Michael Dell, while still a student at the University of Texas at Austin in 1984, founded the company as PC’s Limited with just $1000. From Michael Dell’s on-campus dorm room at Dobie Center, the startup aimed to sell IBM-compatible computers built from stock components. Michael Dell started trading in the belief that by selling personal computer systems directly to customers, PC’s Limited could better understand customers’ needs and provide the most effective computing solutions to meet those needs.
In 1985, the company produced the first computer of its own design (the “Turbo PC”), which contained an Intel 8088-compatible processor running at a speed of 8 MHz. It advertised the systems in national computer magazines for sale directly to consumers, and custom-assembled each ordered unit according to a selection of options. This offered buyers prices lower than those of retail brands, but with greater convenience than assembling the components themselves. Although not the first company to use this model, PC’s Limited became one of the first to succeed with it. Michael Dell dropped out of school to run the business full-time. The company grossed more than $6 million in its first year.
In 1987, PC’s Limited set up its first on-site-service programs in order to compensate for the lack of local retailers prepared to act as service centers. Also in 1987, the company set up its first operations in the United Kingdom; eleven more international operations followed within the next four years. In 1988, Dell’s market capitalization grew by $30 million to $80 million on its initial public offering day. The company changed its name to “Dell Computer Corporation” in 1988.
In 1990, Dell Computers tried selling its products indirectly through warehouse clubs and computer superstores, but met with little success, and the company re-focused on its more successful direct-to-consumer sales model. In 1992, Fortune magazine included Dell Computer Corporation in its list of the world’s 500 largest companies. In 1999, Dell overtook Compaq to become the largest seller of personal computers in the United States of America. To recognize the company’s expansion beyond computers, the stockholders approved changing the company name to “Dell Inc.” at the annual company meeting in 2003. In March 2004 Dell attempted to expand by tapping into the multimedia and home entertainment markets with the introduction of televisions, handhelds, and digital jukeboxes. Dell has also produced Dell-brand printers for home and small-office use. On December 22, 2004, the company announced that it would build a new assembly plant near Winston-Salem, North Carolina; the city and county provided Dell with $37.2 million in incentive packages; the state provided approximately $250 million in incentives and tax breaks.
The Dell journey and the EMC journey join to reach customers and their great ideas globally and to drive human progress. The newly combined Dell Technologies marks the completion of the biggest tech deal in history.
Customer satisfaction rates reach record highs as customers feel the effects of Dell’s singular focus as a private company.
Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners buy back Dell from public shareholders to accelerate its solutions strategy and to focus on the innovations and long-term investments with the most customer value.
EMC opens a new software development centre in Shanghai—the company’s first China-based research and development facility.
In just five years, Dell is China’s third largest provider of computer systems and services, with shipment growth near 60% — or four times that of the industry.
It’s a year of firsts as Dell becomes the No. 1 computer systems provider worldwide and reaches No. 1 in U.S. Intel-based server shipments. Dell inks an agreement with storage leader EMC to enable more affordable enterprise-class storage area network solutions for customers of all sizes.
Eldorado do Sul, Brazil gains a new manufacturing operations centre to better serve our customers in Latin America.
Dell opens a new integrated sales, manufacturing and support centre in Xiamen, China and announce manufacturing sites in Ireland, Brazil and the United States.
EMC’s great global presence is materialised as they are named worldwide open storage market leader.
The company takes sales online in 1996, setting the bar for ecommerce worldwide. Dell rapidly expands its global operations by opening the first Asia-Pacific Customer Centre in Penang, Malaysia.
Dell expands worldwide operations in Europe, Asia, Japan and the Americas driving big ideas across the globe.
Growing at roughly 80 percent annually, Dell takes the plunge and goes public. The company, now officially renamed Dell Computer Corporation, uses the newly acquired capital to expand its product offerings and global presence, opening a manufacturing centre in Ireland just two years later to better serve customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
After the company’s launch and the building of their first computer system, Dell opens its first international subsidiary in the United Kingdom.
As a young student at the University of Texas, Michael Dell founds PC’s Limited with $1,000 and a game-changing vision for how technology should be designed, manufactured and sold. He leaves his dorm room at the end of his first year to devote all his time to growing the business.
Richard Egan and Roger Marino – former university roommates – quit their jobs and founded EMC in Newton, Massachusetts, five years before Michael Dell’s vision was materialised.