Microcomputer incompatibilities

Despite the growing markets in microcomputers in the early 1980s, mass market penetration was limited partly because of the lack of compatibility between different computer systems. For example, a printer compatible with one microcomputer would be unlikely to work on one made by another manufacturer. The same problem arose with software: programs written to work on one microcomputer would not run on any other system. There was little compatibility because there was no standard system in operation. This gave software developers little incentive to invest heavily in programs that were destined to deliver limited returns. All of this was about to change when, in 1981, the mainframe computer giant IBM introduced the IBM PC.

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