The Dell computer has a rather interesting history behind its invention. In 1984, while still studying at the University of Texas, Michael Dell with a capital of $1,000, created ‘PCs Limited’. Since he couldn’t afford a lot with that capital, he began working right out of his dormitory and built PCs with stock components. As this was the 80s and was standard at the time, he planned to make the computers compatible with IBM.

Michael Dell dropped out of college when he realized that selling computers to buyers directly could determine what they wanted. He was given $300,000 by his family which was the added capital he needed to move his business along.


The Turbo PC came out in 1985 and cost $800. It ran on an Intel 8088 processor with a speed of 8 MHz, which, compared to the computers we have today which run on gigahertz (which are thousands of times faster), was quite slow. However, at the time, that was the best available.

The special thing about PCs Limited which it has retained till today was that buyers could request for custom built computers if they didn’t want those that had already been assembled. Owing to this, customers could get much cheaper computers than what the competition was offering. It was a winning strategy as PCs limited made about $73 million after trading for just one year.


In 1988, PCs Limited now became Dell. Before the name change, the company was already pretty huge as it already ran 11 international operations. In the year 1990, the company tried to sell computers through the use of clubhouses, a strategy which failed and made them return back to their method of selling to customers directly.

The year 1996 saw the introduction of online purchases for Dell. Potential buyers could go to the Dell website and make custom orders which would be built and assembled according to the specifications made by the buyer and shipped to his/her home.

In 1999 after taking over Compaq computers, the company became the largest PC seller. In 2002, they passed $25 billion in revenue and began dealing in TV sets and various electronics. Owing to their expansion which saw them selling printers and so on, the name was modified in 2003, to Dell Inc.

When one considers the fact that a billion dollar company began from a dormitory room and with a starting capital of $1,000, it is simply amazing. Michael Dell’s principle behind his company has always been for it to allow individuals design the computer they want. And though Dell can be bought at retail outlets now, customers in need of custom machines can simply go online to the Dell website and design one of their own. The company also offers assistance of various kinds to customers who may require some help as relates to their machines.