Dell is a global corporation that specializes in virtually every facet of the computer hardware industry. The company’s product line seems to become more extensive each year, consisting of desktop and laptop computers, servers, network switches, storage devices, computer peripherals and much more. With over 80,000 employees stationed across the globe, Dell is one of the world’s largest companies and currently ranks in the top three in computer sales.
In 1984, Michael Dell founded PC’s Limited, the company that would eventually become Dell Computer Corporation in 1988. The startup began selling IBM PC-compatible computers before selling the first of its own design in 1985: the Turbo PC. This unit was advertised for direct sale to consumers in national PC magazines. Dell custom assembled each unit ordered, offering lower prices and greater convenience than other brands that called for self assembly.
The company’s route to success was quick. In 1987, it launched its first operations in Ireland, followed up by eleven more over the next four years. By 1988, its market capitalization grew to a whopping $80 million from the initial public offering of 3.5 million shares at $8.50 per share. By 1992, Dell was listed by Fortune Magazine as one the world’s 500 largest companies.
Dell continued to excel in the computer business throughout the 1990s, passing Compaq as the largest U.S. seller of PCs in 1999. In the millennium, the company made a move to expand on its advantage by crossing over into the home entertainment and multimedia markets. Dell computers were now complemented by handhelds, digital audio players and televisions, along with a variety of printers and computer peripherals.
While its revenues have dropped over the last few years, Dell computers are still the brand of choice for millions of computer users throughout the world, indicating that this company will be around for the long haul.