William C. Lowe

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William C. Lowe
Born (1941-01-15)January 15, 1941
Easton, Illinois
Died October 19, 2013(2013-10-19) (aged 72)
Lake Forest, Illinois
Organization IBM

William Cleland Lowe (January 15, 1941 – October 19, 2013) managed the laboratory that developed the IBM PC.

Lowe received a bachelor's degree in physics at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania in 1962 and joined IBM as a product test engineer.[1]

Lowe was the director of IBM's Boca Raton Labs in 1980 when Atari proposed to make microcomputers which IBM would sell. IBM management rejected this but authorized the Boca Raton Labs to develop a microcomputer quickly.[2] Sources describe differently whether Lowe proposed to do as Atari suggested, proposed to acquire Atari, proposed to develop a different microcomputer, or proposed all these for discussion.

Lowe designated a team of engineers under manager Don Estridge to develop the computer. In order to move quickly they designed it from standard components and outsourced development of the operating system to Microsoft.

Their IBM PC was released in August, 1981, and sold far more than had been projected.[2] Lowe managed the division selling PCs through at least 1987.[3]

In 1988 Lowe left IBM for Xerox, then in 1991 became chief operating officer of Gulfstream Aerospace.[2]

He died of a heart attack in 2013.[4][5]