In 1978, A Harvard MBA student, Dan Bricklin, had an idea for a software program that would allow him to perform a series of calculations on a series of numbers simultaneously. Over time, he fleshed out his idea and prototyped it. Then, working with Bob Frankston, he created the worlds first spreadsheet and introduced it to the world in 1979.
This spreadsheet, originally written for the Apple ][, eventually had a profound effect on the personal computer industry. Where the PC was once considered a toy or a hobbyists project, it slowly became recognized as a valuable tool. The spreadsheet was the "killer application" that was needed to catapult the Personal Computer to legitimacy.
PC makers came and went during the year with Texas Instruments introducing the TI 99/4 and Atari the 400 and 800 computers. Processor Technology and IMSAI both called it quits during the year.