With the IBM PC out, the clone makers started gearing up almost immediately. One of the first clones out (and certainly the most successful early PC compatible) was the Compaq Portable. This machine took the Osborne form factor but used a reverse engineered IBM PC compatible architecture, allowing it to run almost all PC programs. The machine was an instant success and catapulted Compaq into a formidable position in the PC industry which it enjoys to this day.

The Compaq Portable

As a follow-on to the Vic-20, Commodore introduced the Commodore 64 which would eventually go on to become the most popular computer in history. The machine was a very basic 64k, 8 bit microcomputer with the guts of the machine contained within a box little bigger than the keyboard. The machine's capabilities were expandable with peripherals that included cassette and disk drives, printers, monitors and alternate input devices. This machine became the de-facto home system of the early 1980s.

1982 was also significant for the introduction of the CD-ROM. This technology, although it had no immediate impact on the PC industry, would eventually change how data was stored on almost all Personal Computers.

Portable computers weren't new in 1982, the Kaypro was introduced in that year and the Osborne had been around for a while but Epson, with the introduction of the Epson HX-20 put the first "notebook" computer in the hands of those craving true portability.

Other developments during the year included a fair amount of attention paid to networking personal computers. A variety of companies either introduced products or at least began doing research to make networking a reality.

End of year price wars between home computer companies such as Commodore, Atari and Texas Instruments put a financial strain on that market segment going into the next year. These battles would eventually cost each of those companies a spot in the industry.

PC sales more then doubled again in 1983 resulting in well over 3.5 million inexpensive computers being sold to date.