CP/M, originally standing for Control Program/Monitor and later Control Program for Microcomputers is a mass-market operating system created in 1974 for Intel 8080/85-based microcomputers by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc. Initially confined to single-tasking on 8-bit processors and no more than 64 kilobytes of memory, later versions of CP/M added multi-user variations and were migrated to 16-bit processors.
The combination of CP/M and S-100 bus computers was loosely patterned on the MITS Altair, an early standard in the microcomputer industry. This computer platform was widely used in business through the late 1970s and into the mid-1980s. CP/M increased the market size for both hardware and software by greatly reducing the amount of programming required to install an application on a new manufacturer’s computer. An important driver of software innovation was the advent of (comparatively) low-cost microcomputers running CP/M, as independent programmers and hackers bought them and shared their creations in user groups.
CP/M was displaced by DOS soon after the 1981 introduction of the IBM PC.
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