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Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) is an American multinational computer technology corporation based in 1 Dell Way, Round Rock, Texas, United States, that develops, sells and supports computers and related products and services. Bearing the name of its founder, Michael Dell, the company is one of the largest technological corporations in the world, employing more than 103,300 people worldwide.[2] Dell is listed at number 41 in the Fortune 500 list.[3] It is the third largest PC vendor in the world after HP and Lenovo.[4]

Dell has grown by both increasing its customer base and through acquisitions since its inception; notable mergers and acquisitions including Alienware (2006) and Perot Systems (2009). As of 2009, the company sold personal computers, servers, data storage devices, network switches, software, and computer peripherals. Dell also sells HDTVs, cameras, printers, MP3 players and other electronics built by other manufacturers. The company is well known for its innovations in supply chain management and electronic commerce.

Fortune Magazine listed Dell as the sixth largest company in Texas by total revenue.[5] It is the second largest non-oil company in Texas behind AT&T and the largest company in the Greater Austin area.[6]


History

Dell traces its origins to 1984, when Michael Dell created PCs Limited while a student at the University of Texas at Austin. The dorm-room headquartered company sold IBM PC-compatible computers built from stock components.[7] Dell dropped out of school in order to focus full-time on his fledgling business, after getting about $300,000 in expansion-capital from his family.

In 1985, the company produced the first computer of its own design, the "Turbo PC", which sold for US$795.[8] PCs Limited advertised its systems in national computer magazines for sale directly to consumers and custom assembled each ordered unit according to a selection of options. The company grossed more than $73 million in its first year of operation.

The company changed its name to "Dell Computer Corporation" in 1988 and began expanding globally. In June 1988, Dell's market capitalization grew by $30 million to $80 million from its June 22 initial public offering of 3.5 million shares at $8.50 a share.[9] In 1992, Fortune magazine included Dell Computer Corporation in its list of the world's 500 largest companies, making Michael Dell the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company ever.[10]

Growth in 1990s and early 2000s

From 1997 to 2004, Dell enjoyed steady growth and it gained market share from competitors even during industry slumps.[11] Dell previously earned and maintained the #1 rating in PC reliability and customer service/technical support, according to Consumer Reports, year after year, during the mid-to-late 90s through 2001 right before Windows XP was released.

In 1996, Dell began selling computers through its website, and in 2002, it expanded its product line to include televisions, handhelds, digital audio players, and printers. Dell's first acquisition occurred in 1999 with the purchase of ConvergeNet Technologies.

Dell surpassed Compaq to become the largest PC manufacturer in 1999. In 2002, when Compaq merged with Hewlett Packard (the 4th place PC maker), the combined Hewlett Packard took the top spot but struggled and Dell soon regained its lead.

In 2003, the company was rebranded as simply "Dell Inc." to recognize the company's expansion beyond computers.

In 2004, Michael Dell resigned as CEO while retaining the title of Chairman, handing the CEO title to Kevin Rollins who was the President and COO. Under Rollins, Dell began to loosen its ties to Microsoft and Intel, the two companies which were responsible for Dell's dominance in the PC business. During that time, Dell acquired Alienware, which introduced several new items to Dell products, including AMD microprocessors. To prevent cross-market products, Dell continues to run Alienware as a separate entity, but still a wholly owned subsidiary.