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Definition: Altair

A microcomputer kit introduced in late 1974 from Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS). It sold for $439 and used an 8080 microprocessor. In 1975, it was packaged with the Microsoft MBASIC interpreter written by Paul Allen and Bill Gates. Although computer kits were advertised earlier by others, an estimated 10,000 Altairs were sold, making it the first commercially successful personal computer. The machine was also available fully assembled for $621. See SCELBI 8H.

Altair 8800 Computer
The first successful microcomputer and the first commercial computer that came with a Microsoft product. (Image courtesy of AUCTION TEAM BREKER, Cologne, Germany, (c) 2013, www.breker.com)