Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) was an American company that was one of the leading computer manufacturers in the world during the 1960s and 1970s. Founded in 1957 by Ken Olsen and Harlan Anderson, the company was based in Maynard, Massachusetts. It had a history of strong focus on developing and producing computer systems for businesses and government organizations.
In the early years, DEC’s main focus was on developing minicomputers, which were smaller and less expensive than traditional mainframe computers. These minicomputers were designed for use in smaller organizations and for specific scientific and engineering applications. DEC’s first minicomputer, the PDP-1, was released in 1960, followed by other models such as the PDP-8 and PDP-11.
DEC’s minicomputers were very successful, and the company quickly became one of the leading computer manufacturers in the world. In the 1970s, DEC expanded its product line to include larger mainframe computers, such as the VAX series, which were designed for use in larger organizations and for more demanding applications. The VAX-11/780, which was released in 1977, was one of the first superminicomputers and set a new standard for performance and capability.
In addition to its computer systems, DEC also developed and produced a wide range of software and networking products. The company’s DECnet networking protocol, which was released in the 1970s, was one of the first widely-used networking protocols and was used by many organizations to connect their computer systems.
DEC was also known for its strong corporate culture and its commitment to research and development. The company’s research lab, the Digital Equipment Computer Science Laboratory (DECSAL), was responsible for many important developments in computer science, including the development of the first computer mouse and the first computer-aided design (CAD) system.
Despite its success, DEC faced increasing competition in the 1980s and 1990s. The rise of personal computers and the decline of the minicomputer market resulted in a decline in sales and profitability for the company. In 1998, DEC was acquired by Compaq and in 1998, Compaq was acquired by Hewlett-Packard. DEC’s products, technology and brand were discontinued.
DEC was one of the most important computer companies of the 20th century and its products and innovations had a significant impact on the development of the computer industry. The company’s minicomputers were widely used in many different industries and its software and networking products were widely adopted. The company’s strong corporate culture and commitment to research and development also set a standard for the industry.
- Year Started: 1957
- Year Ended: 1998
- Origin Of Name: Descriptive
- Location Sales: Worldwide
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: Compaq Computers
- Owner Original: Ken Olson and Harlan Anderson
- Owner While In Use: Publicly traded
- Owner Successor: Compaq Computers
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Dell personal computers
- Naics Code: 334111
- Location Headquarters: Maynard, Massachusetts, United States