History of Personal Computers - PC Clones Dominate

PC Clones Dominate

The transition from a PC-compatible market being driven by IBM to one driven primarily by a broader market began to become clear in 1986 and 1987; in 1986, the 32-bit Intel 80386 microprocessor was released, and the first '386-based PC-compatible was the Compaq Deskpro 386. IBM's response came nearly a year later with the initial release of the IBM Personal System/2 series of computers, which had a closed architecture and were a significant departure from the emerging "standard PC". These models were largely unsuccessful, and the PC Clone style machines outpaced sales of all other machines through the rest of this period. Toward the end of the 1980s PC XT clones began to take over the home computer market segment from the specialty manufacturers such as Commodore International and Atari that had previously dominated. These systems typically sold for just under the "magic" $1000 price point (typically $999) and were sold via mail order rather than a traditional dealer network. This price was achieved by using the older 8/16 bit technology, such as the 8088 CPU, instead of the 32-bits of the latest Intel CPUs. These CPUs were usually made by a third party such as Cyrix or AMD. Dell started out as one of these manufacturers, under its original name PC Limited.

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