Description: Jim Harris, Rod Canion, and Bill Murto, all former senior managers of Texas Instruments, founded Compaq Computer Corporation in 1982. The company’s name was derived from the words “compatibility” and “quality.” Compaq is known to be among the earliest developers of personal computers that are IBM-compatible.
Company Name: Compaq
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According to some reports, Compaq in only had a starting capital of $1,000. But that small starting capital was never a hindrance to the later success of the company. This became obvious and real when Michael Swavely, the chief marketing officer of Compaq during its early years, hired important people to accomplish the company’s target goals.
Swavely hired Sparky Sparks as well as Jim D’arrezzo from IBM’s PC Group as Compaq’s marketing executives. He also hired Ross Cooley, a former IBM employee, as a Compaq executive. This group is said to be responsible for the consistent growth of Compaq in the decades of the 1980s and 1990s. They even made Compaq surpass IBM sales.
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The growth of Compaq became continuous, especially with its mergers and acquisitions. In 1997, Compaq acquired Tandem Computers, a computer systems manufacturer. Tandem’s products were widely used for ATM machines as well as a stock exchange. With Tandem, Compaq can cater to the high-end business market’s needs for personal computers.
In 1998, Compaq acquired Digital Equipment Corporation, which was a leader in minicomputer production during the 1970s and 1980s. Compaq’s acquisition of Digital Equipment resulted in a tremendous increase in its sales. The company even became the second highest in the computer-manufacturing industry.
Working with many IT companies also contributed to Compaq’s success. In 1999, for example, Compaq closely worked with Microsoft Corporation to create a small-scale, web-based computer. This collaboration resulted in the MSN Companion; a cheap, yet user-friendly computer for Internet services.
In 2001, Compaq signed a merger with Hewlett-Packard. This was after strong opposition in both parties that was later resolved through voting by the shareholders. Due to this merger, Compaq changed its stock symbol to HPQ to include HP’s symbol (HPW). The company also changed some of its products’ names like the Compaq Evo to HP Compaq and Compaq iPAQ to HP iPAQ.
Before this merger, Compaq already had a lot of products that are sold in the market like the Compaq Portable. This was announced in 1982 as the first IBM-compatible personal computer that was developed by a different brand. Compaq also made its own personal computer, the Deskpro, which was later succeeded by Deskpro 386. This product was based on the 80386 Intel microprocessor.
Compaq also created a server with its System. The company was also famous for creating its line of notebooks and desktop computers called the Compaq Presario. This line of products is $1000 cheaper because it uses cheaper processors like AMD.
Today, Compaq Computer Corporation is still very much active in the industry. One good point about Compaq that consumers usually admire is its cheaper line of products at the same high performance.