Research, Inc. and SofTech Microsystems, Inc. to adapt the popular CP/M-86* and UCSD p-System* to the Personal Computer. These two systems should provide users with the opportunity to transfer hundreds of widely used applications to the IBM Personal Computer with minimal modifications.
The IBM Personal Computer can be tailored to fit the user's needs. A basic system for home use attached to an audio tape cassette player and a television set would sell for approximately $1,565, in IBM Product Centers, while a more typical system for home or school with a memory of 64,000 bytes, a single diskette drive and its own display would be priced around $3,005. An expanded system for business with color graphics, two diskette drives and a printer would cost about $4,500.
The IBM Personal Computer was developed at the Information Systems Division's Boca Raton, Fla, facility and first deliveries will be scheduled for October.
THE SOURCE — Source Telecomputing Corp.
Dow Jones News/Retrieval Service — Dow Jones and Company, Inc.
EasyWriter — Information Unlimited Software, Inc.
VisiCalc — Personal Software, Inc.
CP/M-86 — Digital Research, Inc.
UCSD p-System - Regents of the University of California