One of the leading PC manufacturers. Based in Houston, Texas, Compaq Computer Corporation was founded in 1982 by Rod Canion, Bill Murto and Jim Harris. Its first product, released in 1983, was a portable computer. The following year it released a desktop PC.
Over the years, Compaq has built a reputation as manufacturer of high-quality PCs. In 1991, it shook the PC world by dropping its prices dramatically, a move that made it the world's number one PC manufacturer.
Traditionally, Compaq machines have been available only through resellers. But in 1997, Compaq launched an aggressive strategy to manufacture "built-to-order" computers. The program allows corporations to specify the configurations they want and to purchase machines directly from Compaq. This puts Compaq in direct competition with mail-order vendors such as Gateway 2000 and Dell Computer.
In 2002, Compaq merged with Hewlett Packard.