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Information Research Services Updated: 20 March 1998

DIGITAL Computing Timeline

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Compaq Computer Corporation is founded by Rod Canion, Jim Harris, and Bill Murto, all former senior managers of Texas Instruments. The company's name is
a combination of the words:
compatibility and quality.

Compaq Computer is first to market with a portable computer, the Compaq Portable PC.
ALL-IN-1, a new concept in integrated office software is introduced.

DIGITAL moves to the forefront in storage technology with the announcement of the RA60 and RA81 disk drives and DIGITAL Storage Architecture.

Time magazine departs from its annual tradition of naming a "Man of the Year," choosing instead to name the computer its "Machine of the Year."

The use of computer-generated graphics in movies advances with Disney's release of "Tron."

In its first year, Compaq Computer ships more than 53,000 portable PCs.

Compaq Computer makes its first public stock offering, raising $67M.

DIGITAL establishes Internet connectivity. Initial e-mail, FTP archive and USENET news hub are established.

DIGITAL launches its first multivendor customer service program, designed to provide customers -- from small businesses to Fortune 500 organizations -- with a full range of service and support for both DIGITAL and non-DIGITAL products.

Total computers in use in the U.S. exceed ten million units.

The Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) is introduced at the first North American Music Manufacturers show in Los Angeles.

Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Deskpro, its first desktop computer.

Compaq Computer establishes sales operations in Europe.

Construction begins on Compaq Center, a 55-acre site in northwest Houston.

Announcement of the VAX 8600, the first of a new generation of computers within the VAX family and, at the time, the highest performance computer system in DIGITAL's history.

Introduction of the VAXstation I, DIGITAL's first 32-bit single-user workstation.

DIGITAL delivers its 25,000th VAX system to Citicorp.

The 3 1/2-inch "microfloppy" diskette wins widespread acceptance.

In his novel "Neuromancer," William Gibson coins the term "cyberspace."

Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Deskpro 286 and the Portable 286. DIGITAL is the first computer company to register an Internet domain.

DIGITAL introduces the MicroVAX II.

550MB CD-ROMs evolve from regular CDs on which music is recorded.

The C++ programming language emerges as the dominant object-oriented language in the computer industry.

Compaq Computer joins the Fortune 500 list faster than any company in history.

Compaq Computer ships its 500,000th personal computer.

Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq Portable II.

Construction at Compaq Center in Houston is completed and Compaq immediately begins a series of expansions and additions to new facility.

Printed circuit board assembly plant opens in Singapore.

DIGITAL creates the first Internet firewall and establishes as a major FTP site on the Internet.

DIGITAL occupies its first built-for-remote services facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Introduction of the VAXmate, a networked personal computer combining the resources of the VAX-VMS and MS-DOS operating systems.

The number of computers in the U.S. exceeds 30 million.

Daniel Hillis of Thinking Machines Corp. moves artificial intelligence forward by developing the controversial concept of massive parallelism.

Compaq Computer introduces the 20-MHz Compaq Portable 386 and the Compaq Deskpro 386/20, which features a 20-MHz Intel 80386 and a cache controller.

Compaq Computer manufactures its 1- millionth personal computer.

Scotland manufacturing plant opens.
Introduction of the VAX 8978 and VAX 8974, DIGITAL's most powerful systems to date, offering up to 50 times the power of the industry-standard VAX-11/780.

DIGITAL ships its 100,000th VAX system to the Standard Oil Company's Dallas Technical Data Center. The VAX 8800 is to be used in oil exploration and for production computing.

The number of Internet host computers exceeds 10,000.

NASA's newest installed supercomputer system is capable of a sustained rate of 250 million calculations per second.

First to market with a fully functioning laptop, Compaq Computer introduces the Compaq SLT/286, its first laptop PC with VGA graphics, a 12-MHz 286, 640KB RAM, 20-40MB hard drive, 3.5-inch disk drive, and built-in 10-inch grayscale LCD VGA screen.

Compaq is among the 61 computer companies supporting the formation of the Extended Industry Standard Architecture (EISA).

DIGITAL introduces the VAX 6000 system platform, based on the CVAX chip.

DIGITAL extends its Network Applications Support (NAS) facilities to integrate MS-DOS, OS/2 and UNIX systems into the open DECnet/OSI network environment.

Pixar's "Tin Toy" becomes the first computer-animated film to win an Academy Award.

23-year old Robert Morris sends a nondestructive worm through the Internet, causing problems for about 6,000 of the 60,000 hosts linked to the network.

Compaq Computer introduces its first notebook PC, the Compaq LTE. The first full-function notebook computer, including hard and floppy disk, weighs less than seven pounds.

Compaq Computer introduces its first server PC, the Compaq Systempro; this is also the first EISA PC.

Overtaking Apple and Olivetti, Compaq Computer becomes the number 2 supplier of business PCs in Europe.

Compaq Computer establishes a service operations facility in Stirling, Scotland.
The Rigel chip set is introduced.

The DECstation 3100 is among the broadest set of desktop solutions announced by DIGITAL to date.

Introduction of the VAX 6300 systems, DIGITAL's most powerful and expandable VAX systems in a single cabinet.

The number of computers in the U.S. exceeds 50M units; the worldwide number of computers in use surpasses 100M units.

The concept of "virtual reality" emerges as the hot topic at Siggraph's 1989 convention in Boston.

Compaq Computer opens a Berlin office and sets up an East European sales organization.

Compaq Computer announces it will sponsor the Grand Slam Tennis Cup.
DIGITAL opens an operations center in Berlin to prepare for the opportunities created by a unified German marketplace.

DIGITAL software engineers begin to participate in USENET newsgroups such as comp.sys.dec to provide informal customer support over the Internet.

The number of Internet host computers surpasses 100,000.

The World Wide Web is born when Tim Berners-Lee, a researcher at CERN, the high-energy physics laboratory in Geneva, develops HyperText Markup Language (HTML).

Compaq Computer reports its first billion dollar quarter.

Compaq Computer eliminates its use of chlorofluorocarbons by changing to a new manufacturing process.
DIGITAL is the first in the industry to offer an Internet tunnel product. Compaq Computer leads a group of companies in launching the Advanced Computing Environment (ACE) standard for PCs and workstations.
Compaq Computer enters the Japanese market with aggressively priced PCs--as much as 50% lower than Japanese PC prices.

Initiation of on-site warranty coverage for all products and 3-year warranty and 24-hour technical support for all Compaq PCs.

Introduction of Compaq Computer's first low-cost PCs: ProLinea and Contura, and the first low-cost server, Compaq ProSignia.
DIGITAL announces Alpha, its program for 21st-century computing.

DIGITAL provides computer systems and software to the America3 Foundation racing team for its defense of the Americas Cup.

DIGITAL installs the industry's first commercial Internet firewall.

The beginning of nationwide ISDN digital networked telephone service is marked by the "Golden Splice" as local and national carriers are networked for the first time.
Compaq Computer becomes #1 worldwide in portables market.

Compaq Computer introduces Presario, a PC family targeted for the home market and the first all-in-one Compaq PC. Presario quickly becomes Compaq's fastest selling PC family ever.

Compaq Computer delivers its first Pentium-based product.

Compaq Computer announces Concerto, the first pen-based Compaq notebook.

The first mini-tower Compaq PCs (Presario and ProLinea) are introduced.

DIGITAL becomes the the first Fortune 500 company with a corporate website on the internet ( Earlier in the year, DIGITAL established its first departmental web.

DIGITAL and Microsoft ship the Windows NT operating system for Alpha systems.

DIGITAL delivers its first video-on-demand system for an early broadband communications trial.

Compaq Computer, Intel, Microsoft, and Phoenix Technologies define the Plug and Play specification for PCs.

The number of Internet host computers passes 1M units.
Compaq Computer introduces first sub-notebook, the Compaq Aero.

Compaq Computer announces its first rack mountable server, the Rack-Mountable ProLiant.
DIGITAL describes the 21164, its newest Alpha microprocessor.

The Network Systems Laboratory at DIGITAL builds and deploys the State of California Election Server, which delivers the first live election returns over the Internet during a state-wide election.

The number of e-mail users in the U.S. surpasses 20M.
Compaq Computer reaches number one PC marketshare position worldwide.

Compaq Computer introduces the 120-MHz Pentium-based Compaq Deskpro XL, nine new desktop models based on the 133-MHz Pentium processor, and announces a complete redesign of the popular Deskpro product line to include new "Intelligent Manageability" features.

Europe's largest-ever PC contract is awarded to Compaq Computer by British Telecom.

Compaq Computer's high-performance modular notebook family, the LTE 5000 family is launched.

Compaq Computer forms a new internetworking products group with an extended product line including stackable hubs, high-speed hubs, and Ethernet switches.

DIGITAL and Microsoft announce a strategic alliance to meet growing customer demand for Microsoft-based solutions and support in enterprise-wide computing.

DIGITAL introduces AltaVista, the Internet's first "super spider" software.

Personal computers are in 35 percent of U.S. households.

41 percent of U.S. public schools have computers and CD-ROM players, up 15 percent from 1994.

Compaq Computer introduces the 180-MHz Pentium Pro-based Prolinea.

Compaq Computer enters the workstation market with the announcement of the Professional Workstation line of Pentium Pro based systems, delivering industry-standard, cost-effective solution to users.

Compaq Computer ships the PC Companion, a hand-held computer running Windows CE.

Compaq Computer introduces the industry's first 'rewriteable' CD-ROM drive.

The Armada family of value-priced, flexible notebooks is announced by Compaq Computer.

Compaq Computer announces the LS-120, the industry's first 120MB floppy drive.

Compaq Computer produces its 1-millionth server.
DIGITAL announces a new release of its industry-leading 64-bit operating system, DIGITAL UNIX Version 4.0.

At a worldwide customer event broadcast live via Internet audio and video, DIGITAL announces its strategy to accelerate the growth of the Internet as the environment of choice for cyberworkers.

DIGITAL becomes the first computer company to operate an Internet Network Access Point (NAP) when it opens the DIGITAL Internet Exchange in Palo Alto, California.

The computers in use in the U.S. exceed 100M units.

Personal computers are in 44 percent of U.S. households.

Compaq Computer purchases Tandem Computers for $3 billion.

Compaq Capital, a finance company for customer leasing and other options, is established.

Compaq Computer announces an under $1000 series, the Presario 2000.

Compaq Computer introduces the TFT 500 flat-panel monitor.
With more than one million Microsoft Exchange seats under contract, DIGITAL becomes the world’s leading provider of mail and messaging solutions to large global accounts.

DIGITAL announces Client Support Service, a set of custom service plans for meeting customers' complete information-related needs.

DIGITAL announces Millicent, the first cybercommerce system.

DIGITAL's Mars Landing website provides the world's first live streaming webcast to over 1,000,000 viewers.

DIGITAL sells its semiconductor operations to Intel; DIGITAL and Intel also enter into a 10-year patent cross-licensing agreement.

Computers and CD-ROM players are in 54 percent of U.S. public schools.

45 million people worldwide use the Internet. Use segments are: 54 percent--home; 12 percent--education and government; and 34 percent business.

Backed by the U.S. government and over 100 other organizations, the Internet 2 is targeted to serve universities and research institutions needing a higher-speed, less trafficked, and more capable version of the Internet.

Compaq Computer announces the acquisition of Digital Equipment Corporation for $9.6 billion; the merger creates the second-largest computer company in the world, with revenues of over $37 billion.