10 Most Popular Computers in History

The NEC PC-98 line was extremely popular in Japan. Creative Commons/Flickr user acidlemon

While the MSX was a popular range of Japanese computers united by a common set of hardware standards, NEC's PC-98 was a monstrous success all by its lonesome. Released in 1982, the PC-98 ran on a 5 MHz Intel 8086 CPU, had two display controllers, and a base 128KB of RAM. The PC-98 was a powerful computer for its time, and NEC ruled the Japanese market with roughly a 50 percent market share, thanks to the system's success.

While the 1980s computer market was eventually dominated by IBM PCs and IBM knock-offs, NEC's unique architecture ruled in Japan. The PC-98 line sold more than 15 million systems over a lifetime of more than a decade, though NEC obviously released multiple updates to the computer over that lifetime -- the original PC-98 launched in 1982 didn't rack up all of those sales itself [source: Computing Japan].

Even so, NEC was Japan's go-to computer company in the 1980s, making the PC-98 the eastern equivalent of the mighty IBM PC.