William C. Lowe, the man behind the IBM PC, dies at 72

Oct. 29, 2013 at 4:31 PM
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LAKE FOREST, Ill., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- William C. Lowe, the man behind the introduction of the IBM PC, has died at 72 in Lake Forest, Ill., his family says.

Lowe died from a heart attack Oct. 19, his daughter Michelle Marshall told The New York Times.

Low is credited with bringing the original IBM PC to market after just one year of design and development, a striking achievement for a company more used to spending years on a product before offering it to the public.

IBM introduced the IBM Personal Computer, also known as the 5150, on Aug. 12, 1981, at a price of $1,565.

Lowe, who told IBM executives such a machine couldn't be built quickly "within the culture of IBM," was put in charge of a small, independent team that designed the computer using largely off-the-shelf components like the Intel 8088 CPU, and chose for its operating system DOS 1.0, from a small company in Washington State called Microsoft.

Lowe had joined IBM as a product test engineer in 1962 after graduating with a degree in physics from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., where he had been born in 1941.

For his work on the IBM PC, Time Magazine named Lowe its "man of the year" in 1982.

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