(Dell Inc., Round Rock, TX, www.dell.com) A leading PC manufacturer, founded in 1984 by Michael Dell. Originally selling under the "PCs Limited" brand, Dell was the first to legitimize direct sales of PCs by mail order and to provide quality telephone support. It was also the first major manufacturer to pre-load applications selected by the customer. In 2007, after more than two decades of direct sales, Dell expanded into the retail channel, and for the first time, people would see Dell products in chains such as Wal-Mart and Staples.
The company's rise was extraordinary. In 1991, after only seven years in business, it made the Fortune 500, ranking 490, with sales of $546 million. In 2007, Dell ranked 34 on the list with revenues of $61 billion. With more than 200 patents covering current and future computer systems and related technologies, Dell has been a major force in the industry.
In 2015, Dell announced the largest tech acquisition in history by acquiring storage vendor EMC for $67 billion. In that transaction, Dell also becomes the owner of VMware virtualization and RSA security software. See EMC
Michael S. Dell
From Inc. Magazine's "Entrepreneur of the Year" to PC Magazine's "Man of the Year," Dell has received numerous awards for his management abilities. He started the company in 1984 with $1,000. (Image courtesy of Dell Inc.)