The most significant event of the Personal Computer revolution had to be the entry of IBM into the arena. In spite of applications such as VisiCalc and Wordstar, prior to 1981 the Personal Computer was still considered to be a "toy" by many in the Information Technology arena, especially those who worked with the "big iron." By the end of the year, IBM's widely anticipated entree into the world of Personal Computing meant that PCs could go corporate without excuses ("nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.") Executives no longer had to sneak their Apple IIs in through the back door. The IBM PC had arrived on the corporate scene and the way most people did business was about to change for good.
Although the PC was not an overnight success, it was one of the many catalysts for the success of the entire industry (as were other innovations such as the S-100 bus, CP/M (a standard, friendly operating system) and VisiCalc - the "Killer App." While IBM's market share was growing, the installed base of PCs of all types was growing at least as quickly and many companies enjoyed a heyday during the early 80s before the PC standard architecture enjoyed an overwhelming success.
Meanwhile, the CP/M standard marched on with Adam Osborne creating the Osborne 1, a "portable" all-in-one CP/M system. This unit was introduced at the West Coast Computer Faire in 1981. The Osborne was introduced along with another innovation that is commonplace today. Before introducing the Osborne its inventor, Adam Osborne, struck deals with software vendors in order to "bundle" several applications with his computer. For the then low price of $1,795.00 you could buy an Osborne with CP/M, Wordstar, SuperCalc and several other applications included and ready-to-run. In the early days of Personal Computing, this was a big deal.
By the end of the year nearly 1.5 million PCs have been sold worldwide nearly tripling the number in one year.