The Compaq was founded in February 1982 by Rod Canion, Jim Harris and Bill Murto, the trio senior managers from semiconductor manufacturer, the Texas Instruments. Their first venture capital came from Ben Rosen and Sevin-Rosen partners. Compaq- designing of the original Compaq PC was first planned out on a placemat by the founders while they were dining in a restaurant.
The Compaq Portable, a portable IBM PC compatible personal computer and the first product of Compaq was announced in November 1982. And it was launched at a price of $2995 in March 1983, a price which was more reasonable and affordable when compared to its competitors at that time. An ancestor of today’s laptop and the second IBM PC compatible, that had the capability to run all the softwares same as on any IBM PC. It was a great commercial success, selling almost 53,000 units in its first year.
As IBM mostly used the retro parts for their PC, Compaq was able to market a legal IBM clone. Also Microsoft had retained the power to license the operating system to other computer manufacturers. The only part which had to be duplicated was the BIOS (Basic Input Output System), which Compaq did legally by using reverse-engineering by paying a sum of $1 million.
After making half a billion dollars turnover, in 1986 Compaq released the Compaq Portable II, a much lighter and smaller than its predecessor, featuring a revised design with an 8 MHz processor and 10 MB hard disk. It was cheaper than the IBM PC/AT which was at $3199 or $4799 with a hard disk.
Compaq Deskpro 386, the first PC based on Intel's new 80386 microprocessor was introduced by Compaq in 1987, and then started the period of acquiring the performance leadership over IBM. In the early 1990s, Compaq entered the retail computer market with the Compaq Presario, and was one of the first manufacturers in the mid-1990s to market a sub-$1000 PC.
Thus Compaq became the first first-tier computer manufacturer to utilize CPUs from AMD and Cyrix. The price war resulting from Compaq's actions ultimately drove numerous competitors, and of them were IBM and Packard Bell. In 2001, Later Compaq engaged in a merger with Hewlett-Packard. HP Compaq competes against other computer manufacturers including Dell, Apple, Lenovo, Gateway, Sony and Toshiba to name a few.
Compaq Evo : Compaq produced some of the first IBM PC compatible computers at a low-cost. The latest notebook PC's of Compaq Corporation is Compaq Evo, it was made by both Compaq and Hewlett-Packard, after the merger in 2002. It is the synaptic dual-pointing-device setup with a touchpad and pointer-stick, both the pad and the stick are pleasant to use and easily adjustable using the preloaded driver software.
Compaq NC : The HP Compaq offers both exciting and practical laptops. This represents great value for a laptop with such high build quality and customer satisfaction. The Compaq NC is easy to carry as it weighs only 2.13 kg and measures about 26mm thin. It uses the Intel Pentium-M Centrino Processor and has a larger hard drive. This model comes with a faster wireless speed and has a smart 14.1" screen.
Compaq Presario : The Compaq Presario notebook is designed with 2.8 GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor and 60 GB hard drive and 512 MB RAM for storing files and running multiple applications efficiently. It also contains DVD/CD-RW combo drive to perform a variety of application like backing up files on CD media, making audio mix CDs, accessing CD- or DVD-ROMs, or watching DVD movies on the 15.0-inch LCD screen. It features a built-in ATI MOBILITY RADEON 9000 IGP graphics card and integrated JBL Pro Performance speakers to take care of your multimedia needs.
Compaq Armada : The Compaq Armada is very small, 26.5cm*24cm, 20mm thin, and lightweight about 1500g with standard Li-Ion battery. An external floppy drive is included and you can get them by buying the additional docking station or by using a PCMCIA-CDROM. Compared to other notebooks, the Compaq is very well supported under Linux, all hardware is fairly standard and is easy to setup.