Dell history log

Dell History

Dell History 1984-1990

Texas Headquartered Dell Inc., is an information technology company which provides consumers on global scale with cutting edge technology solutions, services and support from hardware, software and cloud computing. You can get laptops, desktop computers, servers, data storage, mobile phones, tablets, cameras, servers, printers and many other products for personal and business use.

Dell Inc founder Michael Dell
Dell Inc founder Michael Dell

Named after its founder Michael Dell, who began business from his dormitory room at the same time studying at the University of Texas in 1984. Initial called PC’s Limited, Michael dell started his business with only $ 1000 loan from his parents by selling computers to his school mates. He dropped out of school to focus mainly on his newly built business. He bought computer parts from different companies and would assembly them and sell them directly to consumers cutting out dealers. He was able to sell them at cheaper prices than what more established firms like IBM were charging their customers.

In 1985 Dell built its first computer system the Turbo PC with a 10MB hard drive, and an Intel® 8088 processor running at 8MHz meaning it executed 8 million cycles per second. While these specs are unreasonable compared to modern day computing with Gigahertz and petabytes, the Turbo PC was Dell’s defining computer. The following year they came out with the fastest PC on the market with a speed of 12MHz.

Turbo PC Dell's First computer
Turbo PC built by Michael Dell in 1984

In its first year of operation Dell by then called PC’s Limited grossed over 73 Million from the local market. In 1987 it was time to go international they started their first international operations in the United Kingdom and more subsidiaries followed in the next couple of years. In its fourth year in June the company went public selling more than 3 million shares at $8.50 per share raising $ 30 million dollars and increased its market capitalization to $85 million. With its PC business booming Dell ventured into mobile computing with the 316LT laptop in 1989 and the following year they opened another manufacturing plant in Ireland targeted for consumers in Europe, Middle East and Africa. By 1992 Dell had made it into Fortune 500 magazine’s world largest 500 companies and Michael Dell made history becoming the youngest CEO to head a fortune 500 company at age 27.

Dell Expansion from the Dot Com era 1991-2000

In 1993 Dell became one of the top five computer systems maker globally and in the same year they introduced the Dimension and OptiPlex™ desktops for home and corporate users. More Subsidiaries were opened in the Asian market in Japan and also in Australia. Product Expansion continued which saw the release of the PowerEdge Servers in 1994 and Lithium ion battery powered Dell Latitude XP making history with the longest battery life in the industry at the time.

With the dawn of the dot com boom they continued to expand operations in North and South America, Asia and Europe and in 1996 the website went live and in less than a year it was generating $1 million+ per day from its sales and by the year 2000 sales from are hitting $ 40 million dollars per day.

In 1997 Texas manufacturing centre increases production and lowers costs significantly and 1997 also sees the birth of Dell Precision line of workstations for high end performance graphics capable applications and for the tech savvies. This contributed to an increase in Dell competitiveness hence bringing a serious challenge to the rivalries. It beats Compaq and its other competitors shipping off the largest number of workstations and becomes the number 1 in the PC industry in the United States and worldwide for both large and medium business. Latin Americans also got a manufacturing plant as Dell builds one in Brazil.

The Rise and slump 2001-2010

In the year 2001 Dell took the lead as a provider of computer systems leaving HP, Compaq and others on its tail. It also led in the shipments of Intel based servers across the world. Dell also launched the PowerConnect which is a line of secure network switches bringing flexible network solutions and which saw the company enter into the networking industry.

In 2002 the first Dell blade server the PowerEdge 1655MC running on Microsoft NT is launched. Dell was able to provide low end servers which were cheaper than what IBM Hewlett Packard and Compaq were offering by using Intel chip rather than the proprietary technologies its rivals were using and it releases more products including its first projector a 1300MP and Dell branded Printers.

In 2005 Dell Inc stock lost about 25% of its value this was due to the PC market maturing even though PC  sales and earnings continued to rise, the sales growth ware no longer going up. Another major factor which led to stock loss value as the completion stepping up their game, Hewlett Packard and other PC makers were becoming more efficient hence the stiff competition. Also the same year saw an increase in the number of complaints about the company, products and services. The poor customer service at that time was not helping either.

In 2006 became seriously involved in developing infrastructure for proper recycling of tech materials. They became the first in the technology sector to offer free product recycling for customers worldwide and were listed in Greenpeace’s Guide to greener electronics. In that same year they acquired Alienware a hardware company specialising in high performance gaming computers. They also started DellConnect aimed at improving customer support by answering customer inquiries quickly and they about 100 million dollars to improve it.

The Dell Vostro tm line of computer were introduced in 2006. These were mainly for small business and were very affordable. In an attempt to keep its 19.2% market they reduced their prices but eventually lost the number one PC business spot to Hewlett-Packard.

2009 sees the launch the launch of the Latitude tmZ and Adamo the world’s thinnest laptops. Dell Inc., also acquires Perot systems to provide a number of Information Technology services moving from being just a hardware vendor. They also begin their entrance into the smartphone market with the introduction of the Mini 3i from China Mobile.

In 2010, Gartner, Inc named Dell as the  No. 1 healthcare IT services provider in the whole world and wins a lot more awards, more than 300 tech industry awards in that year alone. Complementing its mobile ventures the company start producing its own tablets which proved to be poor investment as their Streak line of tablets was a failure due to lots of bugs and the operating systems not being updated.

The same year Dell acquires a number of companies including Boomi, Exanet, KACE, InSite One, Ocarina, Scalent and other companies which you can view in our list of Dell acquisitions. These companies extended Dell’s portfolio and increased its competence in the cloud computing and software market. More acquisitions are done in 2011. The company begins a project to launch data and solution centres globally spending a whopping $1 billion dollars on the project. This was to offer infrastructure as a service for data storage and computing, platform for applications development and Virtual desktop.


In 2013 Mr Dell approached the board in a move to take the company private. After a slight challenge finding enough shareholders to back the deal the company he was able to get the $24 Billion dollar deal which also meant he maintained control of the company. Another major event of that year was the launch of family of tablets the Dell venue Dell was winning awards left right and centre and was the leader in global storage, it also maintained its 2nd position in server market. Dell now a privately owned company report an investment increase in growth, research, customer care and service delivery among other things. StatSoft is also acquired by the company

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