The end of the 70s brought about a fairly dramatic change in the PC industry. In short, the PC was going mainstream. During this year the number of PCs reached the 1 million mark. This was enough interest to get the attention of IBM who finally went to work on a PC.
Meanwhile, Hewlett Packard enters the fray with the HP-85, a calculator-like computer with a built in screen and tape drive.
Apple introduces and starts shipping the intended Apple ][ replacement, the Apple ///. This machine comes with an integrated disk drive and uses a 6502 running at 2 MHz. The machine, as originally released, has several design flaws which plague both the machine itself and its reputation until Apple gives up on this model.
Radio Shack capitalizes on the success of the TRS-80 Model I and releases the TRS-80 Model 3 as a replacement machine. The new computer has the same basic specifications as the Model I but houses everything in one chassis rather then the discreet components of the original.
Microsoft adds the Microsoft Softcard to its product line. The card allows an Apple II to run CP/M software and bolsters sales for both Apple and Microsoft.
By the end of the year over 500,000 PCs had been sold worldwide, doubling the number from the previous year.