Browse Definitions :
Definition

personal computer (PC)

In its more general usage, a personal computer (PC) is a microcomputer designed for use by one person at a time. Prior to the PC, computers were designed for (and only affordable by) companies who attached terminals for multiple users to a single large computer whose resources were shared among all users. The advent of the era of the personal computer was acknowledged by Time magazine in 1982, when they broke with tradition by choosing the PC as their "Man of the Year." By the late 1980s, technology advances made it feasible to build a small computer that an individual could own and use.

The term "PC" has been traditionally used to describe an "IBM-compatible" personal computer in contradistinction to an Apple MacIntosh computer. The distinction is both technical and cultural and harkens back to the early years of personal computers, when IBM and Apple were the two major competitors. Originally, the "IBM-compatible" PC was one with an Intel microprocessor architecture and an operating system such as DOS or Windows that written to use that microprocessor. The Apple Macintosh uses a Motorola microprocessor architecture and a proprietary operating system. The "IBM-compatible" PC was associated with business and use, while the "Mac," known for its more intuitive user interface, was associated with graphic design and desktop publishing. Although the distinctions have become less clear-cut in recent years, people often still categorize a personal computer as either a PC or a Mac.

According to Michael Dell, there were 240 million PCs sold worldwide in 2005.

Get the latest Dell Coupons at Brighthand.com.

This was last updated in January 2011

Continue Reading About personal computer (PC)

SearchNetworking
SearchSecurity
  • man in the browser (MitB)

    Man in the browser (MitB) is a security attack where the perpetrator installs a Trojan horse on the victim's computer that is ...

  • Patch Tuesday

    Patch Tuesday is the unofficial name of Microsoft's monthly scheduled release of security fixes for the Windows operating system ...

  • parameter tampering

    Parameter tampering is a type of web-based cyber attack in which certain parameters in a URL are changed without a user's ...

SearchCIO
  • e-business (electronic business)

    E-business (electronic business) is the conduct of business processes on the internet.

  • business resilience

    Business resilience is the ability an organization has to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business ...

  • chief procurement officer (CPO)

    The chief procurement officer, or CPO, leads an organization's procurement department and oversees the acquisitions of goods and ...

SearchHRSoftware
SearchCustomerExperience
  • customer intelligence (CI)

    Customer intelligence (CI) is the process of collecting and analyzing detailed customer data from internal and external sources ...

  • clickstream data (clickstream analytics)

    Clickstream data and clickstream analytics are the processes involved in collecting, analyzing and reporting aggregate data about...

  • neuromarketing

    Neuromarketing is the study of how people's brains respond to advertising and other brand-related messages by scientifically ...

Close