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NEW YORK — William C. Lowe, who supervised the creation of IBM’s first personal computer, a technological touchstone that he insisted — and proved — could be conceived, engineered, and manufactured in a single year by a company not known for speeding products to market, died on Oct. 19 in Lake Forest, Ill.
Apple and other companies had been selling personal computers for several years when IBM began looking for ways to get involved in the business in the late 1970s. The company had long dominated corporate and government mainframe computing by using proprietary software and in-house production. But it was hardly nimble, and its leaders believed it would be left behind if it took its typical years to reach production.
In 1980, Mr. Lowe pitched an improbable idea: He would form a team that would build a personal computer in a year.