|Today is the 30th birthday of the industry standard known as x86. Thirty years ago, Intel introduced the 8086 microprocessor and though the chip wasnâ€™t overly popular, the underlying instruction set is still going strong, 30 years later. ComputerWorld takes us through the history and future for the venerable and popular architecture.
In the three decades since the introduction of the 8086, the x86 family has systematically progressed from desktop PCs to servers to portable computers to supercomputers. Along the way, it has killed or held at bay a host of competing architectures and chip makers. Even some markets that had seemed locked up by competitors, such as Apple's use of Motorola PowerPCs in the Macintosh computer, have yielded to x86 in recent years. How did Intel's architecture come to dominate so much of the computing world? Let's take a look.