Dell Inc., formerly PC's Limited (1984-88) and Dell Computer Corporation (1988-2003), is a global company that designs, develops, and manufactures personal computers (PCs) and various computer-related products. The company is one of the world's leading suppliers of PCs. Dell is headquartered at
Round Rock, Texas. Called initially PC's Limited, the company was founded in 1984 by Michael Dell, an American who was then a student at the University of Texas at Austin. Initially, Dell ran its business from a dorm room and started offering custom PC upgrades. The company proved profitable, and Dell dropped out of college that same year to begin manufacturing personal computers.
In 1985, Dell released his Turbo PC, the first computer designed in-house. Founded to develop and sell custom PCs directly to consumers, the company initially sold its products through advertising and mail-order catalogs.
By avoiding the costs associated with the traditional retail market, Dell could offer its high-quality PCs at competitive prices. Dell takes customer support seriously, dispatches technicians to repair PCs, and implements a risk-free return policy. This business model proved successful, and the company increased and expanded into international markets. The company changed its name to Dell Computer Corporation and went public in 1988.
Dell released its first notebook computer in 1989, the 316LT. The years that followed were marked by the advancement of Dell's mobile technology. In 1991, Dell released the first color notebook computer, and in 1994, Dell was the first to offer long-life lithium-ion batteries. In 1996, Dell began selling personal computers online and used the Internet for customer support. Online sales helped Dell overtake Compaq Computer Corporation in 1999 to become the largest seller of personal computers in the United States.
As the 21st century began, Dell expanded its product line to include televisions, digital cameras, and various computer-related products. The company name was changed to Dell Inc. in 2003. It represents the first step into the broader consumer electronics market. However, Dell's market dominance began to wane, and in 2013, the company went back to private with Michael Dell and private equity firm Silverlake Partners acquiring it for $25 billion. In 2016, the company and its investment firm acquired EMC, an American company specializing in data storage. Worth about $60 billion, the merger was the most significant technology deal at the time.
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It was in the 1970s that computers were small and inexpensive enough for individuals to purchase for home use, which first became feasible, and large-scale integration allowed the construction of sufficiently powerful microprocessors on a single semiconductor chip.
A small company called MITS built the first personal computer, the Altair. This computer was designed in 1974 using his 8080 microprocessor from Intel Corporation. The Altair was popular with computer enthusiasts, but its commercial appeal was limited.
The personal computer industry took off in earnest in 1977 by introducing three pre-assembled, mass-produced personal computers. Electronic Transaction (PET).
These machines used 8-bit microprocessors (which process information in groups of 8 bits at a time or binary numbers) and had limited storage capacity. H. Ability to work with specific data sets stored in memory.
However, personal computers are much cheaper than mainframe computers (large computers commonly used by large corporations, industries, and government agencies), so individuals, small businesses, and elementary and high schools can purchase them.
Of these computers, the TRS-80 dominated the market. The TRS-80 microcomputer came with 4 kilobytes of memory, a Z80 microprocessor, the BASIC programming language, and a cartridge for data storage. To reduce costs, the machine was built without the ability to enter lowercase letters. Thanks to Tandy's Radio Shack chain store and groundbreaking prices ($399 for fully assembled and tested), the machine was successful enough that two years later, a more powerful computer, his TRS-80 I, was able to convince the company to introduce the Model II. He was reasonably marketed as a small business computer.
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